A Round-Up of Alternative Energy News

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...

Kerry’s High-Wattage Energy Plan

BusinessWeek.com discusses John Kerry's plan to increase alternative energy usage for the country. John Kerry's blueprint for energy independence doesn't suffer from lack of ambition. In early August, he'll unveil an energy plan that he says can break America's addiction to foreign oil, revitalize the U.S. auto industry, help farmers and coal miners, fight global warming, and create jobs all for just $2 billion per year. "We can live in an America that is energy independent," Kerry promises.

Chrysler, Ford Boost Investment in Fuel-Cell Maker (Update4)

Bloomberg.com has the following article on Ballard Power (BLDP) DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford Motor Co. agreed to invest $100 million in Ballard Power Systems Inc., the biggest maker of fuel cells for automobiles, and restructure their alliance with the money-losing company to speed up development of the alternative energy devices. In the article there is an interesting quote from Ballard's CEO. "We think we have a line of sight now to a commercial product in the early part of the next decade... There no question that fuel cells will replace piston engines."

Ford Research Vehicle Points the Way Towards Viable Fuel Cell Technology

Ford engineers have equipped the Ford Focus C-MAX with a prototype hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2 ICE). The vehicle was unveiled on July 12th at the Research Conference of the German Car Manufacturer Association (VDA) in Stuttgart, which was attended by the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The Ford fuel cell team has been using the Ballard Power (BLDP) fuel cell stacks for their line of fuel cell cars.

Hydrogenics Signs New Agreement With John Deere to Advance the Commercialization of Fuel Cells

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that it has entered into a five-year agreement with Deere & Company (DE) to continue research and development efforts in the use of hydrogen and fuel cells in commercial vehicles. The five-year agreement incorporates both qualitative and quantitative commitments, and builds on the success of earlier joint projects involving the integration of Hydrogenics' HyPM(TM) fuel cell power module technology into Deere vehicles.

Western GeoPower Project Moves Ahead

Western GeoPower Corp (WGPWF) has received approval to start drilling on their new Geothermal energy operation facility at South Meager in Canada. This new facility could amount to over 100 MW capacity. GeoPower expects to have the South Meager plant ready for commercial generation by mid-2007.

Sumitomo Corporation Obtains Approval for Hydrogen Storage System Built by QTWW

Sumitomo Corporation has announced that is has obtained Japan's first certification for a 700-bar (10,000psi) pressurized hydrogen storage system for fuel cell vehicles in collaboration with Suzuki in July 2004. The hydrogen storage system that Sumitomo is using is produced by Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW). This is the third country where Quantum hydrogen storage system has been approved for use.

Biological Drive: One man’s quest to put corn in your car

AutoWeek has an article about one man's quest to travel the entire United States using anything but gasoline to power his variety of alternative fuel vehicles. Featured are bio-diesel Hummers and RVs, a solar-powered canoe, and an poop-powered scooter

GE expects $1 billion a year in solar sales

Citing recent success in alternative power, GE Energy, a subsidiary of General Electric Co (GE) is hoping to boost its solar energy sales to $1 billion annually by the end of the decade, the head of GE's solar business said.

Ballard Power Posts Narrower Loss in 2Q

Ballard Power (BLDP) has announced that second-quarter losses narrowed year-over-year to post better-than-expected results, but revenue declined across many business segments on lower volumes and decreased demand. Revenue fell to $21.2 million from $29.1 million for the same period in 2003, primarily due to lower product revenue as a result of completing deliveries of heavy-duty bus engines to the European Fuel Cell Bus Project in 2003. The significant decline in engineering service revenue in the latest quarter was due to the development phase of the current generation light-duty fuel cell engine program nearing completion and the next generation...

Ford to test Fuel Cell vehicles in October

Ford Motor Co. will begin testing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in October in California, Florida, Michigan and British Columbia, Canada, the firm said yesterday.

Honda to Launch New Fuel Cell Car in N. America Late 2004

Japan's Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it will start sales of a fuel cell vehicle equipped with a cell stack capable of operating at subzero temperatures in North America in the second half of this year. The Honda fuel cells utilize the Ballard Power (BLDP) fuel cell stacks for their fuel cell equipped vehicles.

$18.4 Million Funding Round Positions PolyFuel for Portable Fuel Cell Market Launch

PolyFuel announced additional funding for their portable fuel cell technology. They are currently a privately held company backed by several venture capital firms. I'm keeping this company on my radar screen because these venture firms will eventually want to take this company public. Here is an excerpt from this most recent PR announcement. Click the link to read the full press release. PolyFuel, Inc., the world leader in membrane technology for portable fuel cells, today announced it has closed an $18.4 million, third round of funding, bringing total investment in the 5-year-old startup to approximately $40 million....

IdaTech Signs Italian Agent for Fuel Cell Systems

IDACORP (IDA) is a holding company that has businesses in electrical generation, financial services, and telecommunications services. The IdaTech division that focuses on production of fuel cell systems has recently signed an Italian firm to represent them in the Italian market. Press Release Monday June 28, 8:00 am ET IdaTech has entered into an agency agreement with Italian energy engineering firm, RENCO S.p.A (RENCO) for the market development and distribution of IdaTech's fuel cell systems and hydrogen generation products. IDA is a well run utility paying a 4% dividend. They have recently crossed back over their...

Vectrix Fuel Cell Scooter Debut

Vectrix debut their fuel-cell-equipped prototype at the Fuel Cell Seminar in Miami Beach, Fla. in November of this year. They plan to bring this new scooter to market by 2006. Vectrix is 50% owned by Parker Hannifin Corp (PH). Hannifin provides the compressor that is twice as efficient and twice as durable as competing technologies. Parker Hannifin engineers say that it could serve as a cathode air compressor or as a hydrogen recirculation pump on all kinds of fuel cells, both in vehicles and stationary power applications. They are also utilizing battery technology...

China’s First Auto Works Chooses Enova for Hybrid Drive Systems

Enova Systems Inc (ENVA)announced today that it has entered into a development and sales agreement with China's First Auto Works (FAW) for parallel hybrid drive systems for their hybrid buses. FAW signed a two-phase development agreement with Enova for hybrid-electric motors and power controllers for its newest hybrid buses. Enova is working with both FAW and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) of Texas to integrate and validate the new Enova parallel hybrid drive system for these buses.