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2009 Outlook: Green Regs and Sam (Uncle Sam)

First off, apologies for the holiday blogging break which grew into a European-style summer vacation. We say every year that the holidays will slow things down a bit, but as usual there was lots going on despite the economy and more companies shuttering their doors for the holidays than in the past. That said, being busy is a good thing and working in the markets we serve is pretty fun.In any event, we are ...

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Cleantech Investment to Market: “Rumors of My Demise….”

For weeks now we've been hearing doom and gloom about the health of cleantech investing amid the financial services meltdown and how cheap oil and VC turtling would cripple renewable energy. Well yesterday, SunRun, a residential power-purchase agreement (PPA) provider and in full disclosure, a Schwartz client, received $105 million in backing from a banking institution (of all places).And it is not just Sun ...

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Green Euphoria Follows Obama Win; What Does it Mean?

I held off on posting immediately following the election results to avoid letting any excitement or disappointment seep into any analysis of how it impacts green and cleantech public relations and government relations. However, I think it is safe to say that the results mean big things for cleantech companies and the green movement as a whole.Green bloggers everywhere started immediately discussing what an ...

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Green Financing Leverage Shifts Back to VCs, but….

There have been several stories coming out of the Renewable Energy Finance Forum about how VCs are predicting a slow down in green investment. Call me skeptical.I do think that the overall VC dollars will drop, but that will be in part because valuations will temporarily come down as part of the economic environment. I think that green start ups will still get funding and will be giving up the same equity f ...

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Solar Power International Eve: Recessionary Impact on Cleantech

There likely will be a mixed mood when Solar Power International kicks off tomorrow. On the one hand, rejoice at the extesion of the ITC (invetsment tax credits) and PTC (production tax credits). On the other, fear about the impact that a recession and dropping oil prices will have on the economy. VentureBeat does a great job summing it up here.I am an optimistic person to begin with, but I honestly think t ...

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What’s Hot at Solar Power International?

With Solar Power International (formerly known as Solar Power 2008) under one week away, it will be interesting to see what topics take center stage at the event. Here are some quick predictions:-Thin Film: No market has been a bigger investment darling than thin film manufacturing in 2008 and so it is pretty clear that there will be significant attention on emerging players in the market.-Solar Concentrato ...

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Does the End Justify the Means on ITCs?

A lot of folks have been upset with the House of Representatives sudden embrace of fiscal responsibility and as a result, the lack of approval for a Senate bill last week that would have extended the production tax credit and investment tax credit. Now some are grumbling that the inclusion of the ITCs and PTCs in the rescue or bailout bill is also not ideal.So people fall into two camps: those that want a f ...

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Some Thoughts as ITCs get Overshadowed

Some random thoughts heading into the most critical five weeks in the history of wind, biofuels and solar, and by extension, the green PPR sector.-The Senate picked the wrong week to pass an ITC extentsion, as the federal government spends its time focusing on the financial crisis. Hopefully the financial bailout package will be finalized by Sunday and the House will not try to ramrod its own version of the ...

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Some Random Thoughts: Green PR & GoingGreen

Some random thoughts on which I may expand later after digesting the week at GoingGreen:-There is a debate between two camps in solar and other incentive-boosted renewables. One camp says there needs to be a focus on markets with resources (abundant sunlight) and less emphasis on public policy. The other camp thinks that policy is the major issue short and long term. I think they are both right in that even ...

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Elon Musk on Tesla Model S Sedan

Yesterday, Vinod Khosla captivated the GoingGreen audience (the "pin drop" effect) and today it is Elon Musk. He opened his discussion with a quick overview of his new space venture before delving into some Tesla news.He announced that the new Tesla Model S will be manufactured in San Jose with 20,000 units per year rolling out of a $250 million plant starting in late 2010 with chances to expand ( ...

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PG&E: Willing adopter or reluctant participant?

PG&E spoke at yesterday's GoingGreen event and talked a bit about their work in renewables. The speaker didn't take any questions from the audience at the end of the presentation and really just read a laundry list of investments they have made in plants.Now everyone knows that they are mandated to get a certain percentage of energy from renewables, so the traction they have made is not surprising. The ...

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