AP: Beyond Record Hot, February Was 'Astronomical' and 'Strange'

Earth got so hot last month that federal scientists struggled to find words, describing temperatures as "astronomical," ''staggering" and "strange."

They warned that the climate may have moved into a new and hotter neighborhood.

This was not just another of the drumbeat of 10 straight broken monthly global heat records, triggered by a super El Nino and man-made global warming. February 2016 obliterated old marks by such a margin that it was the most above-normal month since meteorologists started keeping track in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Telegraph (U.K.): Dyson to Invest £1B Into Making Batteries Better

Dyson will invest £1B in developing new battery technology by 2020 as the business best known for its vacuum cleaners branches out into new areas.

Revealing strong annual sales and profit growth, chief executive Max Conze hinted at the company’s ambitious plans.

“We have invested £100M looking at batteries in the past five years,” said Conze, referring to Dyson’s research on “energy density” that hopes to deliver more powerful batteries.  “We are now stepping up that work and will spend £1B by 2020. Solving energy density is the greatest engineering challenge in the 21st century.”

Reuters: Bloom Energy Share Sale Marks Valuation Drop of More Than 40 Percent

Last week, private equity firm GSV Capital Corp (GSVC.O) quietly announced that it had sold its small stake in the last remaining cleantech unicorn at a loss, calling it "dead money."

GSV was not a strategic investor in fuel-cell maker Bloom Energy and its stake was worth less than $3 million, but the price represented a 42.7 percent drop in valuation from Bloom's last fundraising round, according to PitchBook, a private equity and venture capital database.

Investor enthusiasm for so-called "unicorns" -- venture-backed companies valued in the private market at $1 billion or more -- has waned since the end of last year, and valuations have contracted.

Bloom is a former clean energy technology, or cleantech, star which has taken far longer than expected to deploy its technology on a large scale, despite examples of big deals.

Wall Street Journal: Ivanpah Solar Plant May Be Forced to Shut Down

A federally backed, $2.2 billion solar project in the California desert isn’t producing the electricity it is contractually required to deliver to PG&E Corp., which says the solar plant may be forced to shut down if it doesn’t receive a break Thursday from state regulators.

MIT Technology Review: How Old Is Too Old for a Nuclear Reactor?

As the...climate summit in Paris...moved from rosy exhortations by world leaders to the gritty, behind-closed-doors business of crafting an international agreement on limiting emissions of greenhouse gases, one theme...emerged: it is now broadly acknowledged that any path forward must include nuclear power.

The International Energy Agency says that worldwide nuclear capacity must more than double by 2050 in order to help limit global warming to 2° C, the target set by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to avert catastrophic consequences. As of late 2015, a total of 66 reactors [were] under construction worldwide, the highest number in 25 years. (There are 437 civilian nuclear reactors operating worldwide, according to the World Nuclear Association.)

Unfortunately, in the U.S. the nuclear industry is headed in the other direction.

CB Insights: The Top 100 Venture Capitalists

[CB Insights] started working with The New York Times in late 2015 to identify and rank the top 100 venture capital professionals using the CB Insights Investor Mosaic algorithm.

It is a purely data-driven/algorithmic ranking that uses CB Insights data. We’d gathered this data via our machine-learning technology (dubbed The Cruncher) as well as via several thousand direct submissions from firms and individual professionals using The Editor.

Here are the top 100.