On Monday, Michael Graham Richard at TreeHugger told us that Toyota was boosting production of the Prius by 70% next year. This follows on the footsteps of Ford announcing plans to nix production of trucks in North America and retool factories to make smaller cars typically sold in Europe. The thing to note about such commitments is that they have to be anchored in pretty credible forecasts. It’s one thing for pundits on CNBC to tell you where they think the price of oil is going based on a 20-day moving average. It’s quite another for a global business that’s known to need about three years to respond to shifts in consumer tastes to announce it’s seriously getting into small and hybrid cars, and putting capital behind it. On Tuesday, Katie Fehrenbacher at Earth2Tech showed us why cleantech investors love and back Obama. Interesting analysis but cleantech investors should keep one thing in mind: Obama is from a coal state (Illinois) and McCain is from a state that could become a major solar player in America (Arizona). On Wednesday, Keith Johnson at the WSJ’s Environmental Capital reported that Senate had again rejected tax breaks for renewable energy. Check in on Monday to find out why that might not be the end of the world. On Thursday, MIT News informed us that a major discovery from…well…MIT scientists would unleash a solar revolution. Large-scale energy storage to make renewable power dispachable is undoubtedly the next frontier that, if reached, will allow alt energy to grow to the next level. This is good news indeed. On Friday, Sam Abuelsamid at AutoBlog Green reported that Ford didn’t see plug-in hybrids for another five years. San Francisco certainly wants to make sure it doesn’t miss out when this happens. Expect battery technologies to receive a lot of attention in the next few years. The Week In Cleantech is a collection of our favorite stories from the past week generated by our Cleantech News service. Register your site with us if you want your articles to appear here.
I was slightly disappointed with the Nocera approach for splitting oxygen from water because they made no effort on the hydrogen side which up until now required platinum, making it unlikely to be an economically viable global solution. Thankfully, however, there are other promising developments on that side as well: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/321/5889/671
Why so skeptical about Obama and cleantech, Charles? You must have missed my analysis of the candidates on Clean Energy while studying for finals.
It’s the contrarian in me I suppose. When I see people flocking at something, I can’t help but want to say something to cool them off.
Well, he’s certainly not Gaia’s gift to humankind, but he’s the best option we in the US have had in a very long time.