Energy storage technology continues to progress, benefiting both the electricity grid and your electric vehicle

Energy storage made some headlines this week, as a report from Navigant Research showed the increased potential of energy storage, and the Federal government announced a new investment program aimed at improving electric vehicle (EV) battery storage. According to the report from Navigant, during the first half of 2013, 38 projects either have been announced or deployed -- about 633 projects are … [Read more...]

Renewable REITs still in IRS limbo

As the belief continues to grow that energy policies need to move beyond traditional tax credits and enable the renewable sector to tap into much larger sources of private capital, this is a good chance to update readers on the status of renewable REITs. While Senator Chris Coons’ ‘MLP Parity Act’ sits in the Senate Finance Committee with an unknown future, several companies are asking the IRS to … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

Silver Lake, a venture capital firm, has raised $653.5 million for its Kraftwerk cleantech fund even as it has reigned back the fund’s target to $750 million, revised down from $1.25 billion, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fundraising success is welcome news for the cleantech sector. In the most recent second quarter, cleantech venture capital investments … [Read more...]

China dedicates billions to address massive water pollution and scarcity

Image courtesy of South China Morning Post

Much has been made recently of the incredibly difficult pollution challenges facing China. The cover of a recent Economist named China, “The World’s Worst Polluter”. In its cover story, the newspaper stated: “The fetid smog that settled on Beijing in January 2013 could join the ranks of these game-changing environmental disruptions. For several weeks the air was worse than in an airport smoking … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy,  announced it has acquired a 4.5 megawatt solar project in San Francisco from solar project developer Recurrent Energy. The solar power system includes nearly 24,000 solar panels mounted on top of the Sunset Reservoir. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is purchasing the emissions-free energy under a 25-year … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

First Solar (FSLR), a manufacturer of photovoltaic modules, acquired GE’s thin film technology that uses an ultra-thin layer of cadmium-telluride to convert sunlight into electricity, the same type of technology that has set First Solar apart for the vast majority of its competitors. The sale gave GE 1.75 million shares of First Solar’s common stock and turned GE into one of the solar company’s … [Read more...]

New York looks to become the energy storage technology and innovation hub

Photo courtesy of AES Energy Storage

The State of New York has long been a leader in renewable energy and the development of a smart grid, through both its public work through NYSERDA, and the tremendous number of entrepreneurs and available capital in and around New York City. Now, it appears that the state is attempting to lead the way with energy storage. Energy storage is a crucial option for the transition to a more flexible … [Read more...]

New survey shows climate change impacts increasingly factor into investment decisions

Climate change is becoming more of factor in investment decisions, according to the third annual Global Investors Survey on Climate Change. The report was conducted by Mercer and is based on responses from 37 asset owners and 47 asset managers with collective assets totaling more than $14 trillion. It found that the majority of investors have retained, and in many cases advanced, their commitment … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

EchoFirst (formerly PVT Solar), a hybrid electric solar and solar hot water firm, was purchased by SunEdison. Financial details have not been made public. EchoFirst investors included Sigma Partners, Khosla Ventures and Energy & Environment Investment of Japan.   HelioVolt Corp., which has been promising a thinner and better type of solar panel since its 2001 launch, has raised a … [Read more...]

Xcel Energy may try to pare down popular net metering incentive in Colorado

Image courtesy of Electric Light & Power

Xcel Energy (XEL) filed its renewable energy plan for 2014 with the Colorado Public Utilities’ Commission (PUC) last week, which according to solar industry and environmental groups, could pave the way for a scaling back of solar net metering, the mechanism by which rooftop solar owners are paid for the electricity they produce. Advocates for solar fear that any change to the net metering … [Read more...]