Monday, November 29, 2010

The Solar Future: India

In 2010 India launched the National Solar Mission, which aims to install 20,000 MW of solar installations by 2022. This ambitious goal opens a whole spectrum of new solar PV business opportunities. India is a fast growing country and economy, with permanent electricity shortages. New power plants have to be built in order to sustain further rapid growth. The country has a very high amount of sunshine and its land and labor are relatively cheap. All of this makes India one of the most logic places on earth for large scale solar PV application.

The Solar Future: India conference will feature many expert speakers from the industry itself, the financial institutions, the industry associations and the government. The combination of their knowledge and the audience's expertise and participation will provide a platform where all of these questions will be answered. Learn how to get started tomorrow: building your own manufacturing plant, your business or project.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

$ 15 M for projects that reduce urban greenhouse gases: Toronto Atmospheric Fund

The Challenge launched today is offering a $10,000 cash prize and a pool of approximately $15 million in financing for business projects that reduce urban greenhouse gas emissions. The web 2.0 “crowdsourcing” and “ideation” platform allows an online community of investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, policy makers, environmental leaders and business buffs to rate and comment on business proposals and select the winners. Businesses from across Canada have until December 20th to submit their ideas.

ClimateSpark is tapping business ingenuity and competitiveness to spark some creative climate change solutions that can also help companies turn a profit,” says Julia Langer, executive director of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, which is behind the challenge. “If you believe that a thousand minds are better than one, ClimateSpark offers the opportunity to put an idea in front of a diverse community that will work with businesses to refine and develop -- and then judge -- their ideas.”

This opportunity to stimulate “green” entrepreneurship has attracted high-profile sponsors, including TD Bank, Toronto Live Green, Aird & Berlis LLP and Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Business. Firms with approximately $15 million to invest in this space, including Investeco and Best Funds, are also sponsoring the challenge. The winner and the eight runners-up will have the opportunity to pitch these savvy investors on their ideas.

Web challenges are being widely deployed in the United States and elsewhere to generate new ideas and products and are ideally suited to complex problems like climate change. The ClimateSpark web platform allows participants to earn “reputation” points based on their engagement in the challenge, which they can then use to support one of the business concepts and win prizes. “This is not a popularity contest,” explains Langer, “it is a sophisticated system for separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to identifying solutions with real promise, both in terms of emission reductions and profitability.”

The first round of the contest runs from Nov. 4th to Dec. 20, 2010. Nine finalists will be selected to go into the second round, which runs from Jan. 3- Jan 31, 2011. The winner will be announced at the ClimateSpark Summit in Toronto on Feb. 2, 2011.

The Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF), an arm’s length agency of the City of Toronto,, has been sparking and incubating innovative urban solutions to climate change for close to 20 years. TAF investments in initiatives such as deep lake water cooling, LED traffic signals, auto sharing, energy efficient condominiums, renewable power, and solar heating have helped Toronto save millions of dollars through improved energy efficiency and increased energy security.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

REC announce competitive cost position

After a successful construction and ramp-up phase, the production at REC's EUR 1,3 billion green field, integrated wafer, cell and module production facility in Singapore will approach nameplate capacity towards year end.

REC is uniquely positioned in the solar industry with full integration of the entire PV value chain from polysilicon to modules. As previously communicated, REC has demonstrated its proprietary, low cost, fluidized bed reactor technology (FBR) in the US. With the new, integrated wafer, cell and module production facility in Singapore, REC is set to achieve a cost competitive position through the entire value chain from polysilicon to modules.

By the fourth quarter 2011, REC is targeting a full cost position of 97 Eurocents/Watt based on the cost of manufacturing of FBR in the US and wafers, cells and modules in Singapore. This cost target includes cost of sales and general administration, corporate overhead, research and development as well as depreciation. Excluding depreciation the cash cost target is an industry leading 74 Eurocents/Watt. Furthermore REC plans to further leverage investments in infrastructure at the Singapore site to increase module production to 800 MW by 2012, exceeding the nameplate capacity by approximately 35 percent.

"I am impressed by the performance demonstrated by the Singapore organization during construction and ramp-up of the new facility. This achievement gives me confidence in the organization's ability to continue to improve and further strengthen REC's competitive position" says CEO Mr. Ole Enger.

Biofuels for Military Jets: Cobalt Technology joint development with US Navy

Research Underway to Convert Biobutanol into Full Performance Jet Fuel

Today, Cobalt Technologies, the leader in commercializing biobutanol as a renewable chemical and fuel, announced the signature of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Navy to develop technology for the conversion of biobutanol into full performance jet and diesel fuels.

Under the CRADA, n-biobutanol produced by Cobalt will be converted to bio-jet and biodiesel fuels using technology developed at the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) in China Lake, CA. The result will be a complete substitute for military and civilian jet fuel, meeting all applicable specifications. In addition, Cobalt will have an option to obtain an exclusive license to commercialize process improvements, made under the CRADA, for the production of all military and civilian transportation fuels.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the U.S. Navy to develop a renewable option for jet fuels,” said Rick Wilson, CEO of Cobalt Technologies. “It’s exciting to be part of this research, which will help relieve our reliance on foreign oil through the use of renewable fuels developed here in the United States. With our front end for producing renewable n-butanol and the NAWCWD’s technology for converting n-butanol into jet fuel, we can offer a complete process that directly addresses the military’s green fuels mandate.”

”It is a privilege for NAWCWD chemists to work in partnership with Cobalt Technologies on this exciting technological venture,” said Dr. Michael D. Seltzer, head of NAWCWD’s Technology Transfer Program. “Anytime we can support the fleet and at the same time transfer important technology to the private sector, it is a win-win situation. As NAWCWD continues its leadership role within DoD in the research and development of alternative fuels, opportunities such as this are greatly valued.”

The U.S. Navy has set a high priority on the development of cost-effective and sustainable domestic sources of fuels and has several initiatives in place to increase its use of biofuels, while decreasing its carbon-footprint and dependence on foreign petroleum. By collaborating with the Navy scientists who have expertise in converting biobutanol to bio-jet and biodiesel fuels, Cobalt Technologies is well positioned to demonstrate and implement a large-scale process for generating sustainable and renewable fuel for both military and commercial use.

Ontario & Asia push green energy partnerships

Ontario Technology Corridor at Eco Expo Asia to advance cooperation on environmental protection technologies and energy efficiency opportunities

Ontario-based Plasco Energy Group and Clearford Industries Inc. already engaged in significant Chinese partnerships on solid waste conversion, wastewater collection and treatment

Hong Kong – ECO EXPO ASIA 2010 – Nov. 3, 2010 – Executives from the Ontario Technology Corridor are attending Eco Expo Asia 2010 in Hong Kong this week to introduce environmental technology companies that can help solve growth-oriented issues in the world’s largest cities. The Canadian province also offers North America’s most advanced green energy policies, targeted incentives and a generous feed-in tariff program to expanding Asian companies.

Ontario is home to 110 head offices of clean technology companies that are predominantly engaged in the development and marketing and/or use of their own proprietary technology to deliver products or services that reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) projects that by 2015, these Ontario clean technology companies will generate revenues in excess of $1 billion. In addition there are over 2,800 environmental industry companies in Ontario, generating approximately $7 billion in revenue and employing 65,000 people.

