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Archive for the ‘GREEN GOVERNMENT’ Category

With so much else going on, it’s easy to overlook how much the Obama administration has done to support greentech in its first 100 days in office. The president’s proposed budget includes grants for clean power, tax credits for solar, wind, geothermal and energy efficiency programs, smart grid funding, weatherization programs and a new tax credit for cleantech hardware manufacturing. The Department of Transportation has raised fuel efficiency standards for the first time in almost three decades, and the EPA issued a groundbreaking ruling that may allow the agency to regulate carbon emissions. The president has also set a goal of creating 3 million green collar jobs as part of his plan to increase the country’s renewable energy production.

All this, plus the new vegetable garden in the White House backyard. It’s quite an impressive start.

http://earth2tech.com/2009/04/29/obamas-100-days-the-10-greenest-acts/

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A little more than a month after his task force told him it would take a year to get a proposed high-risk, $415 million clean energy research program up and running, Energy Secretary Steven Chu is proceeding with plans to launch the so-called Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, in half a year or less.

ARPA-E, which was created in 2007 but left unfunded until this year, will be accepting concept papers between May 12th and June 2nd for innovative green technology ideas that it may be interested in funding. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application for consideration.

According to an article by Josie Garthwaite at earth2tech, ARPA-E is particularly interested in ideas and technologies that could reduce dependency on oil imports, improve energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or give the U.S. an edge in deployment of energy technologies — areas where many capital-intensive cleantech startups struggle to find financing for critical phases of development or commercialization.

“Only truly transformational technologies that can contribute greatly to the ARPA-E’s Mission Areas have any chance of funding,” the agency says in its solicitation. “We are not looking for incremental progress on current technologies.”
Getting in on the ARPA-E program will mean more than cash— the agency said that it will also work with teams to develop intellectual property and technical data strategies, as well as a procurement or financial assistance instrument to help manage risk once government funding for a project runs out.

At least the ball’s finally rolling so get those ideas in by June 2nd!

Read Josie’s article at: http://earth2tech.com/2009/04/27/how-to-get-doe-cash-for-your-high-risk-green-technology/

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No doubt in recognition of Earth Day, InfoWorld today released its annual Green 15 list, which recognizes sustainable IT efforts from organizations in every industry that reduce costs and help improve the bottom line. There are big and small names on the list, which runs the gamut from Aramark, GlaxoSmithKline and Intel, to Niagara Catholic School District, Burt’s Bees, and the U.S. Postal Service.

What is particularly cool about the list’s introduction is the author’s note on the intersection between eco-friendly green, and that other kind of green that we as educated, altruistic consumers like to think we never take into consideration when making a personal purchase decision. He quite correctly notes that businesses with green tech initiatives are “realizing gains in efficiency, productivity, and cost-savings,” and that these benefits are the overriding drivers behind a large number of green IT projects – oftentimes more important than environmental intentions.

But what’s so bad about that? No matter the reason, a green IT project that produces a healthier planet and a healthier bottom line is a win for everyone. And as long as the perception of green still equals expense at this stage of the game, the intentions still matter less than the result.

http://www.infoworld.com/d/green-it/green-it-leaders-2009-050?source=NLC-DAILY

Check out the U.S. Postal Service project in particular – these guys are smart! We’re still trying to convince the world that we need optimization technology, and they’re already going leaner, meaner, and greener with it.  It’s not often that you find the feds are ahead of the game!
http://www.infoworld.com/d/green-it/us-postal-service-taps-optimization-software-slash-transportation-costs-261

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There’s no denying that green tech has become sort of a buzzword in the industry, but beyond the millions of great ideas, is the reality of turning those ideas into successful business ventures. To address this and the various other issues surrounding the economic implications of clean-energy policies, Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs, enterprise, and innovation in the White House, recently spoke at the Bentley University Leadership Forum.

Tasked with coordinating green job-related initiatives among different government agencies, Jones relayed his message that a “riptide of innovation” was about to flow through the energy industry if President Barack Obama has his way.

In addition to touting the recent stimulus package, Jones indicated that the most promising industries for growth are those at the crossroads of information technology and energy technology.

“Five to 10 years from now, the people making the most money are the people who figure how to store those clean electrons and move them around the country,” Jones said.

To read more about Jones’ speech, check out the CNET News article at: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10220936-54.html.

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As the concept of environmental responsibility reaches a critical mass, the venture capital community appears to be following suit. According to findings from the Venture Capital Association, clean technology emerged as the fastest growing area for venture capital investment last year. The 54% rise to $4.1 billion in clean technology investment towers over the $444 million raised just four years ago.

This increased venture capital interest, combined with a $787 billion United States economic stimulus plan featuring considerable incentives for green initiatives, has environmental-focused start-ups clamoring for a piece of the pie.

“You have kind of a perfect storm where you see technology at the point where it can actually be commercialized and the government recognizing the need,” said Emily Mendell in a recent article posted by Reuters. The Venture Capital Association’s vice president of strategic affairs went on to say that, “You have consumers who are ready to embrace the technology. All these things are contributing to an interest in investment.”

To read more about the growth of the clean technology sector, read Deborah Cohen’s article at: http://www.reuters.com/article/deborahCohen/idUSTRE5373IS20090408?sp=true

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The green-tech industry has been somewhat finance-challenged, but last Friday the Department of Energy announced plans to provide the first alternative-energy loan in four years. The DOE plans to give California start-up Solyndra $535 million in loans to design rooftop solar arrays.

According to CNet News writer Martin LaMonica, Energy Secretary Steven Chu has revamped the DOE’s loan-vetting process to break the logjam of these loans, which many high-profile green-tech start-ups such as Tesla Motors and battery maker A123 Systems have applied for. Meanwhile, the government’s economic stimulus plan calls for $1.6 billion for research through the national laboratories and for investments to bulk up and modernize the transmission grid to transport solar and wind power.

Green business people ranging from small start-ups to established wind project developers are spending a lot of time in Washington, D.C. and hiring lobbyists in anticipation of a big inflow of money. This is definitely a promising sign!

Read more at: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10204816-54.html

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