Thursday, July 1st, 2010
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…)
Monday, April 5th, 2010
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…)
Thursday, February 18th, 2010
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…)
Thursday, February 11th, 2010
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:
- U.S.-Japan Clean Tech Symposium, Feb. 18, San Francisco, CA
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.
- Texas-Israel Cleanovation Conference, Feb. 22, Austin, TX
The launch of this conference promises to bring together some 200 attendees including from utility and clean energy companies, investors and technologists. Dr. Eli Opper, Chief Scientist of Israel, is among the keynote presenters. (more…)
Monday, February 8th, 2010
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.
Thursday, February 4th, 2010
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.”
What top trends are now driving green business? To start, the report says more companies and consumers are embracing “radical transparency.”
Thursday, January 28th, 2010
What are the latest corporate environmental trends, and how are business leaders meeting the toughest challenges?
GreenBiz.com will release its “State of Green Business 2010″ annual status report to coincide with State of Green Business Forum events in San Francisco Feb. 4 and Chicago Feb. 9.
Veteran green business writers Joel Makower and Marc Gunther will lead the one-day sessions. Themes to be covered include “When Green Business Meets Cleantech” and “Can IT Solve the World’s Problems?” Attendees in Chicago will also hear about local issues, such as “The Green Economy Meets the Great Lakes.”
Thought leaders will include lawyer and longtime activist Van Jones, who stepped down from his post as White House green jobs “czar” amid a media firestorm in September. Other experts there should include: (more…)
Saturday, January 9th, 2010
Based on the rash of predictions for cleantech in 2010 from investors, consultants and media (see the full list at the end of this post), I’ve pulled together a “trend of trends” list below that attempts to synthesis the broader, over-arching themes. As always, I’m amazed that water isn’t on the top of every list, every year, although there are some positive signs on that front. So here are the 12 things that filtered to the top: (more…)
Friday, January 8th, 2010
According to Eric Straser, a partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures and a pioneer in cleantech investing, “In 2009… cleantech…is now garnering nearly 20 percent of all dollars invested by VCs. In 2010, we’ll see public investors get into the action with several IPOs…”
So what VC trends should be influencing the development of your investment strategy?
Thursday, January 7th, 2010
By now, you’ve probably had your fill of 2010 prediction lists about cleantech and renewable energy, but no such list was worth its bytes if it didn’t mention energy storage. The absence of scalable energy storage solutions is the Achilles’ heel of renewable energy generated from intermittent sources, such as sun and wind. But when it said late last month that it hopes to start selling a lithium-ion storage cell for home use around fiscal 2011, electronics giant Panasonic signaled that it could be filling that energy storage void.
Details about the battery are sketchy, at best. Panasonic’s president Fumio Otsubo told the Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun about the planned product but didn’t mention how large the energy storage system would be, or how much it would cost. He did say the device would be able to store a week’s worth of power for a single home—which sounds impressive but is a poor metric, since the amount of energy a single family home consumes in one week can vary drastically from block to block and from city to city. Still, storing a week’s worth of energy for even a small home with relatively low energy needs would be a major accomplishment. (more…)