A Round-Up of Alternative Energy News

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Here is a round-up of some news and information I have come across in my readings: Venture Capital in Alternative Energy Rob May at CleanTechVC made a great post about venture capital investments in energy technologies.Here are some excerpts from his post:

  • US energy technology VC investments are at $1.7B so far in 2006 compare this with $0.9B for all of 2005
  • solar tech has received more than 10% of all energy technology VC investments so far this year. Interestingly, while investments in fuel cell technology have been generally flat or dropping over the past year, battery-related investments have been growing very quickly.
  • ethanol-related VC investments have received more than $400mm, or just about one quarter of all energy tech investment
  • other fuels-related investment areas biodiesel, fuels-related biotech, and new drive train technologies have collectively received less than $100mm so far this year. Such investments clearly are not receiving the same level of attention in the rush to invest in ethanol-related opportunities.

New Materials in the Solar Industry Tyler Hamilton at Clean Break points us to an article at News.com about change in materials in solar industry. Today, 90% of solar panels today are made from crystalline silicon. A group of new companies, (NanoSolar, HelioVolt, and Miasoleccount) believe that CIGS-based (copper indium gallium selenide) thin film cells cost less to produce and are easier to install. I could not find any of the companies mentioned as being publicly traded yet but they certainly deserve being watched. Texas Invests 10 Billion in Wind Power Clean Edge has a press release of 10 Billion Wind Energy Partnership. Very interesting and encouraging but I must say the press release was thin on details of how the money would be spent. There was a statement in there that reads “over the next 20 years”. By averaging this out , this would be approximately 500 million a year. No small amount. A couple of interesting tidbits from that release:

  • Texas has abundant wind energy, particularly in West Texas and along the gulf cost.
  • earlier this summer Texas surpassed California as the nation’s leader in wind generation capacity

Energy Conversion Devices Review at Motley Fool A couple of weeks back, The Motley Fool did had a critical article about Energy Conversion Devices, ENER. Stehpen Ellis, the author gives Energy Conversion devices a 1 out of 6 for execution in market areas outlined in 2001. He backs up his view with revenue and income numbers which is always a plus. Battery-Powered Harley TreeHugger has short piece on an electric Harley. The bike goes up to 60 miles powered by a huge, 560 pound battery and has a side car which holds a battery-recharging biodiesel generator. Yeah, it’s big but technology has to start somewhere. Getting the size of the battery and side car down will certainly improve efficiency. Carl Vogel of Vogelbilt has said he would like to start producing electric motorcycles by 2007.

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