Promoting Clean Technologies ^ Forging Cross-Industry Collaboration

Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Financial Soultions: 3rd Quarter sees big drop in cleantech investment.

In angel Investor, cleantech, Energy, finance, greentech, investment, Sustainable, Venture Capital on October 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Financial Soultions: 3rd Quarter sees big drop in cleantech investment.

2009-10-11 15:28:12 –

Year on year global cleantech investment took a 22% dive due to tight credit markets.The latest research available to Financial Soultions, released late last week shows a 22% fall in global investment into clean-energy companies, with government funding being counteracted by internationally rigid credit markets.

In the quarter from July to September, a total of $25.9 billion of new global investment was seen, dropping by 9% from the 2nd quarter and down 22% from the same time a year back.

The report by New Energy Finance did however indicate that this sphere does seem to be moving toward a recovery, with governments globally pumping more backing into alternative energy projects. The EU recently announced an investment plan to put it on a par with Asia and North America in green technology development, and China has made huge financial inroads lately into wind energy.

Overall, the report shows a dramatic growth in investor confidence from the 1st quarter.

via Financial Soultions: 3rd Quarter sees big drop in cleantech investment..

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Renewable energy target needs a rethink | The Australian

In cleantech, Energy, finance, greentech, investment, Sustainable on October 11, 2009 at 12:12 pm

GREENCHIP: Giles Parkinson | October 12, 2009
Excerpts included here- see original for full article

THE accelerating slump in the price of renewable energy certificates is putting pressure on the federal government to review the structure of the system that supports its renewable energy target.

The price of certificates fell more than 15 per cent last week to $28, its lowest in almost three years, extending a steady slide since reaching a peak of $51 in May and taking the fall since the renewable energy target legislation was passed in August to 30 per cent.

Certificates, each representing 1MW hour of renewable energy produced, are the currency generated by the renewable energy target scheme and are supposed to bridge the gap between the price of coal and gas-fired energy and renewables.

But the market is being swamped by certificates generated by domestic solar hot water and heat pump systems, and some industry analysts say if this continues it could last for several years and may cause the delay or cancellation of wind power and other renewable projects because the price signal will simply not be strong enough to make the projects viable.

The renewable energy industry is putting pressure on the government to alter the scheme by creating a separate heat market for solar hot-water systems and heat pumps, particularly if governments mandate that all new houses be equipped with solar hot water.

And the industry is calling for annual targets to be adjusted and take into account the anticipated flood of phantom certificates created by the multiple credits allowed for household solar systems.

While European countries, the US and China are surging forward with investment in renewables, Australia has been left flat-footed.

The renewable energy target is expected to fix part of the problem and spark large investments in wind turbines, but the development of two of the transformative energy sources of the future, solar and geothermal, are at a virtual standstill, despite the fact Australia enjoys the most generous resources in the world.

This year, about 6000MW of solar energy capacity will be installed around the world, a further 9000MW expected next year and doubling to an estimated 20,000MW by 2013.

Australia’s share this year is a paltry 50MW and it is not expected to increase significantly in the next few years.

Solar thermal is expected to offer the best solution for large-scale and distributed solar power supplies and the present confirmed development portfolio across the world is estimated at 4000MW and in Australia just 8MW.

via Renewable energy target needs a rethink | The Australian.

Green Festivals – Washington DC

In architecture, cleantech, Energy, Environment, Science, Sustainable on October 9, 2009 at 5:25 pm

At the Washington DC Green Festival™, a joint project of Global Exchange and Green America, we’re celebrating what’s working in our communities—across the District, Maryland and Virginia—for people, for business and for the environment.

You’ll enjoy more than 125 renowned speakers and 350 green businesses (start your holiday shopping now!), great how-to workshops, green films, a Fair Trade pavilion, yoga classes, organic beer, delicious organic cuisine and live music.

Find out about DC environmental initiatives; and learn how neighbors, community nonprofits and city departments are working together to make their cities healthier places to live.

via Green Festivals – Washington DC.

Smartphone, Smart Houses – All Tech Considered – Technology

In Technology on October 8, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Smartphone, Smart Houses – All Tech Considered – Technology.

