TechJournal South Header

Posts Tagged ‘clean energy’

Where to get a green job (infographic)

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Where are the most green jobs? Believe it or not, Los Angeles and New York City hire the most workers in environmentally friendly jobs.

MastersDegree.net offers this infographic to help you scout the landscape for green jobs and where to get one:

Home Solar Power Discounts – One Block Off the Grid

Durham, NC-based Semprius heats up with $20M for solar tech

Friday, June 24th, 2011

SempriusDURHAM, NC -With oil prices high, government support for alternative energy projects and investors hot for companies with advance solar technologies, a Durham, NC firm has nabbed substantial new venture backing. Semprius, the Durham, NC-based company with a proprietary technology for printing semiconductors on glass, plastic or other materials for use in solar panels, has raised $20 million of an offering targeted at $30 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Investors in the firm include Durham’s Intersouth Partners, Austin’s Arch Venture Partners, Chicago’s Illinois Ventures, CA-based Applied Ventures, and Tokyo-based Global Venture Partners.

Semprius develops novel technology for the manufacture of advanced semiconductor devices. This technology enables “point-of-use electronics,” greatly broadening the options available to designers of advanced electronic devices. Semprius presented at TechMedia’s 2010 Southeast Venture Conference.

For many existing designs, the technology can enable a manufacturing process that is faster and far less expensive.  It is ideal for multiple markets and applications, the company says, including solar modules, electronic displays and wireless devices.

Increased solar tax credits help Georgia clean energy industry

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Georgia Solar Energy AssociationATLANTA – With the signature of Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia’s solar energy tax credit is increasing to $5 million annually in 2012, 2013 and 2014 from the current $2.5 millionyearly limit. The new law, which the General Assembly approved last month, helps ensure that the vibrant solar energy industry in Georgia continues to thrive, creating jobs and new investment opportunities statewide, says the Georgia Solar Energy Association.

Businesses are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in tax credits to offset the cost of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generating systems, and homeowners are eligible to receive up to $10,500 in tax credits for residential solar energy systems.

The tax credits must be taken over four years.  If the $5 million ceiling is reached in any year, eligible taxpayers on a waiting list will have priority over taxpayers that apply for the credits in subsequent years.   The Georgia Department of Revenue will determine other administrative details about the tax credits.

Georgia Solar Energy Association (GSEA) board member and Advocacy & Education Committee Chair Greg Chafee, head of the Energy Practice at Morris Manning & Martin, said Governor Deal’s leadership made a crucial difference in creating the new solar investment opportunity.

“Thanks to support from Governor Deal, Senate Floor Leader Ronnie Chance (R-Peachtree City), and Representative David Knight, (R-Griffin) Chairman of the Special Committee on Small Business Development and Job Creation, a robust solar energy industry in Georgia will generate employment, improve and diversify our energy infrastructure, and bring the latest in technological innovation to the state,” Chafee said.

Anthony Coker, Senior Director for Suniva, Inc., and Vice-Chairman of GSEA, said the increased solar tax credits will help Georgia compete in the economic development market with a meaningful ripple effect on the state’s economy.

GSEA board member Sylvia Minton, senior vice president for Mage Solar, a German solar manufacturer with a production facility in Dublin, Ga., Board Member James Marlow, CEO of Radiance Solar, and GSEA State Program Director Joy Kramer attended the signing ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol.

In 2010, clean energy tax credits totaling almost $2 million were awarded to 47 solar PV projects and 90 solar water heating installations in Georgia.

The tax credits helped to develop major new solar energy projects including:

  • Choate Construction Company Headquarters Building, Atlanta, 74 KW capacity, designed and built by Empower Energy Technology, Atlanta, $575,000 pre-incentive value.
  • White Oak Pastures, Bluffton, Ga., beef processing facility, 50,000-watt capacity, $326,000 pre-incentive value, designed and built by Hannah Solar, Atlanta.
  • Persimmon Creek Vineyards, sustainable winery in Clayton, GA, solar array designed and built by Radiance Solar, Atlanta.

 

TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:

SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org

Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com

Digital East: www.digitaleast.com

Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com

SC Launch investing in 3 client companies

Monday, May 9th, 2011

SC LaunchSC Launch, an SCRA affiliate, today announced that three client companies will receive investments in undisclosed amounts for their continuing projects. Greenville-based Dannar, Columbia-based Senex Biotechnology and Charleston-based Madeira Therapeutics will each receive SC Launch funds after presentation to and subsequent approval by the SC Launch Board of Directors.

