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Hi, all.  If you’ve stumbled upon this site now, please note we’ve moved to www.svmgreenbits.com.  We’re still sharing our favorite green news with you every day, so please check us out at our new home.


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As sponsor of MIT’s Clean Energy Prize, a new national student competition designed to stimulate clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship, we get to work with the winners to help them position and promote their technologies. Last week, the top five finalists were announced: Husk Insulation (University of Michigan); Process Water Absorbers (MIT); Troy Research Corporation (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute); Sun Point (MIT and Yale); and Levant Power (MIT). SVM is looking forward to helping them bring their innovations to market in the months ahead.


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Forrester Research predicts that the green IT services market could grow by as much as 60 percent per year into 2013, when it will peak at $4.8 billion before leveling off.

According to a report issued by Forrester analyst Chris Mines on April 24th, businesses are deploying sustainability metrics around criteria such as water and power use, and are also starting to track their corporate carbon footprint. Many enterprises are looking to IT services firms to help plan and implement green IT initiatives, and while the global recession is putting a squeeze on IT spending, it also is persuading corporations to optimize their existing IT assets rather than buy new ones, and is fueling the federal government’s drive to fund green projects.

According to an article in eWeek by Jeffrey Burt, there were some positive and negative factors that went into calculating the latest projections. The global recession is expected to cause worldwide IT spending to shrink by 3 percent this year over 2008—with IT services and outsourcing spending falling along the same lines. In addition, the recession’s negative impact on corporate capital spending convinced Mine to reduce the average spend on a green IT project’s implementation phase from about $1 million to $800,000, reflecting the interest by businesses to optimize existing IT assets rather than buy new ones.

Read Jeffrey Burt’s article at http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Green-IT/Green-IT-Service-Market-to-Grow-to-48-Billion-in-2013-Forrester-587606/

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Google’s environmental efforts just got a little bit greener – and a whole lot cuter – over the weekend, when the company announced that it has hired a herd of goats to maintain its fields. That’s right, the company is bringing in 200 goats to clear weeds and brush from its property. According to Google real estate director Dan Hoffman, such a low-carbon approach to property maintenance aligns witb Google’s environmental philosophy, and delivers some side benefits as well – “It costs us about the same as moving, and goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers.”


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This week Gizmodo highlighted ten green technologies that can help boost the value of your home, while reducing your energy bills. Among those featured was GreenSwitch, which uses wireless technology to help reduce the power consumption in homes and offices by eliminating the drain of unused electricity caused by unattended climate control, forgotten lights and “phantom power” (the energy that appliances draw when they’re not in use, but still plugged in) —saving hundreds of dollars on electricity bills and greatly reducing energy use (GreenSwitch claims a savings of 20-35% for the average home).

According to the company web site, 1.32 lbs of carbon dioxide are generated for each kilowatt hour of electricity produced and the average home uses almost 12,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The claim is that by reducing the amount of electricity you use by 20%, each household can reduce 3,168 lbs of carbon dioxide. With 111 million homes in the U.S. alone, the potential impact seems staggering.

Among GreenSwitch’s biggest fans is Ed Begley Jr., a.k.a. the greenest man in Hollywood, who was also featured on Oprah this week. While many celebrities support green initiatives, Ed may be one of the few celebrities to truly walk the walk, going so far as to peddle his energy-generating bicycle for ten minutes every morning to make toast. Many (including his wife) may consider the degree to which he has taken his green lifestyle a little extreme, but you can’t help but admire his commitment (albeit an obsession) to living green and using his celebrity to inspire others to ask themselves, “What changes am I willing to make?”

Read Gizmodo’s “Green Tech Upgrades That Boost Home Values and Reduce Bills” post : http://gizmodo.com/5233176/green-tech-upgrades-that-boost-home-values-and-reduce-bills?skyline=true&s=x or watch the “Living with Ed” TV series on HGTV: http://www.livingwithed.net/ to learn about other green technologies you can implement to green your home.

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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.


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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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