Weekly roundup of other great stories we didn’t cover.
- Similar to Y Combinator but for cleantech, Greenstart is a new “incubator and investment project that is looking to give seed funding and mentorship to the most promising young cleantech startups as they try to perfect their business plans and gain customers,” as GigaOM writes.
- Google Inc and Citigroup Inc announced that they would each invest $55 million into Terra-Gen Power’s 102-megawatt wind power project, Alta IV, in California.
- Upgrading the U.S. electrical grid (making it “smart”) would reportedly cost $476 billion but save $2 trillion in the next 20 years, according to new research by smart grid program manager Matt Wakefield at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
- “Unprotected and crowded spent nuclear fuel pools pose an unacceptable threat to the public,” according to the author of a new report on the matter, “Spent Nuclear Fuel Pools in the U.S.: Reducing the Deadly Risks of Storage.”
- As we previewed early in the week, Japan’s Prime Minister made some big renewable energy announcements at the G8 meeting in France this week, including a plan for Japan to get at least at least 20% of its electricity supply from renewable resources by 2020. “Japan will also aim to cut solar power generation costs to one-third of the current by 2020 and one-sixth by 2030,” Reuters reports. And the country aims to have 10 million solar roofs by 2030.
- In the midst of the WindPower 2011 conference in Anaheim, California this week, Siemens announced “plans for implementation of new wind service warehousing operations in Woodward, Oklahoma.” It will be 64,000 square feet and altogether “will be Siemens’ largest wind power service distribution center to date in the U.S”
- The DOE’s energy blog had an interesting story this week on a research project being conducted y researchers at Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and H-STAR Institute aimed at achieving a “breakthrough” regarding our understanding of “the human behavioral side of energy use” (with the essential goal being finding ways to cut our energy use without reducing our quality of life).
- Toshiba announced this week that it is going to “push to expand sales in renewable energy rather than nuclear,” Business Green reports. This follows announcements that three of the Fukushima nuclear reactors have now suffered meltdown.
- The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced on Monday that it “is taking the first step toward issuing a lease that would authorize the testing of equipment designed to use ocean currents offshore Florida to generate electricity on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).” Sounds like a fun idea.
- It was actually 10 days ago, but just recently got the news that the Wind Technology Testing Center, the first large wind turbine blade facility in the U.S., was recently unveiled by the Department of Energy (DOE). “The Wind Technology Testing Center will help strengthen the role U.S. manufacturers and U.S. workers are playing in the expanding renewable energy industry,” said Secretary Chu. “As the global wind power market expands, this facility will help ensure that the United States has the testing infrastructure needed to lead the world in wind energy technology.”
- The AP reported yesterday that a nuclear power plant in “tornado alley” isn’t fully twister-proof. The reactor is actually the closest nuclear reactor to Joplin, Missouri (where one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history hit on Monday).
- Vaisala announced the release of a new wind measurement system (to help wind energy investors and users) at the WindPower 2011 conference this week. “It allows customers to accurately understand and manage the impact that weather has on their operations and business, and as a result make better decisions,” the company claims.
- A new report from the Global e-Sustainability Initiative shows that the U.S. is falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to cleantech integration. Meanwhile, Darrell Issa, the Republican Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, states that “so-called clean energy” is “not good” for America. Stephen Lacey of Climate Progress discusses the two news items.
- The “world’s largest wind farm” (Shepherds Flat in Oregon) got its first wind turbines from GE recently, it was announced at WindPower 2011 on Monday.
- The $5-billion offshore wind transmission project Google is backing, the Atlantic Wind Connection project, got past a major hurdle this week when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted an acceptable return on equity.
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