Two of those companies, Ottawa-based Plasco Energy Group and Clearford Industries Inc., are already active in China. In June of this year, China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP) and Plasco Energy Group announced an agreement to establish a Joint Venture corporation, CECEP-Plasco China Corp. Plasco will provide its world leading energy-from-waste Plasco Conversion System technology to be delivered in China through this Joint Venture. And in July, Clearford announced its first contract in China to design its patented SBS™ system for development of wastewater collection and treatment in the Hubei Province. Furthermore, Clearford has also attracted private equity investment from the number one boutique investment bank in China as ranked by ChinaVenture.

“For the Asian solar industry, Ontario’s most compelling attraction is the Ontario Power Authority’s feed-in tariff, or FIT Program, modeled after successful programs in Germany and France. It features North America’s first comprehensive, guaranteed pricing structure for renewable electricity production, offering stable prices under long-term contracts for solar photovoltaic, on-shore and off-shore wind, biomass, biogas, landfill gas, and waterpower energy,” said Michael Darch, Executive Director, Global Investment of OCRI, Ottawa’s leading economic development organization and an Ontario Technology Corridor partner.

A total of 694 feed-in tariff contracts in Ontario have already created 20,000 direct and indirect green energy jobs and attracted about $9 billion in private sector investment from around the world. “We are actively welcoming Asian companies to participate in our province’s green energy partnerships,” says Darch. “There is fertile ground for significant cooperation.”

Ontario is currently a North American leader in the adoption of green energy policies with its passing of the Green Energy Act in May 2009. Other targeted programs available to the alternative energy and clean technology sector include: Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund, Ontario Innovation Demonstration Fund, Ontario Power Authority Technology Development Fund, SD Tech Fund, and SDTC’s NextGen Biofuels Fund.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

US Solar Boom Requires $ 100 Bn Investment

Rapidly declining equipment costs combined with stronger government
support have set the stage for explosive growth in the US solar market
over the next decade, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the
world's leading provider of research and analysis into clean energy
and the carbon markets.

Solar-powered generating capacity – using photovoltaic and solar
thermal electricity technologies – could reach 4.3% of the nation's
power capacity by 2020, depending on the industry's ability to attract
an estimated $100bn of investment.

The US today has just 1.4 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity,
ranking it fifth globally. But that could rise to 44 gigawatts by
2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In a new report,
forecast capacity from large-scale solar thermal projects is projected
to rise from 0.4 gigawatts currently to 14 gigawatts by 2020. For
photovoltaics, the group anticipates a 34% annual growth rate to 30
gigawatts by 2020.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance research shows that the cost of a typical
photovoltaic module has dropped by more than half over the past two
years. However, solar power is still expensive compared to other power
sources. The group's latest analysis places the unsubsidized cost of
best-in-class photovoltaic and solar thermal electricity generation at
just below $200/megawatt-hour -- nearly four times the equivalent cost
for a coal-fired power plant ($56/megawatt-hour) -- and between two
and four times the cost of onshore wind power.

Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance
said: "There is a very positive growth story for solar in the US: a
few more years of support, and then the engine of unsubsidized
competitiveness will take over – and the world will never be the same.
The important thing right now is to ensure policy stability, to give
investors confidence during this critical period. The US solar
industry will require private sector investment of $100bn during the
next decade, and any hint that the government's commitment to clean
energy could waver and investors will run for cover."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Energy Efficient Datacenter: Terremark honored in Top Green IT List

Terremark Worldwide, Inc. , a leading global provider of managed IT infrastructure services, today announced IDG's Computerworld, the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers worldwide, has selected it as one of the Top Green-IT Organizations for 2010. This honor is part of the IT media outlet's annual Top Green-IT Organizations feature, which was published in the October 25 issue of Computerworld and online at

For the third year in a row, Computerworld set out to identify organizations that are implementing smart, efficient strategies to achieve "green IT." Organizations were invited to complete a comprehensive questionnaire online from May to July. Computerworld then applied a set of criteria, developed with the help of green-IT industry experts, to identify the organizations that are working to reduce energy consumption in IT equipment and are using technology to conserve energy and lower carbon emissions.

"At Terremark, we continue to pursue ways to maximize energy efficiency across our global footprint of data centers so that we are able to limit our environmental impact while also reducing our own operational costs," said Manuel D. Medina, Chairman and CEO of Terremark. "We are very proud to be recognized for the second straight year for our energy-efficiency efforts, which extend from the world-class datacenters we operate to the innovative products and services we provide to our government and enterprise customers."

Terremark utilizes various energy-efficient methods across its global data center footprint to reduce its power consumption, including hot-aisle/cold-aisle air segregation, computational fluid dynamics modeling (CFD) and employing rotary uninterruptible power supply systems (UPS). Along with implementing innovative power conservation strategies in its world-class data centers, Terremark's suite of industry-leading cloud computing offerings and virtualized products provides customers with reliable, enterprise-ready solutions for their IT infrastructure needs while minimizing their environmental impact.

"Many of the organizations recognized in our third annual Top Green-IT issue have already plucked 'low-hanging fruit,' such as reducing travel with teleconferencing or buying Energy Star-rated IT equipment," said Scot Finnie, editor in chief, Computerworld. "These top organizations are truly stretching now, exploring innovative new ways to apply technology to reduce energy consumption. They know that achieving green-IT isn't a one-time effort; they're in it for the long haul."

Wind Farm Projects in Turkey: Nordex Wins Large Contracts

Nordex has obtained the order for the turnkey installation of a wind farm in Turkey. Nordex is building the “Akres” project with 18 N90/2500 machines for Karesi Enerji, a subsidiary of the Turkish transformer manufacturer Best. In addition to this, the wind farm operator Dost Enerji has ordered six N90/2500 turbines for the extension of “Yuntdag”.

The “Akres” site is located near the city of Akhisar in the west of Turkey. Thanks to very good wind conditions, the capacity factor stands at around 42 percent. The turbines are able to produce 170 gigawatt hours of clean energy a year and supply some 90,000 Turkish households. The 45 MW wind farm is to be handed over to Karesi Enerji in summer 2011.

“Turnkey projects number among Nordex’s core competences worldwide. Now we can show what our project management is capable of in Turkey, too”, says Ayhan Gök, Nordex CEO in Turkey.

The order for the extension of the “Yuntdag” wind farm underlines Dost Enerji’s confidence in Nordex. “Yuntdag” (17 N90/2500s) had marked the start of Nordex’s entry into the Turkish market in 2007. The six machines to be added to the farm in summer 2011 provide an energy yield of 59 gigawatt hours per annum.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Smart Grid: Top Ten Trends

In the past few years, the electric utility industry has experienced a momentous season. The business of electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption has been thrust to the forefront of public discourse – as both a villain and a savior – in the fight against climate change and the struggle for energy independence and security, among other global priorities. The “smart grid,” the integration of new embedded computing and communications technologies into the fabric of the power network, is widely seen as the means to adapting the electrical infrastructure to meet these global needs. A new white paper from Pike Research identifies 10 key trends that are driving the sweeping changes currently underway in technology, business, policy, and even consumer behavior. The paper, which includes 10 predictions about the smart grid market in 2011 and beyond, is available for free download on Pike Research’s website.
“The electrical power grid is in the midst of a dramatic transformation,” says senior analyst Bob Gohn. “As utilities, vendors, and other key stakeholders gain more real-world deployment experience, the reality of the smart grid is coming into focus, too slowly for some, but at a faster pace than typically seen in this industry. Existing players are transforming, new players are entering, and consumers are awakening.”

