Universities in the United States have led the world in scientific research for a century. Sometimes however, innovators, including universities, struggle to translate research ideas into technologies that satisfy real world needs. Universities across the country have embraced the need to address climate and energy challenges, and now we need to effectively harness the resources and intellectual capital of our world’s leading research institutions. The wealth of ideas originating from our university laboratories will help build innovative cleantech (more…)
The French government recently announced a large investment program for renewables and green chemistry. The investment, totaling 1.35 billion euros ($1.75 billion) will be allocated over the next four years.
Named “ Démonstrateurs énergies renouvelables et chimie verte ” – or renewable energy and green chemistry demonstration – this program plans to allocate 450 million euros in subsidies and 900 million euros in (more…)
General Electric and a number of leading venture capital firms announced today what some have already dubbed “the biggest quest for ideas in history.” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt unveiled the “GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid,” an open innovation challenge that will give $200 million to smart grid ideas submitted through GE’s ecomagination website.
The challenge is global and targeted at technologists, entrepreneurs, and startups “to share their best ideas and come together to take on one of the world’s toughest challenges – building the next-generation power grid to meet the needs of the 21st century.”
GE and its partners – leading venture capital firms Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins, RockPort Capital as well as Wired magazine’s Chris Anderson – will evaluate the ideas and invest the $200 million capital into promising startups and ideas.
These days, cleantech is becoming more and more prominent. From office buildings to how we commute, more of the conversation now revolves around cleantech then ever before. But what if you’re a college student looking to study cleantech? Below you’ll find 10 of the most well known and well respected universities that offer a solid course load in all things cleantech.
UC Berkeley – The sixties are long dead, and the Berkeley campus is a center of serious study. Top ranking programs in engineering, ecology, and public policy attract bright minds and plenty of grant money.
Stanford – Effectively an Ivy League transplanted to the San Francisco Bay Area, Stanford is renowned for the quality of its students and the (more…)
While renewable energy often captures most of the cleantech headlines, if anyone doubts why energy efficiency must play a significant part in the cleantech effort – as significant, if not more so, than the role of renewable energy — just examine the energy flow graphic developed by McCall and Bassett and reprinted in the June edition of Technology Review. At least half of U.S. energy consumption goes to nothing more than creation of hot air through waste heat. And, when one realizes that much of the 13.9% of electricity output from power plants shown in the graphic also ends up as hot air from our computers, lights, etc., the portion of energy consumption going up in hot air is actually greater than 50%.
Couple this with the following facts… According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), on a worldwide basis renewable energy currently supplies roughly 10% of the energy consumed. (more…)
MP2 Capital is a San Francisco firm that develops, finances and invests in distributed generation and small-scale utility solar projects throughout North America, selling the electricity produced by its projects to commercial, government and utility customers under power purchase agreements and feed-in tariffs.
Its latest project is a 445-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array in Winsted, Connecticut. MP2 Capital has entered into a power purchase agreement to sell all of the electricity generated to the Regional School District No. 7 for 20 years under a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.
The system, which sits atop multiple rooftops of the school district, was built by groSolar and is composed of 1,937 photovoltaic panels from Canadian Solar. It is expected to produce approximately 492,000 kilowatt hours of clean solar electricity and save the school district $26,000 in energy costs during the first year of operation. Over the term of the agreement, the system is expected to produce approximately 9,380,000 kilowatt-hours to offset the school’s energy use.
Brad Bauer, co-founder and managing director of MP2 Capital, talked with CleanTechies about the project. (more…)
CleanTechies is fortunate to have some of the sharpest minds in the energy and clean tech industries as regular readers, but even if you don’t have a Ph.D., you should be able to answer this quick math quiz: “Which price tag is cheaper, $8 billion or free?”
Don’t hurt yourselves!
On Tuesday, President Obama officially announced $8 billion in government loan guarantees for construction of two new nuclear plants in Georgia, the country’s first expansion of nukes in more than 30 years.
A day later, the Vermont state legislature officially began deliberations on the question of relicensure of Entergy’s Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. While there are some transaction costs associated with keeping Vermont Yankee open past 2012, the cost is nowhere near $4 billion.
Given the commitment the president made to clean, domestic nuclear power just 24 hours earlier, you would expect the White House to jump right in on the question of relicensure in Vermont, right? Not so fast. (more…)
Whether you’re looking to share your expertise or just curious about the cleantech space, the CleanTechies Events and Conferences Calendar may feature a must-see event in your part of the world.
Among the highlights in the coming weeks:
What’s big in Japan’s cleantech sector? This four-hour session explores the state of the overseas market as well as ties between U.S. and Japanese companies. It’s organized bythe U.S. State Department and Japan’s trade ministry officials.
At a factory in Wuxi, China, workers lift solar panels onto conveyor belts, while others in white lab coats move between machines as they check on a process for etching and engraving silicon wafers to form solar cells.
This scene in itself isn’t remarkable. But there is a new sort of excitement about the work. China’s production of solar panels has grown quickly in the past two years; it is it now the world’s leading exporter. When Matt Lewis, a representative of the California-based nonprofit ClimateWorks, visited the factory in October, he said it reminded him of his native Silicon Valley: The workers, even ordinary line workers, had a sense that they were part of building the future, the hot new industry.
The green economy is thriving despite the economic downturn, according to the State of Green Business 2010 report released Wednesday by Greener World Media.
“Green professionals weren’t among the first to be thrown overboard,” said Joel Makower, report author and Executive Editor of GreenBiz.com, in a statement. “Their budgets were slashed, their headcounts frozen, all while their mandates sometimes increased. But they managed to survive, even thrive, during tough times.”