Applied Graphene’s IPO; Zurich Buys $1B Green Bonds; Tesla Fires Probed By NHTSA; Real Goods Solar Raises $20M; 15K New Clean Energy Jobs

Applied Graphene Material’s Oversubscribed $42M IPO

British firm Applied Graphene (AGM.L), a spin out of Durham University, floated its stock on U.K’s AIM index on Wednesday, a sub market of the London Stock Exchange for companies too small to list on the main market, according to CNBC. The stock price debuted at 155.5 pence ($2.52) and closed the week at 472.25 pence ($7.65).

The company found a new way to produce industrial quantities of the new “wonder” material, solving the key challenge to its ability to be commercialized. The company partnered with Proctor & Gamble and Dyson in the research.

Graphene, with its amazing strength and high electrical conductivity, could be used to make lighter aircraft, super-long-lasting batteries, cheaper solar energy panels, semiconductor electronics and sensors. Its made of a single layer of carbon atoms in a repeating pattern of hexagons.

Zurich Buying $1B Green Bonds

Zurich Insurance Group AG, Switzerland’s biggest insurer, will spend $1 billion on green bonds, making it the largest investor in these clean-power securities. BlackRock Inc. will select the green bonds, which are issued by the World Bank and other development institutions, according to BusinessWeek.  Investors use the bonds to finance global expansion of clean energy, which is encouraged by governments. The debt also offers institutional investors an alternative to volatile equities.

Tesla Fires Probed By NHTSA

Tesla’s Model S is being investigated by U.S. auto regulators in what could become the possible precursor to a recall, according to Bloomberg. However, last week Elon Musk assured investors, “there’s definitely not going to be a recall.”  The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the probe in a website posting, saying it would look into the fire risks from the cars’ undercarriages striking objects.

More than 19,000 Model S sedans are currently on the road. Two of the three recent fires occurred in the U.S. when cars ran over metal objects, which punctured the cars’ lithium-ion battery packs. Tesla said it plans to update the software in its suspension to allow greater ground clearance at highway speeds. Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, is skeptical about Musk’s defense that Model S catches fire less often than gasoline-powered cars.  “While only three Tesla fires have occurred, that’s three more than I’m aware of for the Nissan Leaf, which has sold in greater numbers while being on the market longer,” he said, adding that the NHTSA will be determining if there is an inherent design flaw in the Tesla’s battery pack that makes it more prone to fires than other EVs.

Real Goods Solar Raises $20 Million in Stock

Real Goods Solar Inc. (RSOL) has raised $20 million from the sale of 5.9 million units of common stock and warrants for stock sold at $3.41 per unit. The Louisville-based residential and commercial solar installer will use the money to boost its sales and development capabilities, according to its press release.  The warrants are good for 5-1/2 years. The company will realize about $18.4 million from the sale after costs are deducted. Cowen and Company acted as the sole book-running manager for the offering.

15,000 New Clean Jobs Possible

More than 80 clean energy and transportation projects were announced in the third quarter of this year, which together could create more than 15,000 jobs in the US, according to a report from the nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).  Some 30 states in industries including renewable and solar power generation, recycling, clean-energy related manufacturing, and biofuels will benefit from strong state-level renewable energy policies. The wind industry will see slower job growth, as federal policy related to turbines will soon expire. California and Nevada led the country for clean energy and clean transportation job announcements, and several Southeastern states, including South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida, were among the top 10 states for job announcements tracked by E2.

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