Gohn adds that the months ahead should witness the maturation of the smart grid as all the trials, mandates, and pilots move toward production deployment. Pike Research has identified dozens of trends that bear watching and scrutiny.

A few of Pike Research’s smart grid industry predictions include the following:
- Security will become the top smart grid concern
- Distribution Automation will rival AMI as the most visible smart grid application
- The “Bakersfield Effect” will continue, but some consumers will actually LIKE the smart grid
- Smart meter and AMI focus will shift toward Europe and China
- The “Year of the HAN” will not arrive… yet
- The Demand Response business transformation will accelerate
- The ARRA smart grid “stimulus” will finally have a positive impact
- The standards “horse” will begin to catch the deployment “cart”
- Data management will be the next bottleneck to smart grid benefits
- Existing data and telecom vendors will get serious about the smart grid

Pike Research’s paper, “Smart Grid: Ten Trends to Watch in 2011 and Beyond”, offers timely perspective and insight on the key factors that are likely to determine the success or failure of various smart grid initiatives. Conclusions and predictions in this paper are drawn from a broad array of Pike Research reports, with market forecasts included for key market sectors. A full copy of the white paper is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ranking: the world's most environmentally friendly companies

NEWSWEEK just published its exclusive ranking of the world's most environmentally friendly companies. Click below for full rankings (Global Top 100, US Top 500).

Top Green Power Suppliers in the US

The U.S. Department of Energy last night recognized six leading organizations for their leadership in advancing green power production and distribution during the 10th annual Green Power Leadership Awards in Portland, Ore. Across the nation, responsible companies and consumers voluntarily purchase renewable energy through local suppliers to help reduce America's dependence on foreign energy sources and expand an industry that is creating thousands of new jobs each year. DOE encourages the growth of these programs nationwide by selecting exemplary programs to receive Green Power Leadership Awards. This year's winners include 3Degrees, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, SolarCity and SunRun – recognized by DOE as the Non-Utility Green Power Suppliers of the Year – and La Plata Electric Association and Portland General Electric – recognized as the Utility Green Power Programs of the Year.
Green Power programs are designed to provide consumers with the opportunity to purchase clean energy options from environmentally preferred sources. Winning organizations are evaluated on criteria such as: resources and technologies used, total annual renewable energy sales, number of customers served, market impact, amount of green power supplied, and overall value provided to customer participants. Through the combination of utility green pricing and competitive markets, green power is available in almost every state.

According to the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory:
- About 860 utilities offer green power programs in the U.S.
- Annual sales from utility green power programs have more than doubled since 2005
- Annual green power market sales increased by 17 percent in 2009, with a compound annual growth rate of 37 percent since 2005
- Nearly 1.4 million customers purchased green power in 2009 through a green power program, competitive marketer program or a renewable energy certificates marketer.

The Utility Green Power Programs of the Year recognizes utilities that are leaders in developing and implementing voluntary green power programs to serve their customers. This category is open to all utilities (municipal, rural electric cooperative, or investor-owned utility) offering voluntary renewable energy programs to their customers.

The Non-Utility Green Power Suppliers of the Year recognizes leading non-utility providers (e.g., marketer or other entity) that supply renewable energy to residential or nonresidential consumers who make voluntary purchases of renewable energy.

Green Power Network Leaders
3Degrees (San Francisco, CA) – This company has partnered with more than 900 organizations to reduce climate change and accelerate a low-carbon, renewable energy economy through Green-e® Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates and Verified Emission Reduction projects worldwide. 3Degrees also partners with utilities to offer residential and business customers a voluntary green power option, which 5.1 million have chosen. Its green power programs achieve an average participation rate of 6 percent, nearly three times the national average.

Bonneville Environmental Foundation (Portland, OR) – This foundation is a non-profit supplier of green power that re-invests the profits from their green power products in renewable energy development. Since 2000, the foundation and its partners have supported more than 3 million MWh of renewable energy generation nationwide. In 2009, the foundation installed 55 solar projects at U.S. schools and community buildings, and worked with Portland Public Schools to create the first "Net Zero Classroom" design integrated with solar photovoltaic systems.

SolarCity (Foster City, CA) – This is one of the nation's largest solar and energy efficiency service providers that has completed more than 9,000 projects since 2006. SolarCity is the nation's only company to offer solar design, financing, installation and monitoring to businesses and homeowners from a single source. The company's innovations include the solar lease, the community purchase program, the combination of solar power and electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the integration of solar power and energy efficiency audits and retrofits.

SunRun (San Francisco, CA) - Developed more than 5,000 home solar installations in five states that can produce more than 25 megawatts of electricity annually from residential solar photovoltaic systems and is growing 500 percent annually. SunRun partners with 20 leading local solar installers, which employ more than 2,500 local, green-collar workers.

Portland General Electric (Portland, OR) - An investor-owned utility serving more than 817,000 customers and 52 Oregon cities. In 2009, more than 10 percent of the utility's customers voluntarily signed up to participate in the Renewable Power Program, which saw sales of 740 million kilowatt-hours last year. Because of the excellent customer participation rate, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory ranked the program No. 1 for the number of renewable power customers in its annual survey. Portland General Electric received Green Power Leadership Awards in 2006 and 2008.

La Plata Electric Association (Durango, CO) – This rural electric cooperative, which serves more than 30,000 member-owners in rural communities of Southwest Colorado, purchases Green-e Certified or equivalent renewable energy and its attributes from wind-generating facilities across the western United States through its power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission. Since LaPlata's members are voluntarily purchasing 25,500 of the 100-kWh blocks of green power available — more than 25 percent of the renewable energy sold by Tri-State — it is now the leader in green power sales among all of Tri-State's 44 cooperatives.

For more information on the Green Power Leadership Awards and the award recipients, visit The Green Power Network website at:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Smart Grid: Tendril Acquisition & Fundraising

Tendril announced today that it has purchased Massachusetts-based
GroundedPower and secured an additional $23 million in investment. The
strategic acquisition and additional investment will accelerate the
development and roll-out of Tendril's comprehensive end-to-end energy
management and consumer engagement solution for energy providers.

GroundedPower is the creator of the Interactive Customer Engagement
System (iCES) for consumer-driven energy management and efficiency.
After researching the leading companies in the marketplace that
develop consumer engagement software for the Smart Grid, Tendril
acquired GroundedPower because of the company's behavioral-based
approach and validated results, according to Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck.

"Our customers demand real, proven solutions for engaging consumers
and enabling sustainable results for their Energy Efficiency programs.
We researched the marketplace and selected GroundedPower because of
their third-party validated, proven methodology for achieving
world-class, behavioral-driven Energy Efficiency," Tuck said.

"As a result of this strategic acquisition, we can offer utilities an
even more robust energy management solution, adding behavioral-based
Energy Efficiency applications and services into Tendril's proven,
scalable, open platform."

Founded in 2008, GroundedPower delivers an interactive customer
engagement system for real-time consumer driven energy management and
efficiency for both utilities and consumers. GroundedPower's iCES
combines real-time energy monitoring with an integrated suite of
consumer engagement and behavior change tools that brings the user
into an intuitive and interactive world of Energy Efficiency.

"GroundedPower brings proven and industry-leading methods of creating
persistent behavioral Energy Efficiency together with an exceptional
user-centered design team. It is this combination of behavioral
science applied to Energy Efficiency and a demonstrated passion for
user-design excellence that makes GroundedPower a valuable addition to
the Tendril platform and team," said Greg Kats of Good Energies, a
Tendril investor.

