California, as the Global Cleantech 100 list published in the Guardian confirms, is still hot. Thirty-two of the rising stars in solar panels, energy efficiency, biofuels and more are based there.
“I really think it’s important that the best and brightest in the colleges today should take a look at these problems. If we can resolve the energy problem then clean water isn’t far behind. And if you’ve got inexpensive renewable energy worldwide, and if you have clean water, once you take those major problems away for the planet there’s a lot less to fight about.” – Jack Baron, CEO of Sweetwater
KissMyCountry continues our ‘CEOs Saving the Planet’ series with Jack Baron, CEO of Sweetwater , a biofuels company in Rochester, New York that’s working on some exciting solutions, including a replacement for jet fuel. Jack, best known for co-founding the telecommunications firm PAETEC, took the helm at Sweetwater to make a difference in renewable energy today. Jack talks about the importance of renewable fuels for saving our planet, and the most interesting green technologies that people are working on today, as well as the places he loves in Rochester. Enjoy!
KissMyCountry: Jack, Sweetwater is an exciting company that brings new ideas to biofuel production. You’ve got great technology. In layman’s terms, can you tell us a little bit about Sweetwater and your breakthrough technology? Why are you excited, and what would you like us to know about Sweetwater?
California’s high-tech giants have long used renewable energy to help power their Silicon Valley headquarters. Now, companies such as Google, Adobe Systems, and eBay are preparing for the next step — investing in off-site solar and wind installations and innovative technologies that will supply their offices and data centers with green electricity.
From the street, Adobe Systems’ San Jose headquarters looks like any other collection of skyscrapers that dot the downtown of the self-proclaimed capital of Silicon Valley.
But ascend to a skyway that connects two of the software company’s towers and you’ll find a wind farm. Twenty vertical turbines that resemble a modern art installation slowly rotate in the breeze that blows through a six-floor plaza. Down in the parking garage, a dozen electric car-charging stations have been set up. Adobe, which makes the ubiquitous Flash player software, will install 18 more chargers this year to accommodate workers expected to be first in line when the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, and other battery-powered vehicles roll into Silicon Valley showrooms later this year. (more…)
Thank billions in government funding for helping to lift clean technology investment in the third quarter, said the Cleantech Group and Deloitte in a report Wednesday.
The quarterly analysis reiterated that the recession has kicked but not killed investments in this sector, which remain down 42 percent from the third quarter of 2008. Biotech and IT combined receive less funding than clean tech, which continues its climb from the second quarter, the report noted.
“The two largest venture deals (Solyndra and Tesla Motors) and the largest IPO (A123Systems) this quarter were all recipients of U.S. government funding,” said Cleantech Group managing director Dallas Kachan in a statement.
In light of our desire to Think Globally and Act Locally, CleanTechies is raising $5,000 to support GRID Alternatives during Solarthon 2009.
As mentioned in my previous post, Solarthon 2009 will be GRID’s largest event of the year, with plans to install solar electric systems on 16 low-income houses in one community in one day.
In yesterday’s CleanTechies blog post on solar energy careers, I wrote about an innovative non-profit named GRID Alternatives which provides solar electric systems to low income families. CleanTechies is working with GRID Alternatives to support their largest 1 day install ever during Solarthon 2009 which will take place on September 12, 2009 in a community in Oakland, California.
Metrolight Ltd., a leading provider of electronic ballast solutions for energy efficient lighting, announced today [June 4, 2009] that it has raised $3 million and appointed Zvi Segal as a Chief Executive Officer.
Zvi Segal, a veteran of Orbotech Group, Applied Materials and Teledata Communication, will lead Metrolight’s growth phase driven by what Metrolight says is strong demand for its energy saving products and services from commercial, industrial and municipal customers across Europe and the US. Metrolight’s High Intensity Discharge (HID) eBallast reduces up to 60% of energy consumed and doubles the life of a lamp. (more…)
Looking for a green technology job in the Solar industry is something more and more job seekers are focusing on these days. The reasons are easily explained if you turn to Frank Marquardt, author of Green Careers, coauthor of How Green Is Your City, and writer on the CleanTechies Blog: “Solar represents an attractive industry to many looking for an industry with a positive long-term outlook, and one where they can make a difference. Those who do find a job will have the opportunity to work alongside passionate people who realize their work will have a very real effect on some of the most significant geopolitical issues of the age, including energy independence and climate change.”
At the same time, that’s exactly why breaking into Solar is not an easy thing to accomplish. There is a lot of competition for a limited number of jobs, and companies have specific requirements to their jobs that many applicants do not necessarily meet.
Frank Marquardt, author of The Solar Job Guide, wrote a useful article about green technology recruiting that appeared on triplepundit yesterday. For those of you looking for a clean tech job, you will probably find some relevant information here. Marquardt talked to several recruiting experts and gives a good overview of what you can expect from recruiters and how they tend to approach candidates.
BioSolar Inc., a publicly traded California company, says it’s come up with a way to build a better solar panel, with plastics made from plants.
I sat down recently with company CEO David Lee, both of us at keyboards, to discuss BioSolar’s plans for a plastic revolution in sun power manufacturing.
Lee’s protective backing is derived from cotton and castor beans, and costs 25 percent less than Tedlar, the petroleum-based film made by rival DuPont, company officials say. Lee, an electrical engineer, founded the company in 2006.
Q: What makes BioSolar different from other solar companies in the United States?
Lee: BioSolar is developing a technology to produce bio-based photovoltaic (PV) components from renewable plant sources that will reduce the cost per watt of PV modules. BioSolar will gradually replace the petroleum-based portions of the PV module and do so at a substantial cost savings.