Eco Pro 2013

Every year, Eco-Pro features a particular theme. With the recovery of Fukushima on everyone’s mind and the uncertainty in fossil fuel supply, the focus on 2013 was on renewable energy. In July 2012, the government of Japan introduced a feed-in tariff (FIT) to promote energy generation from renewable resources including solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass

Predictions For Cleantech in 2014

Continuing a tradition since 2007, once again we bring you some end-of-year thoughts about where we think the cleantech investment theme is going. Our cleantech-specific analysis and advisory firm Kachan & Co. focuses on this space. We publish research reports. We get briefings from companies introducing new technology. We publish a cleantech analysis service. We’re quoted in the press. We pore over […]

Skyonic, It’s Not Your Parent’s Carbon Capture Technology

It should come as no surprise to those of us who follow environmental issues vis-à-vis climate and pollution that Norway this week walked away from the longest-running and most disappointing carbon capture plant in the world. Norway, sadly, is not the first, but its abandonment of Mongstad follows a familiar pattern of enormous hope and […]

Smart Cities

Two events I attended this month brought home the importance of cities as centers of solutions for urban sustainability and climate change. In the absence of a global agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions, cities around the world have already made efforts to decarbonize their economies. Global networks like the C40 include energy and climate […]

At Solar Skies, It’s Always Sunny

Randy Hagen, CEO of Solar Skies LLC (Alexandria, MN., in the heart of the Upper Midwest) is justly proud of his company’s newly purchased laser welder. Not only is it the only one in North America, but it is one of only two on the North American Continent, which spans an area from Panama to […]

New Optimism For a Cleantech Future

If you’ve not been paying much attention to cleantech in the last little while, it’s time to sit up and take notice. Because post-Solyndra, cleantech has been quietly gaining momentum. We had the chance to take a close look at the fundamentals of cleantech over the last two months in co-authoring a new (and free!) 38-page […]

My LED Saga

For my birthday, I told my wife I want LED light bulbs.  I know, right?  You’re thinking how cool is that!  If you’re thinking anything else, just keep it to yourself. A bit of history.  I like light.  I hate waiting for CFLs to warm up.  We need floodlight style for recessed lighting, and A […]

Enerkem, the Canadian Oil and Waste Rewind

At the intersection of energy and environment, a number of firms are taking on the global challenge of converting various kinds of waste into biofuels and chemicals. Montreal, Quebec-based Enerkem is not only an example, but an examplar. Operating with 10 years worth of technological validation under its belt in the area of proprietary thermochemical […]

Philips Makes LEDs Affordable

In 2008, it was the Holy Grail of residential lighting, according to off-the-gridder Dan Fink. Fink’s parameters were simple; he wanted an LED that retained (or added to) its inherent efficiency while also delivering the kind of light that homeowners identify with incandescent lighting – and all at a price that could easily nudge both […]

Kleiner-Backed Choose Energy Acquires Power2Switch

On September 30, Plano, Texas-based Choose Energy acquired Power2Switch, a Chicago-based company designed to help energy consumers negotiate their way around deregulated electricity markets in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Illinois, where the company had its largest footprint. Founded in 2008, Choose Energy offers a user-friendly website that matches deregulated energy suppliers with […]

The Real “Sweet Spot”: Sugar from Post-Consumer Food Waste

Over the past few months, various print and media sources have had a ball describing various food additives with a huge “ick” factor. From pink slime to fetal human kidney cells and beaver anal glands – not to mention beetle secretions that make food shine, or crushed bugs, or even fertilizer in bread to help […]

Making Green Mining Less Of An Oxymoron

New breakthrough science and cost reductions from the world of cleantech hold promise for making mining—one of the dirtiest, most inefficient industries in the world—more profitable, safer and cleaner. But which cleantech innovations aimed at reducing toxicity in mining, as well as the need for power and water, are best positioned to succeed? Which companies […]

Deltec Net Zero Homes: They’re Not Just a Pretty Face

Deltec Homes of Asheville, North Carolina has a new line of net zero homes, and Deltec President Steve Linton – a LEED-accredited professional – is convinced that these highly energy-efficient structures will set the cost and energy footprint standard for years to come. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a benchmark for “green” […]

Cool Energy from a Solar Heart

The title isn’t confusing once you realize that the ‘cool’ aspect stems from a technological giant step forward in Stirling engine design. Stirling engines, unlike vehicle combustion engines (which burn a fuel), work by expanding and contracting a working fluid at different temperatures. Most Stirling engines work most efficiently at about 1000 degrees Fahrenheit (1000 […]

Plugin Electrics vs All Electric Battery EVs, Epic Throwdown?

I get this every time I discuss EVs.  Something along the lines of oh, you shouldn’t be including PHEVs in with EVs, they don’t count, or are not real EVs, just a stopgap etc. I tend to think PHEVs may be better product.  At least for now.  And I follow the GM’s Chevy Volt vs […]

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