The purchase agreement includes GroundedPower's iCES system as well as
a developed sales pipeline to the public power market, specifically
municipal and co-operative utilities. The majority of GroundedPower's
employees will be retained by Tendril, including GroundedPower
co-founder Paul Cole, who will assume the title of vice president of
consumer products at Tendril. Financial details of the acquisition
were not made public.

Tendril also announced today that it has closed $23 million in
additional investment. The financing round includes new equity capital
from TIAA-CREF as well as existing investors. The additional funding
will be used to complete the GroundedPower acquisition and further
accelerate the development of Energy Efficiency and consumer
engagement tools within the Tendril platform.

"Over the last twelve months Tendril has proven its ability to close
significant business with major energy providers across the United
States, establishing itself as a market leader," said Stephan
Dolezalek, head of the CleanTech Practice at VantagePoint Venture

"Tendril has delivered unprecedented insight and control of energy
management to energy users and providers, and has helped develop
standards and protocols upon which the industry will grow. We believe
Tendril has all the elements necessary to continue as an industry
leader over the long-term."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Empire State Building Saves Energy and Money

The Empire State Building is getting an energy efficiency makeover.
Standing as a model for architecture of its time, the legendary
skyscraper is now becoming a model of energy efficiency for other
large and pre-WWII buildings. There's even an exhibit to showcase the
changes in the building and encourage consumers to make energy
efficiency changes of their own.

The multi-million dollar retrofit, which began in April 2009 and will
end in 2013, consists of eight key renovations. The project is
expected to reduce the building's total energy use by 38 percent,
compared with typical commercial retrofits that save only 10 to 20
percent. Although retrofitting this 2.5 million square-foot giant will
cost more than $13 million, building owners expect payback within five
years after the renovations are complete.

The Empire State's 8 Key Renovations:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sentilla integrates Energy Manager with SAP for Energy Efficient Data Center

Sentilla Corporation, leading provider of energy management solutions
for data centers, today released a new version of Sentilla Energy
Manager™, which now provides open interfaces to integrate with the
SAP® Carbon Impact solution and SAP BusinessObjects™ Explorer
software. The integration provides comprehensive visibility into
energy performance and forecasting, capacity planning, service
optimization and carbon reduction for the data center. Sentilla Energy
Manager monitors and manages energy consumption in the data center,
then populates SAP BusinessObjects Explorer with energy usage
information, enabling decision makers to quickly address critical
areas within the data center that have the highest return on energy
optimization strategies.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thin-Film PV Substrate and Encapsulation Market to reach $1.3 billion by 2015 - Nanomarket Report

Glen Allen, Virginia: A new report from industry analyst firm
NanoMarkets says that, while glass will continue to dominate substrate
and encapsulation materials used for thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV),
new materials including metal foils, plastics, ceramics and composites
will grow rapidly in importance. The main driver for using these new
materials will be the need to support flexible PV in order to reduce
PV panel costs using R2R processes and the rise of "intrinsically
flexible products; notably those used for building-integrated PV

In total, the TFPV substrate/encapsulation market is expected to reach
$1.3 billion by 2015, going on to reach $1.8 billion by 2017. And
while some of the most advanced encapsulation systems have proved
difficult to develop and come with a high cost, NanoMarkets has
identified several areas where these systems are beginning to make
economic sense, most notably in the CIGS sector.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Major Wind Energy Transmission Project Financed by Good Energies, Google and Marubeni Corp

Will Enable Offshore Wind Energy Growth in Mid-Atlantic Region,
Spur Jobs and Economic Growth

Capturing the enormous potential of offshore wind energy along the
Mid-Atlantic coast took a significant step forward today with the
announcement of the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone
transmission project led by well-established independent transmission
company Trans-Elect and sponsored by Good Energies, Google (NASDAQ:
GOOG) and Marubeni Corporation (TYO: 8002).

Designed to accelerate offshore wind development, the AWC project will
help the industry create thousands of jobs, improve consumer access to
clean energy sources, and increase the reliability of the Mid-Atlantic
region's existing power grid.

"This new American super grid off the Mid-Atlantic coast will unlock
an important untapped resource, creating the foundation for a new
industry and jobs for thousands of American workers," said Bob
Mitchell, CEO of Trans-Elect.

The Mid-Atlantic region offers more than 60,000 MW of offshore wind
potential in the relatively shallow waters of the outer continental
shelf. These shallow waters, which extend miles out to sea, allow for
the development of large, distant wind farms, mitigating visibility
issues and allowing for greater energy capture from stronger winds.
With few other renewable energy options ideally suited for the
Atlantic coast, this transmission project will help states meet their
renewable energy goals and standards by enabling the local offshore
wind industry to deploy thousands of megawatts of clean,
cost-effective energy.

Without a transmission backbone, offshore wind developers would be
forced to bring energy to land via radial lines that can make
balancing the region's existing grid more difficult. In addition, a
single offshore backbone with a limited number of landfall points will
minimize the environmental impacts of building multiple individual
radial lines to shore. The AWC project not only reduces the need to
build many lower-capacity transmission lines, but relieves grid
congestion in one of two National Interest Electric Transmission
Corridors which were deemed to have significant transmission network
congestion and need speedy creation of transmission capacity.

When complete, the AWC backbone will be able to connect 6,000 MW of
offshore wind, enough power to serve approximately 1.9 million
households. The system is also scalable and can be expanded to
accommodate additional offshore wind energy as the industry further
develops. The use of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology
allows for easier integration and control of multiple wind farms while
avoiding the electrical losses associated with more typical High
Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) lines. With this strong backbone in
place, larger and more energy efficient wind farms can connect to
offshore power hubs further out to sea. These power hubs will in turn
be connected via sub-sea cables to the strongest, highest capacity
parts of the land-based transmission system.

In addition to enabling the production of thousands of megawatts of
clean power, the AWC backbone will help spur the creation of local
jobs. Development of wind energy off the Atlantic coast could create
between 133,000 and 212,000 U.S. jobs according to Oceana, an
ocean-conservation group. The U.S. Department of Energy also estimates
that more than 43,000 permanent operations and maintenance jobs would
be created if 54,000 MW of offshore wind turbines were installed by
2030. For comparison, the offshore wind industry in Europe is expected
to create 215,000 new jobs by 2030.

The Obama Administration, as well as Governors, Members of Congress
and key state legislators from New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and
Virginia, have expressed strong support for offshore wind development.

"The AWC backbone will both relieve transmission congestion in one of
the nation's most restricted power markets as well as enable the
development of a huge offshore wind capacity that can bring stability
and security to the Eastern Power Grid," said John Breckenridge,
Managing Director at Good Energies. "With this line in place, offshore
projects can be constructed at lower cost, with less impact on the
environment and with the ability to deliver power wherever it is
needed along the Mid-Atlantic coast."

"We're excited about the potential of this project to help the
Mid-Atlantic states meet their renewable energy goals by providing a
platform that can rapidly accelerate the deployment of clean offshore
wind at lower total cost," said Rick Needham, Director of Green
Business Operations at Google. "Transmission is one of the key
constraints to the wider adoption of clean energy, so this project was
a natural fit with our corporate goal of investing in attractive
renewable energy projects that can have dramatic impact."

"The U.S. will require large investments in its electric transmission
grid to meet its renewable and energy independence goals," said
Richard Straebel, Executive Vice President of Marubeni Power
International. "Over the past few years this sector has been an
increasingly important part of Marubeni's U.S. power market activities
and we are very excited about our role in this strategic and
transformational project."

