Clean tech

With the absence of an energy discussion in this year’s presidential race, one might think the U.S. faces few, if any, substantive energy problems, or opportunities for that matter. Most energy experts agree that is not the case. Yet what constitutes a problem or an opportunity, is subject to interpretation. Rising gasoline prices, heightening unrest…

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Conversations with analysts and  advocates on both sides of SolarWorld’s anti-dumping suit against China lead me believe the U.S. cannot beat its communist counterparts on cost. What it CAN do is set policies that convince U.S. financiers that solar energy is worth investing in. This way, fresh capital can flow to U.S. companies so they…

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For all the energy challenges facing the U.S. and Congress’ unwillingness to tackle real problems, the Republican-led probe of the Solyndra loan and its grilling of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu Nov. 17 by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation speaks volumes about its misplaced priorities. The $535 million Department of Energy…

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Striving to become U.S. consumers’ “home energy department” store with a “Geek Squad” for energy appliances and software applications, Best Buy Senior Vice President Neil McPhail kicked off the company’s move to become the go-to resource for understanding, controlling and reducing consumption while “maximizing” their lifestyle. Stores in Chicago, Houston and San Francisco are in…

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Led by the University of Maryland and Purdue University, the 2011 version of the U.S. Solar Decathlon demonstrated how high-tech energy and common sense are going mainstream, all while zeroing out electricity consumption from the grid. Every step of the way participating students — and perhaps elected officials — garnered valuable lessons for the U.S….

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From this week’s RETECH conference and expo in Washington, DC, there seem few realistic aspirations for energy, clean tech and other entrepreneurs to protect their intellectual property if manufacturing in China or selling to Chinese markets. It is the 600-pound gorilla at just about every conference gathering with an Chinese dimension to it. While moderating…

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Those two hurdles are on the agenda of just about every utility, vendor and consultant vying to enable the Smart Grid’s potential in the U.S. and to capitalize on its ability to help consumers save energy and understand how much they waste it. But regulators are the gatekeepers and will have the final say. Therein…

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From the successes, hiccups and outright failures of utilities trying to deploy smart grid applications, those worth emulating are few. As previous posts on TheEnergyFix demonstrate, Southern California Edison is widely hailed for rolling out programs that are working. So is Oklahoma Gas & Electric. Another success story to emulate is the “PowerCents DC” effort…

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The closures of two U.S. solar energy pioneers during the past month speak volumes about the high stakes when governments place bets on clean energy start-ups. Evergreen Solar and Solyndra are the latest examples. More are likely to come as the industry endures a shakeout and struggles to find a sustainable path vis a vis…

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