Worlds of Differences

On June 3, 2013, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

I’ve always known that Americans hold a pretty different view about the state of the energy sector than elsewhere in the world, but never really knew how to characterize those variances. Today, I write in gratitude, thanking the efforts of Sonal Patel, senior writer at Power magazine.  Patel developed this helpful visual framework summarizing the […]

Why is it So Hard to Make Money in New Battery Technology?

On January 18, 2013, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

Energy storage is still the rage in cleantech.  But after the collapse of A123 and Beacon, and the spectacular failure on the Fisker Karma in its Consumer Reports tests, fire  in Hawaii with Xtreme Power’s lead acid grid storage system and with NGK’s sodium sulphur system, and now battery problems grounding the Boeing Dreamliners, investors […]

How To Fail In Cleantech

On January 14, 2013, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

The transition to cleantech – some would call it a revolution – inevitably entails change, which implies risk.  In turn, this implies that some things will fail. We’ve already seen more than a few failures, and we’ll no doubt see many more. As long as the successes outweigh the failures, that’s all that ultimately matters.  […]

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A Crystal Ball for 2013

On December 31, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

Happy new year everyone.  As we reflect upon the year now past us, it’s also that time of year to look ahead. For the cleantech sector, Dallas Kachan from Kachan & Co. recently put his neck on the line with his “Predictions for Cleantech in 2013”.  It’s a good read, well-reasoned.  The sound-bite version: Cleantech […]

A Dose of Lithium

On December 24, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

For those who want an overview of the current state of the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery sector, the fall 2012 issue of Batteries International is just the thing. It’s not a pretty picture that’s painted.  Beyond the well-publicized bankruptcies of A123 and Ener1, the general sentiment espoused is that players in the Li-ion sector face tough […]

Chicago: Battery Central

On December 10, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

At the end of November, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it had selected Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago to host the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), and bestowed upon it a $120 million grant over 5 years, alongside a $35 million commitment for a new 45,000 square foot facility from […]

The Advent of SPS Policy?

On September 17, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

In the cleantech sector, pretty much everyone knows the acronym RPS, for Renewable Portfolio Standards.  Since the first RPS policy in the U.S., implemented in Iowa in the late 1990s, 30 states have passed similar policies to promote the installation of renewable energy projects and expedite penetration (overcoming the ambivalence or outright opposition of utilities) of renewable […]

Bettering Batteries

On July 23, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

I recently got an email entitled “Trojan Tips”.  Hmmmm, wonder what that could be about?  Alas, upon scrolling down from the subject line, I found the message provided advice from the battery manufacturer Trojan about proper battery management practices. The more you get into cleantech, the more you realize how central a role is played by […]

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David Anthony’s Last Question – Can We Power the US Solely off of Solar?

On July 10, 2012, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

By Tao Zheng, with David Anthony, an active cleantech venture capitalist, who passed away in April 2012.  The sun is the champion of all energy sources, in terms of capacity and environmental impact. The sun provides earth with 120,000 terawatt (TW) energy, compared to technical potential energy capacity of single digit TWs from other renewable sources, […]

California Gains 10,000 EV Charge Points in NRG Agreement

On March 26, 2012, in Blog, by John Addison

from original post at Clean Fleet Report California already has over 10,000 of the new electric vehicles on the road and 2,000 public charge points. Over 10,000 new electric charge points will be added to give EV drivers added range. The charge stations will be built by NRG with private money, not public funds. This […]

Banking on a Low-Carbon Energy Future

On January 9, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

One of the world’s largest banks, London-based HSBC (NYSE: HBC) issued last September a very interesting research report entitled “Sizing the Climate Economy”. At less than 60 pages, it’s an excellent read for those interested in the future growth of the advanced energy economy.  There are really too many highlights to capture all of them in this […]

Predictions For Cleantech In 2012

On December 1, 2011, in Blog, by Dallas Kachan

It’s December again (how did that happen!?) and our annual time for reflection here at Kachan & Co. So as we close out 2011, let’s look towards what the new year may have in store for cleantech. There are eggshells across the sector for 2012. Global economic uncertainty in particular is leaving some skeptical about […]

Assaulting Batteries

On November 7, 2011, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

A radical breakthrough in energy storage has long been considered the “holy grail” of cleantech.  With ubiquitous, scalable, reliable and (most importantly) low-cost energy storage, two main thrusts of cleantech adoption will be debottlenecked:  much deeper penetration of zero-emitting and limitless but intermittent solar and wind into the electricity generation mix, and significantly reduced needs for fueled internal […]

The Elusive Energy Storage Yeti

On June 8, 2011, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

Large scale energy has proven almost as elusive a Yeti, and perhaps almost as all world saving juicy as the silver bullet for the werewolf or the Holy Grail itself (and not the Monty Python kind). Energy storage for nearly 15 years has been the energy tech and cleantech version of the ultimate “but-if”.  I.E., […]

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What If…?

On May 2, 2011, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

…someone invents an economically-competitive energy storage technology that could be deployed at any electricity substation at megawatt-hour scale? …the power grid were brought up to 21st Century standards to match the true power quality needs of our increasingly digital society? …high-speed rail was not the exclusive province of Europe and Asia? …customers had real choice […]

Hola, Tres Amigas!

On February 15, 2011, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

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 […]

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More Charge for Grid Storage

On August 2, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi While battery technology has been the subject of intensive focus for vehicular applications since the emergence of hybrid electric vehicles over the past few years, much less attention has been paid to batteries for the electric grid. Although energy storage for the power grid offers great promise to augment the smart […]

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