Based in Greenville, SC and developed by Gary Dannar, Dannar’s technology offers hybrid/battery-electric systems to reduce emissions in transportation vehicles. The Dannar – Mobile PowerStation (MPS) is a leading edge OEM of purpose built vehicles for the government roadside and “Right-of-Way” management market.

A company formed by recently-named USC Endowed Chair Dr. Igor Roninson and Dr. Lawrence Friedhoff, Senex Biotechnology develops novel therapeutics for the treatment of major diseases. Target technologies include the treatment of cancer, viral diseases and age-related diseases by targeting damage-inducible signal transduction pathways involved in cellular aging.

Located in Charleston, SC, Madeira Therapeutics was founded to develop new pharmaceutical products for unmet medical needs in the pediatric population. Currently the FDA does not run separate clinical trials for pediatric applications; doctors simply apply adult approved drugs at smaller doses for children. Madeira Therapeutics strives to ensure drug safety and efficiency for intended patients in the pediatric setting.

 

TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:

SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org

Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com

Digital East: www.digitaleast.com

Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com

Maryland waste-to-energy firm Fiberight opens $15M offering

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Landfill

Fiberight's technology converts solid wastes to biofuel

CANTONSVILLE, MD – Fiberight, a company that converts waste fibers into biofuel, has opened a $15 million equity offering, according to a regulatory filing.

The company, which has operations in Virginia and an ethanol plant in Blairstown, Iowa, has a technology that converts waste fibers to biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol. Its Iowa plant has a six million gallon a year capacity.

This is the third financing for a company that turns waste into biofuels that we’ve reported in a month. Investors obviously see turning solid wastes into biofuels as an opportunity.

Fiberight takes the non-recyclable components of municipal solid and industrial waste and produces biofuel using a highly cost effective biochemical and enzymatic process involving digestion and fermentation.

The company says its technology has the potential to unlock the 85 gallons of biofuel contained in every ton of non-recycled trash.  Its technology can be scaled to turn the 170 million tons of excess trash generated each year in the US — contaminated paper, food wastes, yard discards and other organic degradeables — into over 10 billion gallons of renewable biofuel that will providing an important source of cellulosic ethanol to meet federal mandates.

The company landed a $2.9 million grant from the Iowa Power Fund Board in 2010.

Venture funding falls 31 percent in third quarter

Friday, October 15th, 2010

NVCANEW YORK – Venture capitalists invested 31 percent fewer dollars in companies during the third quarter of 2010 compared to the second quarter, with the number of deals falling 19 percent, according to the MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data provided byThomson Reuters.

At TechJournal South, we have noticed a distinct drop in the number of funding deals in the Southeast. Unless the trend changes between now and the end of the year, we suspect the numbers could be worse for the fourth quarter.

Venture capitalists invested $4.8 billion in 780 deals in the third quarter of 2010. The decrease in dollars invested was in large part due to the absence of large rounds in the Clean Technology sector, which drove last quarter’s higher investment levels. Yet with few exceptions, investment in all industry sectors slowed this quarter.

Still, venture investors continued to invest more into first-time deals versus follow-on rounds, the report says. That’s a good trend, because during the recession, many VC firms keep dry powder for follow-on rounds in their portfolio companies and reduced the number of their new investments.

“While overall funding in traditionally strong sectors like Life Sciences and popular Clean Technology were down, Biotechnology continued to bring in significant funding while Software took the lead as the top generator of VC dollars in Q3,” said Tracy T. Lefteroff, global managing partner of the venture capital practice at PwC. “Compared to the third quarter of 2009, investing remained relatively flat; however, despite declines for the quarter, funding remains on course to pass investment levels of 2009.”

Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA, looked for positive signs in the third quarter numbers.

“Despite investment declines, there are reassuring signs of stability in the third quarternumbers,” he said. “While the burgeoning clean
technology industry will experience significant investment volatility as the sector matures, the established software and life sciences sectors continue to benefit from a steady commitment of venture capital dollars being put to work within meaningful pockets of innovation.”