AWC's filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later this
year will outline details of the project including how it benefits
consumers and businesses by improving power flows across the region.
The project will continue collaborating with developers and officials
to map the optimal path for the line. To begin construction, AWC will
need approval from federal, state, regional and local regulators as
well as from PJM, the region's grid operator.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Saint-Gobain sets up solar JV with Hyundai in Korea

After launching the construction of a second Avancis plant in Germany (last June), Saint-Gobain has announced, in association with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.(HHI), the building of a third high-efficiency PV panels facility in Korea. This partnership between the two groups will take the form of a 50-50 joint-venture, called Hyundai Avancis. The first manufacturing facility for the joint-venture will be designed identically to the second Avancis plant currently under construction in Germany, both in manufacturing capacity and technology terms. In this way, it will produce an annual volume of 850,000 modules based on CIGS (Copper – Indium – Gallium – Selenide) thin-film technology, designed for roofs and solar fields.
In other words, an annual power output of 100 MW, or the equivalent yearly energy requirements of a town with 15,000 inhabitants. The site should be operational from the 2nd quarter of 2012 and will supply the global market. Its modules will be marketed independently by Avancis and HHI.

Based on depositing coatings of CIGS on a glass substrate, the technology developed by Avancis avoids using traditional crystalline silicon. This technology makes it possible to imagine production costs as low as other thin-film based techniques, while its electrical efficiency (above 12% industrially and up to 20% in the laboratory) is close to the higher yields achieved using polycrystalline silicon cells. As well as being suitable for solar fields, CIGS thin-film based modules are especially recommended for roof installations, due to their simplicity of assembly, their attractive appearance and their reliability.

"With this investment, Saint-Gobain significantly accelerates its growth on the solar market, by banking on a competitive and innovative technology. This latest illustration of the Group's commitment to renewable energies testifies to the growth potential of Avancis, the reference player on the high-efficiency thin-film PV modules market" states Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and CEO of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain. "Already well located in Korea (particularly in Flat Glass where it has 4 float lines and several processing units for the automotive and building sectors), Saint-Gobain strengthens its position in this country in association with HHI, whose industrial and technological know-how is recognized worldwide" declares Jean-Pierre Floris, Senior Vice-President of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain and President of the Innovative Materials Sector.

"By expanding into the high-efficiency CIGS PV market, under a joint-venture with Saint-Gobain, HHI is on track with its plan to become a global supplier in the renewable energy sector via innovation and diversification. Above all, HHI will be one step closer to achieving the global commitment of pursuing an era of clean energy. We believe that we will soon fulfill these commitments that will provide a strong foundation for our future generations," says Keh-Sik Min, Chairman of Hyundai Heavy Industries.

In 2010, the PV solar power market has grown tremendously and installed power worldwide is currently estimated at 30 GW, i.e. enough energy to meet the requirements of 5 million Western Europeans. This rise should continue at a steady pace over the years to come, enabling
the sector to grow by relying less on public subsidies.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Prenova - One of the Fastest Growing Companies in America

Company Ranks as a Leading Energy Management Services Provider

Prenova, Inc., a privately held energy services provider managing over $2 billion in energy spend for dozens of national brands, today announced it has been recognized by Inc. magazine for the second straight year as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. In 2010, Prenova climbed almost 1,500 spots in the Inc. 5000,
an exclusive ranking of the nation's most successful private companies. With revenue increasing 140 percent over the last three years, Prenova was also listed as one of the 50 fastest growing
companies in the energy industry.

"Prenova's growth over the last three years is a clear indication of the value we're delivering for our clients," said Michael J. Nark, Prenova's President and Chief Executive Officer. "More and more organizations are realizing that energy is a critical resource that requires a more strategic management approach. Companies not only want to insulate themselves from dramatic price fluctuations, but are also under intense pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. Prenova helps
customers accomplish both. We're pleased that Inc. magazine has recognized our success."

Prenova's strategic approach to energy management saves customers tens of millions of dollars every year. Typical results include:
· 10-20% reduction in energy consumption
· 5-10% reduction in energy costs
· 40% reduction in unplanned service calls
· 25% increase in energy efficiency

The 2010 Inc. 5000 serves as a unique illustration of the profound changes taking place in the U.S. economy. Despite the fact that most of this year's measuring period of 2006-2009 took place during the latest recession, aggregate revenue among the companies on the list
actually increased to $321.6 billion, up more than 50 percent from last year. And while the median three-year growth rate dropped to 96 percent from last year's 126 percent, members of this year's Inc. 5000 now employ a record 1.4 million people, up from one million on last
year's list.

"The leaders of the companies on this year's Inc. 5000 have figured out how to grow their businesses during the longest recession since the Great Depression," said Inc. president Bob LaPointe. "The 2010 Inc. 5000 showcases a particularly hardy group of entrepreneurs."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Constellation Energy acquires leading Demand Response provider CPower

Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire CPower, a leading energy management and demand response provider managing approximately 850 megawatts of demand response capacity that can be dispatched in energy markets throughout North America. The transaction would expand Constellation Energy's total demand response capacity to 1,500 megawatts, and both strengthen and complement the company's position as a leader in competitive electricity and natural gas supply. Terms were not disclosed.

Privately held CPower (, headquartered in New York, N.Y., designs and manages programs that allow its commercial, utility and public sector customers to reduce electricity demand during peak demand periods. The company is authorized to manage and aggregate demand response capacity programs in New York, New England, the Mid-Atlantic states (PJM), California, Texas and Ontario, Canada.

"We believe customer demand and technological innovation will drive strong growth in the demand response market in the years ahead," said Kathleen Hyle, senior vice president, Constellation Energy, and chief operating officer of the company's commercial division. "The acquisition of CPower, one of the largest, most innovative and most respected players in the demand-management field today, will greatly expand our customer base, sales presence and business partner community in key markets such as Texas, New England and the PJM Interconnection regional transmission organization, where Constellation Energy is an energy supply leader.

"The addition of CPower to our team will strengthen cross-selling opportunities and operational capabilities, and will enhance demand-management product development," Hyle said. "The expanded sales and marketing presence and diverse demand response expertise will accelerate deployment and commercialization of our recently introduced online energy management product, VirtuWatt, which is redefining the way power-intensive businesses reduce demand and lower energy bills."

"As electricity load management and demand response become ubiquitous offerings, users of energy are seeking a business partner that can provide the maximum value - for management of both the purchasing and the use of electricity," said Gary Fromer, chief executive officer, CPower. "As a critical, integrated component of Constellation Energy, we will be able to provide unparalleled value to our customers and business partners immediately, and will be in a spectacular position to innovate, with new VirtuWatt-based value offerings that have been unavailable in the demand response markets heretofore."

The agreement is subject to customary closing terms and conditions. Closing is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

800,000 Jobs by 2012

Today, President Barack Obama visited ZBB Energy Corporation in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and declared that our commitment to clean energy is expected to lead to more than 800,000 jobs by 2012.

ZBB Energy Corporation is a clean energy manufacturing company specializing in the production of advanced zinc bromide flow batteries and intelligent power control platforms for renewable energy storage. They are a prime example of how the Recovery Act is helping new clean energy industries bolster the manufacturing economies of mid-western states and lead us toward a brighter, greener economic future. Using funds from two of the Department of Energy’s Recovery Act projects, $1.3 million from the State Energy Program and a 48C Manufacturing Tax Credit worth $14.6 million, ZBB Energy has already been able to retain nearly a dozen workers, and over time, they expect to hire about 80 more.

