Entries by Neal Dikeman

Rising Solar Prices Threaten the Industry

One of the most disturbing things about the solar industry, the rising star of cleantech, has been its recent rising prices. According to the SolarBuzz.com survey, module prices are up close to 7% in the US this last year, after years of falling. The main culprits according to most solar watchers are a combination of: […]

Dawnbreaker Conference Recap

I just returned from the Dawnbreaker technology commercialization conference. The conference is supported by the DOE, and is one of the oldest cleantech technology forums around. Dawnbreaker had over 50 companies and 100+ strategics in attendance, and a number of very interesting technologies. Among the more interesting in energy technology: Alzeta Corporation was there showing […]

Ford is pushing Ethanol

Ford Motor Company recently announced a partnership to push new fueling stations for its ethanol-ready fleet of 1 million vehicles. Ford Ethanol Article. The actual fuel is E85, a blend of 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline. I view this as a major win for cleantech. The future for clean fuels is not hydrogen, electric, or gasoline […]

EDF is Going Public

The French government has announced plans to spin-off 15% of Electricité de France, one of the largest utilities in the world, to the public markets. As IPOs go, this is going to be a big one. With over US$50 Bil in revenues, EDF is larger than American heavyweights Duke and AEP combined. As these types […]

$450 Bil Phantom Bid to Acquire ExxonMobil

I couldn’t resist reporting on this one. A little one man Chinese investment company registered in New Zealand announced a takeover bid for ExxonMobil at at 25% premium to its current shareprice. Article on Takeover. The company is called King Win Laurel International Ltd, is basically a guy in his house, and previously made offers […]

Oil Prices Still Falling?

Crude oil futures dipped lower this week, just below $60/barrel. MSN article. That’s now down 15% off of the hurricane induced high. US inventories, both crude and gasoline, are up by several measures. Apparently the market’s previous concerns over US production glitches following Katrina and Rita were at least somewhat overstated, especially given emergency supply […]

Would the Million Solar Roofs bill save California money?

SB-1, California’s hot topic million solar roofs bill, lost out last month. A definite setback to the solar industry here. I’m personally in favor of the solar roof bill, but some of the analysis around it was a little odd. A couple of months ago a solar company called Akeena, put out a whitepaper saying […]

Take on the Energy Storage Conference – San Francisco

I have spent the last couple of days at the EESAT 2005 Conference in San Francisco, hosted by the Electrical Storage Association with Sandia Labs and the DOE. The forum was focused mainly on large scale storages schemes. It was a long running well run forum, done every two years, 150+ attendance. Frankly, about the […]

Is Bush Still Weakening the Clean Air Act?

Is the Bush Administration continuing to weaken our environmental regulations? By and large the US has been getting cleaner and more environmentally friendly on a per unit basis for the past 30 years. This is a good thing, though we still have a long way to go. I think that the future of power in […]

Toyota’s Hybrid Recall News – Set Back for Cleantech

Toyota today announced it was recalling and repairing 75,000 Prius cars due to engine stalling. I think that is on the order of half of their total fleet. It doesn’t sound like a big fix is required, but certainly a massive PR setback for the most popular hybrid our there. I’ve personally been waiting for […]

The Race for Small Cleantech IPOs Continues

Small cap cleantech IPOs have been especially hot lately, and definitely global. The big cleantech news seems like that the whole world is getting in on the IPO game. It’s not just in the US, the equity markets in Australia, on the ASX, and the London AIM exchange have lots of activity. The other striking […]

Are Oil Prices Finally Coming Down?

Oil prices are made up of components, supply and demand. The market tends to forecast near term supply for oil reasonably well. There is a lot of data out there, and a lot of smart people crunching it. The big bugaboo in predicting oil prices, however, is forecasting short term demand. The main variables in […]

Cleantech Investment Forum in Australia

I just wanted to put a plug in for the Cleantech Forum in Melbourne, Australia in late Novemeber. I am moderating one of the panels on investing. The founder, Jeffrey Castellas, has been looking to make a splash in cleantech for some time. I am excited to see he is doing it in Australia, as […]

Cleantech Venture Network Now Streaming Cleantech Blogs

The Cleantech Venture Network is now streaming several Cleantech blogs on their site, Cleantech.com. The stream is heavy on the technology investment and venture capital content at the moment, but several good blogs are already streamed there. Check it out. We at Cleantechblog are big fans, and support all the Cleantech Venture Network is doing […]

The Danger of Venezuela

The AP did an article today about Hugo Chavez’s desire to use its oil supply to tie the rest of South America to Venezuela at the expense of the US. Basically, Chavez is looking to pull other South American countries into a free trade zone centered around Venezuela, and counteract US efforts to create a […]

More bio fuel amusement – this time from the French

Two weeks ago I blogged about the German inventor supposedly using dead cats as feedstock in a biodiesel process. This week the amusing bio fuel story is about French nonsense. Apparently the French government does not exactly permit drivers to use vegetable oil in cars, but a large number of French citizens are doing so […]

The Australian Solar Race

It’s called the World Solar Challenge, and a Dutch team has won for each of the past 2 races. I know it’s not exactly the near term future of the automotive industry, but I still get a kick out of it. Especially since we do a lot of work with Australian companies. 11 teams drive […]

What to do about the Oil Problem

The Tirade: We need to achieve low oil prices, and ensure that no one country is able to control our fuel supply. We have just passed a new Energy Bill. It does not do so. What we do need to do: Drop the ANWR fight and instead break the back of OPEC, slash consumption, and […]

Is Toyota THE Clean Tech Automotive Company?

According to a Bloomberg article picked up by Fuel Cell Today, Toyota has announced its goal of an “all-hybrid” fleet. I think Toyota is rapidly becoming THE powerhouse in clean vehicles. Toyota Hybrid Article Toyota is the world’s second largest auto maker. It is largest producer of hybrid vehicles, and doesn’t seem like it intends […]

Odd Things – Alternative Fuel the SPCA will Hate

Talk about odd. I was really not sure what to think about this one. I guess this is for all you waste to energy guys to chase down in your spare time. This German inventor (who denies it) is supposed to have told a reporter in an article picked up by Reuters that he has […]