He added, “Cloud computing, social media and security continue to show tremendous promise on the IT side while medical advances abound in biotechnology and medical device fields. But what is even more reassuring is that first time financings are holding strong, evidencing that venture investors are making a steady stream of new bets and filling the innovation pipeline, driving our industry and our future economy.”

Industrywise, software regained its position as the number one sector for investment with $1 billion going into 190 rounds. Even that is a 13 percent decrease in dollars and a 21 percent decline in deal volume from the second quarter.

The Biotechnology industry received the second highest level of funding for all industries in the quarter with $944 million going into 108 deals. This level of investment represents a 32 percent decrease in dollars and a 29 percent decrease in deals.

The Clean Technology sector, which crosses traditional MoneyTree industries andcomprises alternative energy, pollution and recycling, power supplies and conservation, saw a 59 percent decrease in dollars to $625 million compared to the second quarter
when venture capitalists invested $1.5 billion. The number of Clean Technology deals completed in the third quarter also declined by 26 percent to 58 deals compared with 78 deals in the second quarter.

For the complete data, including regional breakdowns see the NVCA site.

Breakthrough: see-thru solar window can generate electricity

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Solar cellsBURTONSVILLE, MD – Things are looking electric for New Energy Technologies Inc. (OTCBB:NENE). The company says that researchers developing its proprietary SolarWindow technology have achieved major scientific and technical breakthroughs, allowing it to unveil a working prototype of the world’s first-ever glass window capable of generating electricity in the upcoming weeks.

“We’re always keen to see innovations in our laboratories turn into meaningful commercial products”

Until now, solar panels have remained opaque, with the prospect of creating a see-thru glass window capable of generating electricity limited by the use of metals and various expensive processes which block visibility and prevent light from passing through glass surfaces.

The technology makes use of an organic solar array, which has the same desirable electrical properties as silicon, yet has a considerably better capacity to ‘optically absorb’ photons from light to generate electricity and achieves transparency through the innovative use of conducting polymers.

New Energy’s ability to generate electricity on see-thru glass is made possible by making use of the world’s smallest working organic solar cells, developed by Dr. Xiaomei Jiang at the University of South Florida.

Unlike conventional solar systems, New Energy’s solar cells generate electricity from both natural and artificial light sources, outperforming today’s commercial solar and thin-film technologies by as much as 10-fold.

Electricity generating road system

The University of South Florida Research Foundation has licensed Dr. Xiaomei Jiang’s groundbreaking discovery and important commercial processes and applications to New Energy Solar Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Energy Technologie.

New Energy also has a roadway system for generating electricity under development.

It works by capturing the kinetic energy produced by moving vehicles – a patent-pending technology, the subject of nine patent applications in the United States and two international patent filings. An estimated 250 million registered vehicles drive more than six billion miles on America’s roadways, every day; and

Orange peels, newspapers may lead to cheaper ethanol

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
Henry Daniell

Professor Henry Daniell

ORLANDO, FL -Scientists may have just made the breakthrough of a lifetime, turning discarded fruit peels and other throwaways into cheap, clean fuel to power the world’s vehicles.

University of Central Florida professor Henry Daniell has developed a groundbreaking way to produce ethanol from waste products such as orange peels and newspapers. His approach is greener and less expensive than the current methods available to run vehicles on cleaner fuel — and his goal is to relegate gasoline to a secondary fuel.

Daniell’s breakthrough can be applied to several non-food products throughout the United States, including sugarcane, switchgrass and straw.

Could be a turning point

“This could be a turning point where vehicles could use this fuel as the norm for protecting our air and environment for future generations,”
he said.

Daniell’s technique uses plant-derived enzyme cocktails to break down orange peels and other waste materials into sugar, which is then fermented into ethanol.

The most popular source used now is corn starch, which is fermented and converted into ethanol. But ethanol derived from corn produces more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline does. Ethanol created using Daniell’s approach produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline or electricity.

Tobacco plants provide cheaper enzymes

There’s also an abundance of waste products that could be used without reducing the world’s food supply or driving up food prices. In Florida alone, discarded orange peels could create about 200 million gallons of ethanol each year, Daniell said.

More research is needed before Daniell’s findings, published this month in the highly regarded Plant Biotechnology Journal, can move from his laboratory to the market. But the other scientists conducting research in biofuels describes the early results as promising.

