Recent Posts:

EDF Lines UP €500M for Solar in Europe

Ucilia Wang: December 17, 2009, 2:03 PM

EDF Energies Nouvelles said Thursday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to get €500 million ($716.2 million) to pay for building solar power plants in France and Italy.

The financing would be able to cover up to 50 percent of the cost for each of the projects EDF wants to build from 2010 to 2012. EDF didn't specify how many projects or their sizes will be covered by EIB's investments. EDF will have to raise money from other banks as well.

Paris-based EDF did say the money would help pay for the 2010 construction of a 36-megawatt solar farm in France and a 12.5-megawatt project in Italy.

Solar panel maker, First Solar, will benefit from...

More on Nuclear: Back at EPRI

Eric Wesoff: December 17, 2009, 1:01 AM

I'm on a bit of a nuclear binge of late (and possibly at odds with the editors at Greentech Media regarding the topic). 

Questions that pop up around here are:

  • Does nuclear even belong on a "greentech" site?
  • Is nuclear power green power?
  • Is nuclear a low carbon emission energy generation source?

Clearly a nuclear plant doesn't emit carbon during operation. But studies looking at the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of nuclear plants – examining the carbon footprint of uranium extraction and enrichment, plant construction, and spent fuel disposal make the carbon footprint picture a little murky. Here are a few links to nuclear power LCA studies.

* * *

Jeffrey Hamel and Tom Mulford of...

VP Biden Promotes $5B for Greentech Manufacturing

Ucilia Wang: December 16, 2009, 4:56 PM

The White House is seeking congressional and public support for offering $5 billion in tax credits for manufacturers to build new or expand existing factories to produce solar panels, wind turbines, electric cars and other renewable energy-related goods.

Vice President Joe Biden was the chief marketer for such an idea on Wednesday, about a week after President Obama outlined a new plan to create more jobs. Biden spoke about the new tax incentive proposal while hosting business leaders in Washington, D.C. The National unemployment rate stands at 10 percent.

The incentives would mirror a program that was put in place this year as part of the stimulus package. The $2.3 billion program...

2030 Carbon Capture Market: $128B Business-as-Usual, $221B With Real Change

Jeff St. John: December 16, 2009, 2:02 PM

What's the upside to humanity's greatest energy challenge - capturing and sequestering the carbon put out by coal-fired power plants and other industrial emitters before it causes runaway global warming?

According to Pike Research, carbon capture and sequestration could represent a $128 billion market over the next 20 years - and that's assuming a base-case, business as usual approach to the problem.

More aggressive carbon limits by government - and buy-in from industry - could boost that market to about $221 billion by 2030, according to Pike's report released Wednesday.

That wide range represents the state of uncertainty over carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS. The...

Pyron Pioneers Solar Concentrators That Swim With the Fishes

Eric Lane: December 16, 2009, 12:51 PM

Pyron Solar Inc. (Pyron) is a San Diego company that develops and makes solar concentrators.

Pyron and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) recently announced that SDG&E is building a demonstration project to test Pyron’s patented concentrated solar power system. The system uses shallow pools of water as a passive cooling system for high efficiency solar cells.

Pyron’s U.S. Patent No. 7,299,632 ('632 Patent) is entitled "Solar electricity generator" and is directed to a solar electrical generator comprising a concentrator, a homogenizer and a photovoltaic (PV) cell. The concentrator concentrates solar rays onto an entrance surface of the homogenizer, which is in turn attached to a PV...

Former KP EIR, Joel Serface, Joins CyberCity 3D

Eric Wesoff: December 15, 2009, 1:59 PM

In the early days of the greentech wave, about six years ago, I met with Joel Serface when he was a partner at Eastman Ventures. We discussed the state of the then early renewable energy field.

Since then Joel Serface has started, invested in, or advised a score of greentech firms in his role as director of the Austin Clean Energy Incubator and his stint at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he served as the first Entrepreneur in Residence at NREL. He always seems to be on a plane or a mountain or at a cleantech event judging by his tweet history.      

Joel has just now surfaced (sorry) in the role of Chief Strategy Officer at CyberCity 3D, A 3D geospatial service platform. 

In...

Is There a Role for Venture Capital in Nuclear Power?

Eric Wesoff: December 14, 2009, 11:18 PM

A Survey of VC Attitudes Towards Investing in Nuclear Power

Is there a role for Venture Capital in the nuclear industry? Despite the term “Venture” in their asset class, VCs tend to want to minimize risk as much as possible. And nuclear is full of risk.

Market risk. Technical risk. Regulatory risk. Finance risk.

Most of the investors we spoke with were supporters of nuclear as citizens. But they had difficulty rationalizing the timeframes and scale inherent in nuclear with the goals of their limited partners and the dictates of their funds.

We spoke with a number of cleantech investors about their investing attitudes towards nuclear:

Maurice Gunderson, CMEA

The reason that most VCs are...