Recent Posts:

Evergreen Solar Shuts Pilot Factory, Takes $25M Write Off

Ucilia Wang: January 5, 2009, 3:23 PM

Evergreen Solar, which makes solar panels, has shuttered its pilot factory and plans to take a $25 million write off as a result, the company said Monday.

The move should help the Marlboro, Mass.-based company save money, a much-needed move as it tries to weather the recession. It’s one of a growing list of solar companies that have vowed to cut costs as they face a lowering demand for their products. LDK Solar, a Chinese silicon wafer maker, on Monday cut its sales and shipment forecast for 2009.

Evergreen (NSDQ: ESLR) also hasn’t fared well since Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in September. The solar company enlisted Lehman to raise money and had loaned 30.9 million of...

Powering LEDs With Candles

Michael Kanellos: January 5, 2009, 1:15 PM
Here's a novel lab experiment, courtesy of Tetsuo Nozawa at Nikkei Electronics: it's an LED powered by candle flame. Check out the photo at the above link. The heat from the candle goes through a thermoelectric material and is converted to electricity, which powers the LED. Nozawa saw it at Nextreme Thermal Solutions. The LED actually shines brighter than the candle flame because most of the energy in the candle is dissipated as heat. In LEDs, most of the energy gets consumed in producing light. Thermoelectric materials like bismuth telluride have been studied for decades. Researchers, however, have begun to experiment with different types of materials (such as germanium) that...

Apple Choosing ZPower for Batteries? Good Chance of It

Michael Kanellos: January 5, 2009, 11:53 AM
On the eve of Macworld, the rumors are buzzing that Apple will release a new notebook that features batteries from ZPower, which makes a silver zinc battery. Ross Dueber, CEO of ZPower, declined to comment. ZPower has a deal with a notebook manufacturer, but it's up to the unknown manufacturer to make any comments, he said. (Ross is speaking at CES in Las Vegas on Thursday so we might get more there.) However, looking at all of the circumstances, I believe that the odds are pretty good, around 50 percent. Here's why: 1. ZPower has already said that they have landed a notebook win with a major manufacturers and that the deal will be announced in early 2009. Macworld is this...

A Record Year in Greentech Investing—$7.7B in 2008

Eric Wesoff: January 5, 2009, 12:06 AM

We began tracking venture capital investment in Greentech in 2004 when the sector really didn’t have a name and represented only 1 percent of VC investment totals.

Companies like Nanosolar and Miasolé were just getting started and most VC investors were simply trying to get their heads around this relatively underinvested trillion dollar market.

A few years later, Greentech VC investment represents about 20 percent of the VC asset class -- 2008 finished with a total VC investment of more than $7.7 billion in more than 350 funding rounds, roughly one investment a day, with time off for Christmas and New Years.

Greentech Media just released the most recent quarterly data showing...