Written by Prognog Staff   

Solar Energy Applied Materials, Inc.,  a worldwide leader in equipment and services for manufacturing semiconductors and flat panel displays, today launched its strategy to enter the rapidly growing solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment market as announced in a recent press release from the company.

Applied Materials will work towards building both tools and technology in an effort to improve the efficiency of PV panels while reducing the cost for consumers utilizing solar energy.  "The solar industry has reached the inflection point that Applied Materials has been waiting for, as solar customers seek economies of scale with suppliers who can better meet their needs for global support and who can provide advanced systems that meet technology, throughput, quality and yield goals," said Mike Splinter, president and CEO. "We plan to change the cost equation for solar power through adaptation of our existing technology and new innovation in order to help make solar a more meaningful contributor to the global energy supply."

Read more: Applied Material to Enter Solar Market
Written by Prognog Staff    Wind Turbine
A recent report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) claims that wind energy in the U.S. is now over 10,000MW. This level of production creates enough energy to power around 2.5 million households.  The number is expected to rise to 15,000MW by the end of 2007 and 25,000 megawatts by 2010.

Additionally, the cost of producing wind energy, coupled with Federal tax credits, has made this renewable resource more attractive. The cost of wind production varies from 4-7 cents/kWh and is couples with a 1.9 cents/kWh federal production tax credit (PTC). This price is slighter greater than coal at around 3 cents/kWh, but comparable to gas powered plants. The PTC expires in 2007, but proponents of wind energy are hoping to convince Congress to extend the useful credit.
Read more: Wind Energy at over 10,000 Megawatts
Written by Prognog Staff    Partnering with the University of California, GE Energy is set to investigate the impact higher levels of intermittent renewable power generation, such as wind energy, will have on California's power grid.

Financing the project will be the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research program (PIER). The goals in the study include ensuring grid reliability and quality and accommodating emerging markets for renewable generation, including both wind and solar energy.
Read more: GE Energy Researches Wind Power
Written by Prognog Staff   
Cornell Capital Partners plans to invest $150 million in cleantech and renewable energy companies worldwide over the next 12 months, according to Mark Angelo, Cornell's Portfolio Manager.

Cornell provides funding to cleantech and renewable energy sector companies to assist with R&D, to commercialize new technologies, and to grow organically or by acquisition. Cornell is willing to commit funds to help businesses in the sector become more mature and price competitive.

In the last seven months, Cornell has committed more than $30 million in financing XsunX ($7,850,000), McKenzie Bay International Ltd. ($5,000,000), GreenShift ($6,000,000), Barnabus Energy ($15,000,000), and NewGen Technologies ($5,000,000).

"With the announcement to invest $150 million over the next 12 months, it is an indication of Cornell's commitment to the sector," said David Ratzker, Cornell's Vice President of Corporate Finance. "The Power-Gen conference is a great opportunity to meet with companies, which have the ambition we are looking for to make this sector a lasting success."

Founded in 2001, Cornell works closely with management to design custom-tailored, alternative financing structures that meet each individual company's capital needs and corporate goals.
Written by Prognog Staff   
Solar Car
The Pacific Gas and Electric Company Solar Schools Program, now in its third year, provides funding to support public schools in underserved communities in northern and central California.

In 2006, up to $1.7 million in grants will be awarded to support the involvement of eligible schools for:
Read more: PG&E Provides Solar Power Grants
Written by Prognog Staff   

The National Ag Energy Working Group, sponsored by the Energy Future Coalition, wants agriculture to provide 25 percent of domestic energy by the year 2025 -- "25 by '25." But achieving the goal will depend on government support for biofuel research.

It is clear that agriculture will help push the United States toward energy independence, but alternative and renewable energy sources requires financial support from the public and the government, according to energy experts.

The government needs to allow the market and individuals to make energy decisions. It should eliminate subsidies and allow all types of energy to compete on the same level, he said in a telephone interview.

Read more: Biodiesel Needs Financial Support
Written by Prognog Staff   

Ethanol Pump
Ethanol Pump
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today announced that the U.S. ethanol industry set annual production records in 2005. During this time, it has produced just under 4 billion gallons (3.904 billion gallons) and averaging nearly 255,000 barrels of ethanol production daily, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The month of December also set production and demand records. Ethanol production in December rose 5,000 b/d from the previous month to 280,000 b/d. Demand skyrocketed to 310,000 b/d, breaking the old record of 297,000 b/d.

For more information, visit the Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.ethanolRFA.org.

Written by Prognog Staff   

Solar PanelThe Palo Alto Research Center has recently announced a collaboration with SolFocus, Inc. to produce a low-cost solar energy systems, which will employ PARC technology to cut the cost of solar power by as much as half.

The new technology found in PARC's solar cells feature a reliance on mirrors and lenses to better direct or "focus" the sun's light on to the area of active semiconductor PV cell material. This new research helps to eliminate one of the most expensive aspects of PV energy, that of the silicon or other simiconductor material. More information can be found on www.parc.com.

Written by Prognog Staff   

Amory Lovins, co-founder of the environemental think tank Rocky Mountain Institute, provides some ideas and proffers his thoughts on several energy topics such as hydrogen, wind, life without oil and a host of other topics.

Lovins has co-authored a fascinating book on similar ideas called Natural Capitalism. This book explores how leading-edge companies are practicing "a new type of industrialism" that is more efficient and profitable while saving the environment and creating jobs.

You can read the complete article at Discover Magazine.


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