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From to Solar

Eric Wesoff: November 21, 2009, 10:52 PM

Gary Kremen is the Chairman and founder of Clean Power Finance (CPF), an interesting solar company. CPF provides a standardized software-as-service (SaaS) tool that lets solar panel installers vastly speed up the sales proposal, rebate processing, system design and lead generation.

Based in occasionally sunny San Francisco, the company aims to enable mass-market adoption of solar with an end-to-end solution that integrates software and financing into the sales process. 

Solar installers work with trucks, ladders, tool belts and roofs. "They hate paperwork," according to Kremen.  So, CPF runs that part of the business for the installer. "We help the installer close the customer,"...

Korea Wants 30% of Smart Grid Worldwide

Jeff St. John: November 20, 2009, 5:41 PM

The South Korean government has declared its intention to help its home industries win 30 percent of the global smart grid market, Reuters reported Friday.

But to start, the government will spend a relatively small 37 billion won ($32 million) to test smart grid systems from a consortium including SK Telecom, LG Electronics, Hyundai Heavy Industries and national utility Korea Electric Power Corp., or KEPCO.

The test will on be on Jeju Island, a volcanic island between Korea and Japan with about 565,000 residents. State-run Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning will coordinate the project, which is expected to start next year.

The project will include a "smart...

After Steep Rise, A123 Systems’ Stock Heading Back Toward IPO Price

Michael Kanellos: November 20, 2009, 3:47 PM

Nearly two months after its successful initial public offering, A123 Systems seems headed back to its roots.

The company's stock has traded at around $15 today and has dipped into the high $14 range. (I noticed this after getting a stock quote for a report that Tesla may file for an IPO.) A123 went out at $13.50.

Stocks are currently being whacked, so it's natural that the battery maker would take a hit. Still, it's been a wild two months. The company's stock climbed to nearly $20 on the first day of trading, a 45 percent increase. A little while later, it climbed past $28 and stayed in the $20 plus range through most of October.

But November has brought a spate of bad news and a...

Tesla Prepping for IPO, Speculates Reuters

Michael Kanellos: November 20, 2009, 3:35 PM

Tesla Motors is preparing to move forward with an IPO, according to unidentified sources at Reuters.

There is no S-1 on file right now, according to the SEC's website, but that would be the first step.

Many have waited for Tesla to start moving on an IPO. It is one of the most visible green companies and, with its loan from the government, will likely be able to fulfill its ambitions of bringing out a sedan in a few years.

The A123 Systems IPO likely had an effect as well. A123's stock zoomed up the first day of trading and sparked hopes that more would follow. (A number of people, in fact, sent Musk news articles on the A123 IPO the day it occurred, I'm told.)

Of course, not...

Johnson Controls: What’s Hot in Green Building

Michael Kanellos: November 20, 2009, 3:15 PM

Johnson Controls will informally refer to itself as the IBM of green building and in many ways the analogy is apt. Both companies have extensive histories. The Milwaukee-based company just announced another quarterly dividend, the latest in a streak that stretches back to 1887.

And, like IBM, the company is pervasive in its field. Johnson is one of the principal contractors behind the retrofit of the Empire State Building. It also employs 800 LEED-accredited employees. Thus, what the company does will have some impact on the market. (It also received a $299 million grant to develop transportation batteries earlier this year.)

We recently spoke to Don Albinger, vice president of...

Ontario May Follow California With TV Energy Standards

Michael Kanellos: November 20, 2009, 1:59 PM

Two days after California passed energy efficiency regulations for TV, government officials in Ontario say they might go the same direction.

"We're always looking at ways we need to improve standards with appliances," Energy Minister Gerry Phillips told the Star. "Over the next few months we'll be looking at whether we need to set some additional new standards."

Whether and how quickly another government might follow California was one of the big questions following the 5–0 vote by the California Energy Commission to adopt regulations that set standards for energy efficiency. Under the new California rules, TVs measuring 58 inches or less will have to become 33 percent more efficient...

Gore: White House Shooting for Climate Bill by Spring

Michael Kanellos: November 19, 2009, 8:27 PM

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- Former Vice President Al Gore says the White House will try to get a climate bill passed by late spring 2010 or earlier.

"The window for 2010 probably closes around when spring ends," he said during a speech at GreenBeat taking place in San Mateo. Things are looking a bit up. Senators Joe Lieberman (Gore's former running mate) and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are already working with Democratic senators to write a piece of legislation that will get at least some bipartisan support. It will probably include more subsidies for nuclear power, but otherwise will be similar to the Waxman-Markey bill that the U.S. House of Representatives passed earlier this year.