“Harmonizing” California’s TRECs with AB 32 Cap-and-Trade

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 […]

“Power Hungry” is Filling, But Not Fully Satisfying

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 […]

Gas Chamber

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 — […]

Oil Price Soars – Electric Car Sales Zoom

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.

Green AND Sustainable; not Green OR Sustainable

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 […]

In Defense of the Venture Capital Herd Mentality

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 […]

1,500 Reader Comments on Renewable Energy that will Really Work

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 […]

Honda Fit Hybrid Challenges Toyota Prius Leadership

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.

Hola, Tres Amigas!

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 […]

Cleantech and the Future of GM

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.

The New Big Three in Cleantech Funding?

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 […]


Tesla Roadster Test Drive – Smooth and Stealth

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.

In The Navy

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 […]

N.I.M.B.Y. – To an Extreme

The problem with REMs and why they are so “rare” is that mining and refining for them is incredibly damaging to the environment. Extraction requires a huge amount of ore (making it highly energy-consuming) and toxic acids that eat into the soil and persist for decades. To make matters worse, REMs are often found with even heavier elements, such as uranium, making the mine tailings radioactive.