To learn more about DOE Recovery Act investments in Wisconsin and/or your state visit
Published on DOE Blog (

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2010 Top Ten Green Giants - Greentech Media Selection

What are the most important companies in greentech? Hint: many are over 100 years old.

Greentech Media published the list of top ten Green Giants: the companies most likely to produce, develop and promote the ideas and products that will have the widest ranging effects.

The 2010 Top Ten Green Giants are:

  1. Communist Party of the People's Republic of China
  2. General Electric
  3. Siemens
  4. Nissan
  5. Dow Chemical
  6. Panasonic
  7. Johnson Controls and Honeywell
  8. Wal-Mart
  9. Veolia
  10. Cisco

Monday, July 19, 2010

Plant for Organic Solar Cells developed by Heliatek and FHR

Heliatek GmbH, Dresden, the global leader in the development of organic solar cells, will be building its first production site in Dresden. Construction will be carried out in co-operation with FHR Anlagenbau GmbH, Ottendorf-Okrilla, - an internationally experienced manufacturer of innovative vacuum process technology.

Heliatek is pursuing the goal of becoming the world’s first manufacturer of organic, oligomer-based solar cells and the supplier of the most efficient, stable and productive organic solar cells.

“We have found a professional partner in FHR,” explains CEO Dr. Andreas Rückemann, “who has the capability to support us in our strategic long-term capacity expansion plan and with whom we are able to ensure the implementation of the organic based PV-module production.”

The foil coating system which has been developed by FHR is a highly integrated production line for organic solar cells with a very small footprint. For the engineers and the technologies of FHR Anlagenbau GmbH, combining the complex vacuum process technology used for depositioning organic molecules, the structuring of the molecule layers and the lamination of the plastic foil was a real challenge. Managing Director Dr. Reinhard Fendler: “We are very proud of the integrative work we have done here and are very happy to have found Heliatek, an ideal partner situated close by, which already has a top position within the OPV industry. Organic photovoltaic is a new business area for FHR and our roll-to-roll systems. Strategically it is very interesting and has a very promising future.”

Heliatek and FHR plan to have the new manufacturing facility set up by mid 2011. The first products to be produced by the new foil coating system are expected to be available at the start of 2012.

The manufacturing facility will be built at the Heliatek location in Dresden, close to the A4 highway and only 15 minutes from the airport. Heliatek moved into its ‘new home’ there in May of this year, giving it the space to carry out everything ‘from lab to fab’. The modern hall offers ideal conditions. With a floor space of about 1,700 m², it provides enough room not only for production but also for the laboratories and research units to grow throughout the coming years.

Dresden has both an excellent infrastructure as well as highly qualified, experienced and motivated employees. These are the best possible prerequisites for Heliatek to produce and sell the high-quality, light, flexible and optionally even semi-transparent photovoltaic modules of the newest generation at highly competitive prices.

The construction of the first production site is being supported financially by the European Union.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Solar financing and installation leader raises funds: SolarCity

SolarCity®, a national leader in solar power financing, design, installation, monitoring and related services, today announced a new, $21.5 million round of private financing. The round was led by Mayfield Fund and supported by additional investments from existing SolarCity investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DBL Investors and Generation Capital. The new funding will accelerate SolarCity’s growth and expansion to new markets.

“Mayfield has an excellent track record and we’re excited to add them as an investor,” said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s CEO. “We remain focused on our ultimate goal of providing clean power to millions of homes and businesses at a lower cost than polluting power sources. The new financing will accelerate our geographic expansion and give us the option to consider additional acquisitions.”

SolarCity is the first full-service solar provider in the U.S. for homeowners, businesses and non-profit organizations. The company pioneered the zero-money-down solar lease (SolarLease®), which allows customers to begin saving money from day one by adopting solar power, but also gives customers the option to purchase their systems upfront. SolarCity differs from its competitors in that it combines its financing options with custom design, installation, proactive monitoring, insurance and repairs, providing customers a single source to work with for the entire life of their solar project. The company has more than 13 installation centers, 700 employees and 8,000 customers spread across Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Texas.

“SolarCity’s world-class team and proven momentum in the design, delivery and financing of solar power systems make it an ideal addition to our Energytech portfolio,” said Navin Chaddha, Mayfield Managing Director. Mr. Chaddha, ranked 11th in Forbes’ most recent “Midas List” of top global dealmakers, will join SolarCity’s board of directors as an observer.

Mayfield Fund is a forty year old venture capital firm with over $2.8 billion under management. Since its inception Mayfield has raised 13 U.S. funds, one India fund, and assisted its partner GSR Ventures in raising three China funds. Mayfield has invested in more than 500 companies and taken more than 100 companies public.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Alternative Energy for Dummies

Get the truth about alternative energy and make it part of your life

Want to utilize cleaner, greener types of energy? This plain-English guide clearly explains the popular forms of alternative energy that you can use in your home, your car, and more. Separating myth from fact, this resource explores the current fossil fuel conundrum, the benefits of alternatives, and the energy of the future, such as hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

REC Solar and Tigo Energy Reach Development Agreement, to use Micro Inverter Architecture

Tigo Maximizer Boosts Output of Solar Arrays by As Much As 20 Percent, Available Throughout the United States under REC Solar Agreement

REC Solar, Inc. and Tigo Energy® jointly announced today that the two companies have reached a development agreement to offer the Tigo Energy Maximizer SolutionTM as part of REC Solar’s commercial and residential installations throughout the United States.

REC Solar is one of the leading solar electric providers in the United States, and Tigo Energy has developed a technology that increases power output efficiency, management and control in solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.

The Tigo Energy Maximizer Solution creates smart modules that provide as much as 20 percent more energy production, active management capabilities and enhanced safety for utility, commercial and residential solar arrays.

“Tigo’s Maximizer Solution enables PV systems to output more electricity and achieve an industry-leading level of efficiency,” said Tigo Energy CEO Sam Arditi. “This means REC Solar system owners can harvest the maximum energy and financial return from their solar investment.”

REC Solar began offering Tigo’s Maximizer with its San Francisco Bay Area installations in February and has since extended this availability to its Los Angeles, San Diego and Colorado operations. REC Solar will further expand Maximizer availability this summer to all its territories in the United States.

“REC Solar has installed more solar systems than any system integrator in the nation,” said REC Solar CEO Angiolo Laviziano. “We’re constantly evaluating new technologies that will benefit our customers, and we are excited to offer the Tigo Energy Maximizer Solution as a transformative approach to module level control.”

Micro Inverter: Direct Grid Technologies new DGM Series

Direct Grid Technologies, LLC, manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) micro‐inverters and related monitoring systems, announced a new series of OEM grid‐tie microinverters that mate to a variety of monocrystalline and polycrystalline type modules. The DGMS250 offers a power output of 250 watts, and the DGM‐S460 offers an unprecedented 460 watts. Similar to its predecessor, the DGA Series, the DGM Series units use Direct Grid’s unique closed loop MOSFET planar architecture which offers high power and excellent thermal management, resulting in unparalleled efficiency and reliability.

The DGM‐S250 is designed to mate with a single 60 cell 210‐240 watt module, while the DGM‐S460 is suited to mate with a two 60 cell 210‐240 watt modules. For original equipment manufacturers, power tracking voltage inputs can be modified to suit custom maximum power point ranges.