Excerpted from the NPR article by By Meg Biallas

In Washington, DC, 20 universities have sprung up small-scale homes they hope might be used in the near future. It’s for the 2009 Solar Decathlon, in which teams compete for the most energy-efficient homes. Three of the competing teams have integrated home control panels and smartphone capabilities to help them achieve the goals Microsoft has been hawking for decades.

Clean Energy Patents Hit Record High in the US

In angel Investor, cleantech, Energy, entrepreneur, greentech, investment, maintech, Sustainable, Technology, technology transfer, Venture Capital on October 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Clean Energy Patents Hit Record High in the US.

by Zachary Shan at CleanTechnica.com

Some Excerpts:

According to intellectual property law firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C., who publishes the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) every quarter, 274 clean energy patents were granted last quarter. This is 31 more than the previous quarter and 57 more than in the same quarter last year.

This is a good sign that clean technology will continue to provide the US with a greater and greater share of its energy. Additionally, clean technology in the transportation sector is advancing at great speed and with momentum and maybe we will find our way out of gas and oil related crises soon. Fuel cell* technology is leading the way. Victor Cardona, co-chair of the firm’s Cleantech Group, states: “Fuel cells continued to dominate the other technologies while wind and solar patents continued an upswing. Honda earned more patents than the other patentees to again claim the Clean Energy Patent Crown.”

Another record high was in the biofuels** sector. “Biofuel patents reached an all time
quarterly high at 13 and were up 2 relative to the first quarter and up 8 over a year before,” according to the press release.

Geographically, Japan led the pack (with 75 new patents), California was second (29), Michigan and Germany tied for third (23), and New York and Korea tied for fifth (15). In addition to Honda, the top companies were GM, Toyota, GE, Nissan, and Panasonic Corp. (respectively).

*For recent news on fuel cells, read Full Cycle Energy Joins Race for Non-Platinum Fuel Cells and Wegmans Grocery Gets $1 Million Grant for Fuel Cell Technology.

**For recent news on biofuels, read Watermelon Juice — Next Source of Renewable Energy, Electrolyzed Water Turns Waste Product Into Biofuel, and Scientists Force Fungus to Have Sex to Create Biofuel.

Roads With Solar Panels: It’s Possible

In cleantech, Energy, entrepreneur, Environment, greentech, Science, Sustainable on October 5, 2009 at 9:50 am

Replacing All Roads With Solar Panels: It’s Possible.

Solar RoadwayThere is approximately more than 5.7 million miles of paved highway in the United States and in a bid to find new sustainable ways of producing renewable energy, one small Idaho company believes they’ve found the solution: solar roadways.

According to their website, www.solarroadways.com, the idea revolves around “a series of structurally-engineered solar panels that are driven upon. The idea is to replace all current petroleum-based asphalt roads, parking lots, and driveways with Solar Road PanelsTM that collect and store solar energy to be used by our homes and businesses. This renewable energy replaces the need for the current fossil fuels used for the generation of electricity. This, in turn, cuts greenhouse gases literally in half.”

Paris Bicycle Program Promotes Clean Commuting

In Environment, Sustainable on October 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Paris Bike Rental ProgramBy Halima Aquino, Bolton Hill Consulting, Ltd.

Terrific best practice- Just returned from Paris- there are rental bike kiosks throughout the city. You can use a credit card to rent a bike and return it at any kiosk in the city. 1st half hour is free to promote commuting. Some people ride half an hour to the next kiosk and return the 1st bike to get a second one…the French take great pride in circumventing the “system”. However, the program is actually working whether the commuter pays some money or none at all. A bike rider is taking up less space on the road, has no exhaust fumes, leaves more room for parking and reduces traffic congestion. Improved fitness is also a likely side goal for the bicyclist. See picture.  Paris also closes large streets to traffic on Sundays for bikes and roller blades. Personally- I love bike riding for short leisure trips as well as long-distance and competitive events such as triathlons. I recently started using the defined paths in Baltimore this past summer to see how well I could commute in traffic. The paths are getting better but the are uneven. Pot holes are a serious problem. So are angry and distracted motorists- but that’s a discussion for another time. I’d like to see this Parisian best practice implemented in U.S. cities.

(Originally posted on Marc Steiner’s Facebook page)