Recent Posts:

California to Require Green Ratings on Cars

Michael Kanellos: December 31, 2008, 10:23 AM
There's a new sticker to look at when you buy a car in California. Starting tomorrow, new cars in the state will come with a sticker that provides information on the car's environmental impact. There is a smog score and a global warming score (all based on a one to ten scale) which rate how much methane, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, etc. will be emitted by the car. Per the scale, ten is the best, five is average. The California Air Resources Board also has a consumer Website with more information. The new sticker applies only to 2009 models and later, not to any year end closeouts you might be interested in buying. Some places go farther. Finland, for instance, charges much...

French Company Seeks Permit for Uranium Enrichment in U.S.

Michael Kanellos: December 31, 2008, 10:11 AM
Areva Enrichment Services has applied to build a $2 billion uranium enrichment plant in Idaho as interest in nuclear in the U.S. grows. The plant, expected to be open in 2014 if approved, will produce three separative work units (SWU) a year, according to Reuters. An SWU measures how much energy a reactor expends in enriching uranium. In all, the 104 commercial nuclear reactors in the U.S. need about 13 to 14 SWUs a year. (There are 103 nuclear reactors in the military as well.) Two other enrichment plants in the U.S. are in the planning stages as well. Collectively, these three new plants could produce 15 SWUs a year by 2015. Right now, there is only one enrichment plant...

Television: The Innovator in Green Lighting

Michael Kanellos: December 31, 2008, 8:26 AM
Some of the biggest changes in store for green buildings are coming out of television. In the past couple of years, startups and others have begun to take technologies and ideas originally devised for the television market and port it to lighting. First, there was Luxim. The company makes a breathmint-sized bulb that puts out as much light as a conventional streetlight. The company has begun to sell its light to illuminate public spaces like cathedrals. The light was originally devised for projection TVs. Then there is Lumiette, which will make a flat, florescent bulb originally made for LCD TVs and sell it to contractors and architects as a svelte interior light. Meanwhile,...

SolarWorld CEO: Panel Prices to Drop 10% in 2009

Jeff St. John: December 30, 2008, 11:15 AM

To the list of solar companies that have projected lower prices for their products in the near future — think Q-Cells, Renesola, Solon, Suntech Power Holdings and SunPower — you can now add German solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld.

Frank Asbeck, CEO of SolarWorld, said in an interview that he expects photovoltaic solar panel prices to drop more than 10 percent in 2009 and 2010, Reuters reported Monday.

That will push down SolarWorld’s profit margins by about two percentage points, Asbeck said. Still, he predicted that his company’s sales would grow 25 percent to 30 percent next year.

Asbeck pointed to an increase in global capacity — that is, an excess of supply...

Top 21 Greentech Deals of 2008

Eric Wesoff: December 29, 2008, 8:43 AM
It’s a journalistic cliché to pile on the top 10 lists at the end of the year and we’re not above year-end clichés. But here’s the problem -- if we were to list the top 10 greentech investments of the year for 2008 we’d end up with nine solar deals and a biofuels deal which is kind of repetitive and not at all representative of the greentech sector. So we’ll indulge ourselves, enlarge the list, and make room to include a water deal, a lighting deal, an automotive deal and a smart grid investment. And allow us to announce… The Top 21 Greentech Deals of 2008 As in 2007, solar was the dominant investment driver in greentech with more than a dozen solar firms...

The Next Big Thing in Green Electronics

Michael Kanellos: December 24, 2008, 7:53 AM
Is there a killer app on the horizon for electronics makers? Maybe, says Stephen Baker: high-definition videoconferencing. Baker, an analyst at NPD Group and one of the most accurate in the business when it comes to identifying TV trends, says that the prices are coming down rapidly on high-end videoconferencing systems. These aren't the choppy, slow systems that make everyone look like they are calling from a space station. He's talking about the ones that provide clear, crisp streams of video of people on the other side of the planet. I've seen demos of these types of systems at Accenture and NHK and they are pretty cool. A few years ago, Hewlett-Packard released systems...

Sony’s Got a Solar Lamp—Will More Solar Annoucements Follow?

Michael Kanellos: December 23, 2008, 12:43 PM
Sony is showing off a lamp with photovoltaic dyes that can harvest energy from interior light, a somewhat rare bit of solar technology from the electronics giant. But chances are more solar news could follow. The lamp, shown off last week at an eco products convention in Tokyo, contains the dye-powered solar cells in transparent side panels, according to a report on TechOn. The solar cells harvest power, store it in a small battery and the battery then is used to illuminate a decorative pattern in the panels. (See pictures at TechOn here.) The module containing the dye-powered solar cells are only 4 percent efficient. One minute of battery power takes 15 minutes of exposure to...