Daniell’s team cloned genes from wood-rotting fungi or bacteria and produced enzymes in tobacco plants.  Producing these enzymes in tobacco instead of manufacturing synthetic versions could reduce the cost of production by a thousand times, which means the cost of making ethanol should be significantly reduced, Daniell said.

Report: U.S. needs to prevent loss of clean energy manufacturing jobs

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States must commit to developing a domestic manufacturing sector capable of meeting heightened demand for the equipment needed by the growing clean energy economy, says a new report.

This is the conclusion of “Winning the Race: How America Can Lead the Global Clean Energy Economy,” a report released today by the Apollo Alliance and Good Jobs First at a Washington, D.C. conference.

The report says that developing such a strategy is key to ensuring that federal clean energy investments create quality, high-paying jobs in the United States.

This would avoid indirectly subsidizing the growth of those activities in low-wage countries such as China that are emerging as key competitors in the race to lead the global clean energy economy, it says.

“The United States is currently importing about 70 percent of its renewable energy systems and components,” said Phil Angelides, chairman of the Apollo Alliance.

“If that trend continues, we stand to lose out on estimated 100,000 clean energy manufacturing jobs by 2015, and nearly 250,000 by 2030. This country needs a comprehensive clean-energy economic development strategy so we can ensure that jobs being created in the clean-energy sector stay in America.”

“The U.S. needs a comprehensive strategy, including safeguards to ensure that increased demand for renewable energy systems doesn’t simply create manufacturing jobs in low-wage havens,” said Good Jobs First Executive Director Greg LeRoy

The report analyzes the recipients of the Recovery Act’s Advanced Energy Tax Credit and found that of the 90 companies that received credits, 23 were also investing in similar production in China, India, Mexico and Malaysia.

Research Director Philip Mattera, who analyzed the 48C recipient list for the report. “But these examples demonstrate that the U.S. share of the global clean energy economy – particularly in manufacturing – is far from guaranteed.”

The report makes a number of recommendations to address the problem.

The full report is available for download at www.apolloalliance.org and at www.goodjobsfirst.org.

Innovative clean energy firms present at SEVC

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association presents the keynote at today's SEVC

TYSONS CORNER, VA – Clean energy firms presented innovative technologies for a revolutionary portable power system, an advanced solar power system that could be incorporated in turf or tents, a way to harness the energy of ocean waves, and the world’s smallest fuel cell, at the Fourth Annual Southeast Venture Conference (SEVC) here Wednesday.

They were among the 27 innovative firms presenting to the assembled entrepreneurs, executives and venture capitalists on the first day of the two-day event. The presentations followd a keynote address by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.

Another 28 companies present to the conference today (Feb. 25) following the morning keynote address by National Venture Capital Association President Mark Heesen and the luncheon keynote by Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf, who is often called “father of the Internet.”

Clean energy was one of the major themes of this year’s companies selected to present.

They included NextGenEn of Columbia, SC, an early-stage clean tech startup developing a solid oxide fuel cell it says will create a revolution in the next generation of portable devices. Its system, an alternative to batteries will offer up to 20 times longer up time from a smaller, lighter source.

The company, which is seeking $850,000 in backing, expects to see revenue by 2014 in what it describes as a $19 billion market.

Columbia Power Technologies of Charlottesville, VA, is developing and commercializing wave energy harvesting devices using off shore, direct-drive permanent magnet generator technology.

Raleigh, NC-based Microcell is developing a novel approach to fuel cell architecture and has already developed a backup power device and has backing from its partnerships with major power companies such as Progress Energy, and companies including Pepco Holdings and a major automotive manufacturer. Older than many of the other presenting companies, Microcell is seeking a large, $25 million investment.

Sestar Technologies of Gainsville, Florida, an early stage company based on technology developed at the University of Florida, is developing flexible polymer photovoltaic (solar) materials. It plans to develop Solarturf, a synthetic grass product laced with PV cells that turns a lawn or highway strip capable of generating environmentally friendly power. It is also developing solar fabrics that can be used in military tents and recreational camping equipment.

Miserware of Blacksburg, Virginia, a Virginia Tech spinout, has developed software that brings intelligent power management to laptops, PCs and servers. The company says its software can significantly reduce energy consumption in data centers, saving up to $200 a year for each.

