Recent Posts:

Will the Computer Giants Invade Lighting Too?

Michael Kanellos: October 31, 2008, 4:14 AM
This year, we saw Intel, IBM, LG and others jump into the solar market, following a path blazed by Applied Materials two years ago. Cisco, Freescale and several startups like GainSpan are busy porting wireless chips and equipment originally designed for consumer electronics and computers into smart meters and energy efficient appliances. WiMax, the wireless broadband protocol, is coming to connect homes and utilities. What will the computer world colonize next? Probably lighting. Solid state light sources such as LEDs, plasma lights and OLEDs are expected to become popular over the next five to ten years as the price declines and mass manufacturing cranks up. Right now, LEDs...

With Digital TV Conversion Coming, Panasonic Paves Way for Recycling

Michael Kanellos: October 30, 2008, 11:09 AM
If you've got an old TV with a Panasonic logo, it's going to be easier to get rid of it soon. The Japanese electronics giant will open up 160 drop-off locations in 10 states over the weekend where consumers can get rid of old TVs, cameras and other electronic doodads made by the company. There's no charge. The recycling center is being run in conjunction with Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company (which goes by the abbreviated acronym MRM), a joint venture launched in 2007 with Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba. Electronic recycling has become mandatory in a few states like Minnesota and California and will soon be mandatory in several others. These programs,...

Greentech Innovations: Why Trash-to-Fuel Might Finally Work

Michael Kanellos: October 30, 2008, 5:35 AM
When it comes to trash-to-fuel, Ze-Gen is the contrarian. Most companies try to extract vegetable scraps, manure and other waste products into methane, or natural gas. When scrubbed of impurities, the gas can be safely shipped through pipelines. "We try to make as little methane as possible," said Bill Davis, CEO of Ze-Gen in an interview. Instead, Ze-Gen has created a process that harvests carbon monoxide and hydrogen from garbage. The highly combustible gases can then: a.) be burned on site as a gas to power local industrial operations; or b.) exploited to crank a turbine to produce electricity. (Davis will also speak at the upcoming Greentech Innovations End to End...

Greentech Innovations: GridPoint Talks About Its Strategy Shift

Michael Kanellos: October 29, 2008, 12:25 PM
In the smart grid market, GridPoint did one of those sudden right-hand shifts. The company started out with a box that would allow homes to curb energy consumption by controlling different devices, said CEO Peter L. Corsell. While the hardware consisted of off-the-shelf components, the value of the box lay in the software developed by GridPoint. GridPoint, however, discovered that there were only a limited number of upper-middle class homes that would want a device like that. More importantly, though, it found a larger opportunity existed in selling a scaled-up version of the software to utilities for demand response programs. Since then, the company has landed development...

Iceland Aims at World’s Green Datacenter Hub

Michael Kanellos: October 29, 2008, 12:25 PM
Cold air and geothermal power -- Iceland hopes these two geographic facts of life will allow it to become a global power in datacenters. The island nation is cranking up strategies to attract search engines and hosting providers, said Peter Gross, CEO of EYP Mission Critical Facilities, a company that designs datacenters. (Hewlett-Packard bought it and made EYP a subidiary.) Iceland faces some significant hurdles, especially since it's been so hard hit by the global credit crunch. The broadband connections to Europe will have to be improved. Ireland and Denmark, both of which have growing wind energy footprints, are better connected in terms of fiber. The air in Iceland can also...

AMD Ups Its Green Commitment, in Part for Employees

Michael Kanellos: October 28, 2008, 5:07 PM
There are a lot of financially sound reasons to adopt LEED standards for your next building. The resale value of the building will climb faster than normal. Spare space that needs to be rented out will go for a premium. Operations costs and energy bills will likely be far lower than they would if you built a conventional headquarters. (Jeanne Clinton, Clean Energy Advisor, California Public Utilities Commission, says green building has a negative cost because the financial gains will outweigh the initial expense.) It's a great recruiting tool as well, says Larry Vertal, senior strategist at AMD and the person who runs their sustainability programs. "It is one of the soft things...

Sounds Like EEStor Has Delayed Again

Michael Kanellos: October 28, 2008, 5:06 PM
Although ultracapacitor manufacturer EEStor is highly secretive and few people outside the company can fully explain what it is up to, there are two things you can almost always count on the company to do. One, to delay its product. Two, to be highly entertaining. This week, Richard Weir climbed out of his hidey hole to respond to a comment on the GM-Volt blog about the company's status. Weir reiterated that the company had said earlier this year that it would come out with products by the end of the year, EEStor did not get the funding it was seeking. Therefore, it seems that the ultracapacitors will be delayed once again. Initially, they were due back in 2007. According...