“All of our micro‐inverters are inherently designed with flexibility in mind. While the DGM Series includes the DGM‐S250 and S460, many varieties of micro‐inverters actually exist in‐between. We now have a continuum of products for any wattage between 250 and 460 watts for our OEM customers,” said Frank Cooper, Direct Grid president. “Additionally, unlike some other micro inverters on the market, the system auto‐tunes to any single phase grid it is connected to, so we can handle grid frequencies of 50 or 60 hertz right out of the box,” continued Cooper.

The SMART DGM Series also includes Echelon communication that permits each micro‐inverter in the network to communicate with a remote access node. Power data, temperature, diagnostics and unique identification code are routinely collected from each micro‐inverter. This network communication also enables the benefit of theft deterrence by monitoring the unique identification of each micro‐inverter. The resulting data can be graphically presented to end users for easy system monitoring.

The company announced last week it had secured USD 4,7 M in private equity financing.

Canal Power Project in Montana: Spotlight on Turnbull Hydro

The Turnbull Hydroelectric Project would consist of two separate generating facilities located on canal drops within the Bureau of Reclamation’s Sun River Project. The Sun River Project is a federal irrigation project constructed west of Great Falls, MT in the 1930s. The two generating facilities are Upper Turnbull and Lower Turnbull. These projects would utilize water released for irrigation from Pishkun Reservoir. Released water flows exclusively within manmade canals, which incorporate concrete drop structures designed to control water flow across steep topographic gradients. The Turnbull hydroelectric project proposes to bypass two of these drop structures by directing canal flow into penstocks, through generating facilities, and then returning water to the canal system at the bases of the drop structures.
The project would not alter the amount or timing of irrigation water stored or released from any reservoir and would not change any point of irrigation use, but would merely utilize existing flows to generate power. The Greenfields Irrigation District would continue to control Pishkun Reservoir irrigation releases and water use.

The project would interconnect with the Northwest Energy electrical grid just north of Fairfield, MT. The total amount of new transmission line required to interconnect would be about six miles.

Hydroelectric Project Operations
All proposed projects will operate in a run-of-river mode, i.e. power generation will automatically adjust to the amount of water being delivered in the canal system. The project use of water is entirely non-consumptive. The lower canal flow will equal the flow in the upper canal. When a power plant is offline, all water will spill over into the existing drop structure, thus bypassing the project entirely.

Environmental Considerations
All project facilities are located within or immediately adjacent to existing right-of-way used for access and maintenance of Greenfields Irrigation District canals. The project will not affect storage, release or timing of irrigation flows in any part of the canal system, but will merely utilize existing flows to generate power. The projects utilize canal flow and are not located near nor will they affect any natural waterways. For these reasons, and since all areas proposed for new construction have been previously disturbed and are used regularly for routine maintenance of the canal system, the environmental impact associated with the hydroelectric development will be minimal. Furthermore the proposed project structures will be small and low profile and will have virtually no visual impact.

Beneficial Water Use
The proposed hydroelectric projects are designed to produce 25,300 MW-HRS of energy annually. This amount of energy is equivalent to approximately 50,000 barrels of oil.

Because it is based on irrigation delivery, power generation from the proposed projects will help meet peak summer demands for power. The hydroelectric projects constitute an additional beneficial use of water but will not affect existing beneficial water uses.

Project Status
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued licenses for development of both generating facilities. The project developers have executed a power purchase agreement with NorthWestern Energy and have received a financing commitment based on a USDA rural development program loan guarantee.

Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2010 and will be kicked off with a ground breaking event in mid July.

Home Energy Management solution by GE: Nucleus

GE’s new Nucleus serves as home energy command center; innovative technology puts energy choices in hands of consumers

GE (NYSE: GE) today unveiled Nucleus™, an affordable, innovative communication and data storage device that provides consumers with secure information about their household electricity use and costs so they can make more informed choices about how and when to use power.

GE's Nucleus brings the promise of the smart grid into consumers’ homes. As utilities deploy smart meters, the Nucleus will collect and store a consumer’s household electricity use and cost data for up to three years, and present it to consumers in real-time using simple, intuitive PC and smart phone applications, helping consumers monitor and control their energy use.

Nucleus is the first product in GE’s Brillion™ suite of smart home energy management solutions that will help consumers control their energy use and costs. In addition to Nucleus, GE’s Brillion suite will include a programmable thermostat, in-home display, a smart phone application, and smart appliances for the entire home.

“Currently consumers have little more than a monthly utility bill to determine what they’re using and spending,” said Dave McCalpin, GM, Home Energy Management. “GE’s Nucleus with Brillion technologywas developed to provide real-time information for more control over household energy costs and consumption. It serves as the command center for energy and cost conscious homeowners to make smarter, more informed decisions.”

By 2012, US utilities are expected to install more than 40 million smart meters.1 These digital meters enable utilities to charge “time-of-use” rates for electricity throughout the day. When demand is low, electricity will cost less, and when demand is at its “peak,” utilities will charge more to encourage off-peak consumption.

With these new pricing plans, however, comes the need for innovative technologies to help consumers manage their usage. Along with monitoring their whole-home energy consumption, consumers will have the option to automatically adjust thermostats or alter the consumption of GE Profile™ appliances with Brillion Technology in response to utility price signals.

Future Brillion options will also include alerts to assist consumers with daily tasks, such as when to change the refrigerator’s water filter or when the dryer cycle ends. Software upgrades will further enable Nucleus to monitor water, natural gas, and renewable energy sources, as well as plug-in electric vehicle charging.

Top Green Companies 2010 in UK

Now in its third year, The Sunday Times Green List 2010 recognises the companies making a real difference in their environmental performance. Top ten this year are:

Monday, July 12, 2010

China keeps promise to curb carbon emission

Although it is not an easy task, China strives to put into practice the promise made last November before the Copenhagen Conference -- to cut its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 compared with the level from 2005.

"The old path of economic growth based on environmental pollution implemented in developed countries over the past 300 years is not feasible in China, and China can not afford the losses brought by this development mode," said China's Minister of Environmental Protection, Zhou Shengxian, at an ongoing theme forum of the Shanghai World Expo in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province. The two-day forum ended Sunday.

China should base its development on its own situation and explore a new development path that is more efficient and sustainable, costs less, and results in less carbon emissions, Zhou said.

After the outbreak of the international financial crisis in September 2008, the world economy suffered the greatest challenge since the Great Depression as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) advocated the development of a "green economy" worldwide.

In China's 4-trillion-yuan (about US$588.24 billion) economic stimulus plan, funds for energy savings, carbon reductions and ecological construction reached 210 billion yuan. Plus the 370 billion yuan in funds used for innovation, restructuring and coping with climate change, "green investment" accounted for 14.5 percent of the stimulus plan. It indicates the government is shifting its values from traditional "profit maximization" to "welfare maximization."

Zhang Guobao, director of the National Energy Administration, said "the government puts great stock in seeking harmonious development between cities and the environment, and is readjusting the energy structure by giving priority to the development of clean and low-carbon energies, including hydroelectric, nuclear, wind and solar power."

Authorities have closed small, coal-fired plants totaling 60.06 million kilowatts in capacity between 2006 to 2009. This year's target of closing 10 million kilowatts of capacity should be achieved by August, he said.

"We have promised to the international community that 15 percent of our power will be generated from non-fossil sources by 2020," Zhang said. At present, non-fossil energy accounted for around 7.8 percent.

