Cleantech junkies like myself get seduced by all sorts of neat-o new technological ideas. But, we need to bear in mind that technology invention is only a part of commercial success — and in fact, arguably not even the most important part. This perspective is brilliantly put forth in a brief essay called “A History Lesson for […]
by David Niebauer Now that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has lifted its moratorium on the use of renewable energy credits (RECs or TRECs) by investor owned electric utilities (IOUs) for compliance with the State’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), observers may ask themselves this logical question: what is the future of RECs under Assembly […]
Book Review by John Addison Will oil prices rocket as unrest spreads from Egypt to Libya to Saudi Arabia? United States transportation is 95% fueled by gasoline, diesel and jet fuel refined from oil. We are vulnerable and in need of a roadmap to a low carbon economy. In his new book, Terry Tamminen shows […]
It had been on my nightstand for awhile, but I finally got around to finishing Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future by Robert Bryce. According to his own bio on the book jacket, “Bryce has been producing industrial-strength journalism for two decades” –whatever “industrial-strength” is supposed to […]
Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released its prescription for U.S. energy policy. “Facing Our Energy Realities: A Plan to Fuel Our Recovery” is a more balanced document than what I might have expected. Given the Chamber’s ardent undercutting of all efforts to deal with climate change in a thoughtful manner during the last Congress — […]
People dance in the streets of Cairo. A dictator has fallen. In recent weeks, a world dependent on oil has watched to see if a cascade of Mideast unrest would stop the flow of petroleum necessary for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
Barron’s interviewed long-time oil analyst, Charles Maxwell, to gain insight into the future of petroleum. The article was titled “Whatever Happens in Egypt, Oil Will Hit $300 by 2020.” In the same time frame automotive lithium battery packs may fall from $1,000/kW to $250/kW creating an tipping point for electric cars.
Guest blog by Stan Seelig, Seelig and Associates To Be or Not To Be; To Be Green OR Sustainable or To Be Green AND Sustainable; which ever be cheaper or more profitable! I am an Industrial Chemist. Over the last 30 years, I have seen relatively green chemicals come and go. Chemicals safe for you […]
Every few conversations about venture capital, someone laments the “herd mentality” of the venture capital sector. That is, the tendency of venture capital investors to invest in similar areas. It’s a favorite topic of cleantech afficianados as well, both before cleantech got hot, and since then. I’d like to ask though, are we sure the […]
Our Cleantech Linkedin Group, over 20,000 members strong, has had a seven month running discussion started by Robert Drummond entitled “Renewable Energy that will Really work”, asking for readers views on what’s practical in renewable energy. Kind of crowd sourcing opinion and facts on the subject of renewable energy. Robert’s discussion reached a staggering 1,500 comments this […]
In January, the Honda Fit outsold the Prius in Japan. Prius had been the number one selling car in Japan for 20 months. Half of the Fits sold were the new Fit Hybrid, which delivers a stunning 71 miles per gallon (MPG). In 2012, both the Fit Hybrid and new Fit EV are expected to start selling in the U.S. The Honda Fit has been a popular small hatchback, with over 3.5 million sold globally. With five doors, seating for five, and flexible cargo space it is big enough for most, yet small enough to fit in those precious city parking spaces.
by Richard T. Stuebi Something grand is emerging on the vast dusty plains of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Tres Amigas is an ambitious scheme to interconnect the three primary power grids in the U.S. — the Western grid known as WECC, the Eastern grid known as the Eastern Interconnection, and the Texas grid known […]
GM Ventures is focused on investing in innovative and early stage companies. Jon Lauckner, President GM Ventures, has been busy since GM Ventures was established last June and he was promoted from head of GM global product planning. GM Ventures has invested in Bright Automotive, which has designed an advanced plug-in hybrid delivery van with much greater cargo space than Ford’s Transit Connect Electric. GM has invested in two advanced next generation biofuel corporations – Mascoma and Coskata. Given the success of the Amyris IPO, these investments could should a high return for GM.
by Richard T. Stuebi Last month, three behemoths in the energy sector — GE (NYSE: GE), NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) — announced that they were forming a joint venture to invest in cleantech opportunities. The creatively named Energy Technology Ventures plans to fund 30 companies over the next four years, based on a […]
It’s easy to slide behind the steering wheel of this Tesla Roadster because the top’s removed for this January day. I don’t mind. It’s 70 degrees here in Palm Springs, California. A perfect day for a test drive. Handling S-curves is smooth and effortless even though this sports car has no power steering. I go over a speed bump at 20 mph. No scraping sounds. No damage. These shocks are worthy of a race track.
by Richard T. Stuebi At last week’s Clean Economy Summit in Washington, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus gave a stirring speech on how the Navy and Marines were committed to pushing ahead on new clean sources of energy to fuel their operations. The energy goals of the Navy include the creation of a “Green Fleet” and the impressive target of […]