For more information see: www.seventure.org

Previously on TechJournal South:

MiserWare saves energy, reduces carbon footprint on PCs, servers


Columbia Power Technologies: Wave hello to clean energy

The CURRENT Group generates smarts in electric grids

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

By Allan Maurer

GERMANTOWN, MD – Most of today’s electrical systems have limited intelligence. Utilities usually don’t know your power went out until you call them. That means there is a huge global market for the CURRENT Group’s products.

The CURRENT Group’s Smart Grid solutions add intelligence to the electrical grid, helping utilities deliver power more efficiently and cleaner, says the companys VP of Corporate Development and Strategy, Brendon Herron.

Presenting at SEVC

The 160-employee company has raised an undisclosed amount of backing from marquee investors such as Goldman Sachs, Google, GE, and Liberty Associate Partners. It is one of the 60 intriguing companies presenting at the upcoming Southeast Venture Conference in Tysons Corner, VA, Feb. 24-25 (see: seventure.org for more information).

Herron explains that unlike most industries today, the electric utility industry has been so to adopt sensors and monitoring technologies.

“That’s mostly because they’re a regulated industry, but also because electricity has been cheap and plentiful,” he adds.

It’s also the largest contributor of the carbon contributiong to global warming, accounting for 40 percent.

All utilities will go smart

The need to reduce that carbon footprint and operate more efficiently means that over the next 10 to 15 years, every utility in the world will have a smart grid or be rolling one out, says Herron.

Smart grids, such as the CURRENT Group’s, helpl utilities optimize their systems, protect them from black outs and attacks and reduce their carbon footprint.

Herron says the company is in expansion mode.

The company is already active in the U.S., Asia/Pacific, Europe and Latin America.

We expect that the new $4.5 billion in the American Recovery and Investment Act specifically earmarked for smart grid grants.

The grants, President Obama said, are a way of “Updating the way we get our electricity by starting to build a new smart grid that will save us money, protect our power sources from blackout or attack and delivering clean, alternative forms of energy.”

www.currentgroup.com

MiserWare saves energy, reduces carbon footprint on PCs, servers

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

By Allan Maurer

Kirk Cameron, CEO, founder of MiserWare

BLACKSBURG, VA – By reducing the energy used by servers and computers without shutting them down, MiserWare software can save about $100 a year directly and another $100 on secondary cooling costs per server, says CEO and founder Kirk Cameron. For a data center with 10,000 servers, those savings add up fast, he notes.

Other software power management systems offer energy savings by shutting computers down when they’re not being used. But many data centers operate 24/7 at nearly 100 percent utilitzation.

MiserWare’s patent-pending ISPM technology manages the power consumed by the components (e.g. CPU) inside a server. MiserWare software can deliver 25 percent or more energy savings to your systems without the need to power servers off.

Even fully utilized systems can realize these breakthrough cost savings without compromise to service-levels, throughput, or performance, Cameron tells us.

MiserWare offers two software products, MicroMiser for single systems and ServerMiser ES for enterprise-class network deployments in a data center.

Data centers consume a massive amount of power, from 10 Megawatts to 30 Megawatts. A small to medium-sized conventional power plant generates about 300 MegaWatts, so a single data center can pull 10 percent of its output.

Cameron, a professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg where the technology was developed, says financial services providers encouraged commercialization of the technology and he founded the company in 2007.

The company received more than $600,000 in backing from Valhalla Partners, Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, and D’archAngels, an angel investment group formed by former government security people that gets our vote for the most creatively named such organization.

It is one of 60 innovative firms chosen to present at the upcoming Southeast Venture Conference in Tysons Corner, VA, Feb. 24-25. (See: www.seventure.org for more information).

MiserWare wants to raise about $4 million and may have actually closed the current round by the time it presents at the conference. “But you never know when you’ll need more and the name of the game is connections,” says Cameron.

We’ve been using the free beta version available for download on the Miserware Web site. According to the data box that pops up once it’s installed, I’ll save 157.9 Kilowatt hours yearly, enough to power 21 electric furnices, a refrigerator, and an incandescent bulb for an hour. It will save me about $18.94 on this PC alone. It reduces my carbon footprint by 214.7 pounds, as much as four trees.

According to the company, it will increase battery life on a laptop in addition to its other effects.

We’re going to install it on all our Windows PCs.

You can download the free version here: www.miserware.com