Economic conditions have not favored cleantech companies intending to launch Initial Public Offerings on Nasdaq this year. But those that have gone public, and those registered but still waiting in the wings, point to uncertainties in the clean energy industry.

An Ernst & Young’s report, Global IPO Trends 2011, showed that there were 150 companies in the US that had filed S1 forms for their initial public offering this year, the highest level since 2007, which would raise around $40 billion. Small high-tech and energy companies were behind this trend, it said. Keep reading →

In a world of heightened tension between Democrats and Republicans intensified by a seemingly endless fiscal crisis, the Solyndra bankruptcy has been a crisis of its time, prompting shock and escalating rounds of blame.

Republicans blame the Obama administration for heavy government spending and fiscal imprudence while Democrats point out that it was in fact the Bush administration that initially singled Solyndra out for government financing. Caught in the scapegoating is a saturated solar manufacturing sector that is struggling to stay afloat as prices for PV panels drop and renewable tax credits run out at the end of the year. Read more on renewable energy financing: After Solyndra: Renewable Energy Financing 3.0. Keep reading →

US demand for wind, solar and other renewables jumped in the last 12 months in response to falling installation costs, government incentives, and mandates from states for the adoption of increasing proportions of renewables in the energy mix.

While these top picks for renewables development do no necessarily reflect amount of projects or dollars invested, they give a sense of where the renewables sector is headed. Keep reading →

In the current contentious Congress, with the budget ax looming over everyone’s sacred cows, the lawmakers considered most influential in energy are not from the most populous states, or even those most endowed with energy resources. The list doesn’t include anyone from Texas or Louisiana, for instance, home to the Gulf energy powerhouse. All but one are from states ranging from 35th to 47th in population.

The most influential lawmakers who emerged from conversations with Washington insiders are mostly from states with long histories of economic dependence on the federal government, including energy programs. Keep reading →

A technology that gets a lot of hype–and federal US dollars–but produced only about 0.1% of the world’s electricity in 2010, solar has become the planting ground for young entrepreneurs hoping to make the technology more affordable and more attractive to consumers.

Some have devised unique financing plans, while others have simply attached panels to personal devices like motorcycles and boats. Keep reading →

A major challenge facing research and development of renewable energy technologies is securing funding for risky new ventures.

Solar, wind, biofuels, and other firms have been turning to increasingly innovative financial mechanisms to raise funds from persistently risk-averse lenders. While some of these efforts have borne fruit, not all companies have managed to convince the market that financing their projects is worthwhile. Keep reading →

The Marcellus Shale has generated superlatives from all sides of the debate on shale-gas development.

For the booming industry, the massive natural gas play, stretching from New York to Virginia, is a “game changer” that will reduce US dependence on imported oil, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and generate thousands of jobs. Keep reading →

Less than 16,000 battery electric vehicles and 2,000 plug-in hybrids were produced last year, according to IMS Research. But that figure will soar to 16 million by 2021, thanks in part to government initiatives driving innovation in motor manufacturing.

President Barack Obama wants to see 1 million electric vehicles on US roads by 2015, and his administration has implemented proposals for the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE standards) of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Keep reading →

As the deadline for breaking ground on projects with loan guarantee applications from the Department of Energy’s Loans Program Office (LPO) approaches, there has been a rush of announcements on finalized agreements and conditional commitments over the past few months.

Section 1705 was a temporary program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 designed to give loan guarantees for renewable energy, power transmission and biofuels projects that start construction by the end of September 2011. Keep reading →

Although venture capitalists have taken a battering in the renewables sector, as seen in the sorry Solyndra saga, investors continue to see value in smart grid investments, biofuels and electric vehicles.

But the stakes are usually high, the capital costs expensive and the path to profit unclear in uncertain political and economic times in the US. But the gains for the US economy are clear. Keep reading →

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