The country's operating hydropower capacity in 2009 reached 197 million kilowatts, the highest in the world. Further, the installed capacity of wind power has been doubling every year for the past four years to more than 22 million kilowatts, the third highest in the world, and the figure is expected to exceed 30 million kilowatts in 2010.

Zhang proposed increasing the proportion of clean energy in the total national energy consumption. Statistics show that China invested US$34.6 billion in clean energy in 2009, exceeding the United States which invested US$18.6 billion, to become the highest in the world. However, China's investment in clean energy was only US$ 2.5 billion five years ago.

China has reduced the traditional high-energy consumption industries while increasing its investment in clean energy. From 2006 to 2009, China shut down 6.06 million kilowatts of small coal fired power units, a figure equivalent to the fully installed capacity of Britain, therefore saving 64 million tonnes of coal and preventing 160 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being introduced into the air every year.

"China took only 30 years to have the environmental problems that had gradually emerged in developed countries over 200 to 300 years. As a big developing country with a population of 1.3 billion people, China is under unprecedented pressure for both economic development and environmental protection," said Minister Zhou Shengxian.

The Shanghai World Expo well illustrates China's effort to save energy and curb carbon dioxide emission. More than 80 percent of the pavilions adopted environmental friendly designs in buildings, while more than half of the pavilions use clean and renewable energy.

However, China's carbon emission reduction target cannot be achieved easily. Wang Ke, a team member of the energy and ecological economy project under the People's University in Beijing, said the shift to a low-carbon economy will only be met at a huge cost to society.

For instance, more than 400,000 people were laid off as a result of the shutdown of small coal-fired power plants from 2006 to 2009. Many studies indicate that curbing greenhouse gas emissions may delay China's development, affect people's income, lead to unemployment and further increase the burden on vulnerable groups in the short term.

Hu Angang, director of the Center for China Studies, a top think tank for policy-making under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University, said China's promise of curbing carbon emissions and saving energy is not only a response to international pressure, but to meet the internal demands of the transformation of the economic development mode.

Gridscale Energy Storage Project by Beacon Power - 20 MW Flywheel Plant in Stephentown

Beacon Power Corporation (Nasdaq:BCON), a leading provider of advanced
energy storage products and services to support a more stable,
reliable and efficient electricity grid, has delivered and put in
place the initial flywheel power electronics and associated support
equipment as part of the construction of the world's first grid-scale
flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York.

The systems, consisting of power electronics, cooling and other
support equipment housed in specially equipped containers, were
lowered onto permanent foundations. After the containerized systems
are wired in place, they will be interconnected with Beacon flywheels.
Support equipment for a total of 4 MW of energy storage capacity was
delivered to the site over several days last week.

Eighty flywheel foundations have already been installed at the site,
and the Company expects to deliver and begin installing 40 flywheels
(4 MW) during the third quarter of this year. The 4 MW are planned to
be connected and earning revenue from frequency regulation services by
the end of the fourth quarter. The balance of the 20 MW plant is
expected to be completed and operational by the end of the first
quarter of 2011.

"This is a milestone -- not just for Beacon Power and our investors,
but for everyone who has supported the development and
commercialization of smart grid technology," said Bill Capp, president
and CEO of Beacon Power. "While the scale of this project is
impressive, we've been pleased that construction has remained on
schedule and on budget. As expected, the experience we've gained from
installing and operating three megawatts of flywheel energy storage in
Massachusetts has translated well into this full-scale 20 MW project."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Canada: funding for clean transportation projects

Calgary, Alberta – Eighteen clean technology projects will receive $40 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), including hybrid technologies for transportation. The funding is intended to help move innovative technology solutions to market.

"SDTC and the Government of Canada are providing industry the tools they need to become more productive, competitive and efficient," said Juergen Puetter, chairman of SDTC. "When these companies bring their technologies to businesses and consumers, they create jobs, provide Canada a technological edge and contribute to improving the quality of Canada's air, water and soil."

The new investments bring SDTC's total portfolio value to over $1.6 billion. The SDTC is an arm's-length foundation created by the government of Canada, and includes the $550 million SD Tech Fund for projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water and clean soil, and the $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund, which supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.

The projects include an advanced battery system for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) by Electrovaya Corporation of Mississauga, Ontario, which will be tested in a fleet of Ram 1500 PHEV trucks; a hybrid auxiliary power unit for tractor-trailers by EnerMotion Inc. of Caledon, Ontario; and a cathode material for lithium-ion batteries by Phostech Lithium Inc. of Candiac, Quebec.


Friday, July 09, 2010

Ascent Solar Receives R&D 100 Award for Flexible CIGS on Plastic Substrate

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTI) announced today that it has been honored with the prestigious R&D 100 Award, presented annually by R&D Magazine to recognize the 100 most technologically significant new products and processes of the year, as judged by a panel of experts. The company's winning entry is its unique commercially manufactured monolithically integrated CIGS light weight and flexible thin-film modules using a plastic substrate for applications ranging from automotive, portable power and roof tops.

Farhad Moghadam, President and CEO of Ascent Solar stated, "Ascent Solar is the only module manufacturer to receive the accolade this year. The award is shared with ITN Energy Systems, the former parent company of Ascent Solar, and the originator of this technology. With our partners, we continue to develop innovative ways to use photovoltaics on a daily basis. Our modules enable the personal portability of solar power, applications for electrification of transportation and aesthetically pleasing integration of PV into building materials. Having our product selected as one of the top 100 innovations of the year by R&D Magazine's panel of experts is both an honor and a confirmation of our ability to develop the next generation of solar products."

For 48 years, R&D 100 awards have been given by R&D Magazine to the top 100 technological achievements of the year. Previous award recipients have included anti-lock brakes, the fax machine, halogen lamps and liquid crystal displays.

"The R&D 100 Awards have always represented some of the most innovative concepts to reach the marketplace in the past year. 2010 is no exception, and we had a particularly strong field of entries for the judges to evaluate," said Rita Peters, editorial director of R&D Magazine.

Vestas Technology R&D Opens New Engineering Site in Louisville, Colorado

Vestas, the world's leader in producing high-tech wind power systems, announced today that it will open an Engineering Site in Louisville, Colo., to support Vestas Global and enhance Vestas' wind power production capabilities throughout North America. Vestas will move 46 employees into 47,675 square feet of space on Centennial Parkway, Louisville starting today, and will expand this team to include up to 125 highly skilled engineers within a year's time.

The Vestas Engineering Site will enhance Vestas' ability to integrate product development by placing it close to the company's three factories – a blades' factory in Windsor, a nacelles-assembly factory in Brighton and towers' factory Pueblo, thereby better servicing and meeting the needs of Vestas' North American customers.

"Vestas has made a deep commitment to Colorado, which is evidenced in our factories and the establishment of the Engineering Site. We are extremely committed to Colorado, and we look forward to a long, successful relationship here," said Finn Madsen, President Vestas
Technology R&D. "By co-locating engineering and design competencies with the production cluster in Colorado, the proximity of Technology R&D to manufacturing creates significant efficiencies that can be passed along as a direct benefit to our customers."

Vestas decided to build its North American production facilities in Colorado because of the state's central location, extensive transportation infrastructure and rail system, existing manufacturing base and skilled workforce.

The Vestas' Engineering Site will focus specifically on increasing wind turbine efficiency and lowering energy costs to ensure that wind is cost effective for our customers. The Site will work to improve technology for existing turbines and develop the wind power systems of
the future.