Other than our own stories, here are 8 notable cleantech business and product stories:
1. Gamesa Opens 6th Factory in China
Gamesa, a large wind turbine company from Spain, has opened its 6th wind turbine factory in China now. Ad it’s already got some deals lined up: “It will provide 48 MW to Datang in Liaoning in 2012. In recent months, Gamesa has also signed deals to deliver 348 MW to three leading local power companies, including the first G97-2.0 MW to be sold in China” In total, Gamesa has over 1,000 MW of production capacity in China now.
2. Energy Audit Software Company Stepping Forward
A startup company focused on making energy audits much easier and quicker (which would help to improve the energy efficiency of many more buildings), Retroficiency, recently announced that it has raised a few million in series A funding to boost its software and sales. From CNET:
Retroficiency’s software draws on a database of about 10,000 energy audits to quickly create a snapshot of a building’s energy use. Energy auditors or facility managers fill out a survey with data such as the age of the building, hours it’s occupied, and utility bills to generate the profile. That replaces a process of spending weeks or even months to measure heating and cooling data and enter that into energy models, said founder and CEO Bennett Fisher, who previously worked in commercial real estate.
“Once you give us 10 data points, we can infer very accurately all the minutia that you don’t want to collect manually,” he said. “In 10 minutes, we can be more than 90 percent accurate.”
3. Econet Solar Home Power Station Launched in Africa
From the news release:
Econet Solar, a company which designs and sells a range of solar-powered electronic and lighting products, today unveiled the Home Power Station, a revolutionary, standalone electricity solution designed for those in areas where there is no access to the grid or a source of sustainable, reliable power – around 70% of Africa.
The first generation of Econet Solar’s new product will provide lighting, and power to charge cell phones, on a pre-paid basis, using the same systems and in the same way airtime is purchased for mobile phones. This mechanism removes the requirement for high upfront costs which have until now prevented hundreds of millions of people across Africa benefiting from solar powered lighting systems in their home. 96% of mobile subscriptions in Africa are on a pre-paid/pay as you go basis, a payment method with which African people are familiar.
4. Delorean Electric Vehicle Takes One Step Forward
Epic Electric Vehicles and DeLorean Motor Company, Inc. teamed up to create a “new lightweight resin infused composite body for the new DMCEV.”
“It was important for the DMCEV to not just have an advanced drivetrain but to also decrease the weight and improve the safety of these new vehicles,” said DeLorean CEO Stephen Wynne. “We had aggressive targets for this new body structure and Epic EV exceeded those by a wide margin. We can’t wait to provide our customers with new DMCEV’s that utilize this new advanced composites technology and the fact that the original DeLorean cars can also be retrofitted with this new composite body structure further broadens the appeal.”
5. Offshore Wind First in Sweden
GE (NYSE: GE) and Göteborg Energi have started installing the first 4.1-113 Offshore Turbine in the Gothenburg harbour, the two companies announced at the European Wind Energy Association’s EWEA Offshore 2011 in Amsterdam. The new turbine will produce enough electricity to supply 3,000 Swedish homes per year and reduces 15,000 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to the emissions of 7,500 cars per year.
This project marks the first commercial application of GE’s 4.1-113 technology, which was introduced in March of this year at EWEA’s 2011 conference in Brussels. The four megawatt-class wind turbine is designed to bring a new level of reliability to the offshore wind industry.
6. IKEA Adds 3 More EV Charging Stations in San Diego
IKEA continues its implementation of cleantech projects. On Tuesday, the company announced that it had plugged in 3 Blink Pedestal electric vehicle charging stations at its San Diego store in coordination with ECOtality. “This initiative represents the third such project for IKEA in the United States. Installation also is planned at six other IKEA stores in the Western U.S. To charge an EV at IKEA San Diego, drivers pull into a designated parking spot, swipe their Blink InCard (RFID card), plug the charger into the EV, and then shop and eat at their leisure in the IKEA store while the vehicle is charging. Drivers can get a Blink InCard at www.blinknetwork.com.”
7. ABB Installs EV Fast Chargers at BP Stations
ABB, a leading power and technology automation company, is installing EV fast chargers at some BP stationsin the Netherlands. “ABB recently deployed the first two direct current (DC) Terra systems in the central city of Utrecht…. Another charger will be installed at a BP service station in Rotterdam in December, with two more to follow at locations to be identified early next year…. ABB’s Terra stations can recharge an EV battery in as little as 15 to 30 minutes.”
8. French Firms to Participate in DESERTEC
The humongous, potentially half a trillion dollar DESERTEC project is looking more and more like it will actually get built. Recent news is that France is getting involved more. “[In November], an agreement was signed in Brussels for greater cooperation between German and French firms in the project to produce solar and wind power in northern Africa for export to Europe.”