This Week’s CleanTech Industry News Analysis

U.S- China cooperate on cleantech deals

On Tuesday, the U.S. and China signed eight partnership agreements on climate change at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.  The agreements included sharing research and company partnerships projects on clean coal technologies, carbon capture and energy storage. The agreements are expected to spark wider talks around climate policy cooperation. Click here for more.

Mutual fund managers see “second era” of cleantech investing

Clean energy mutual funds have experienced returns of 42 percent over the past 12 months, according to Lipper, and pulled in $365 million in net new cash from investors. A portfolio manager at Calvert Global Alternative Energy fund says that they are witnessing the “second era” of cleantech investing. Click here for more.

DOE’s new $4B loan program

On July 3, U.S. DOE issued a $4B loan guarantee solicitation for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that “avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gasses.” It identified five key areas of interest: advanced grid integration and storage, drop-in biofuels, waste-to-energy, enhancement of existing hydroelectric facilities, and energy efficiency. Back in April, we detailed the DOE’s revived loan guarantee program.

ARPA-E invests $33M in fuel cell technologies

ARPA-E recently announced $33M in funding to develop fuel cell technologies for low-cost distributed power generation. 13 projects received funding, including three startups based on university breakthroughs: Redox Power Systems (UMaryland), SAFCell (CalTech), and SiEnergy Systems (Harvard). Click here for more.

Meanwhile, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and GM announced a multi-year project to reduce the cost of automotive fuel cells by advancing fuel cell materials and manufacturing technologies. Last year, GM opened a new state-of-the-art Fuel Cell Development Laboratory at GM Powertrain World Headquarters in Pontiac, Michigan. Click here for more.

And Intelligent Energy, a British developer of hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles and consumer electronics that was formed at Loughborough Univeristy, said that its IPO in London on July 4 valued the company at about $1.1B.  It raised $98M through the offering and had previously raised over $150M in venture funding. Click here for more.

New Battery Breakthrough to Help EVs Push Past Range Anxiety Issue

Lexington-MA based CAMX Power, recently spun out of lab-based technology developer TIAX, announced the release of a breakthrough lithium-ion cathode material last week, the CAM-7.2, for use in advanced batteries and is available for licensing. The new materials will help electric vehicles reach the key 200 mile range and add extra run time in portable electronics. CAMX Power is one of the largest independent lithium-ion battery materials and design entities in the US. Click here for more.

U.S. EPA approves new fuels for federal biofuel mandate

The EPA finalized a plan allowing compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas produced using biogas from landfills, manure digesters and sewage treatment plants to qualify as cellulosic biofuel, fuel typically derived from sources like grasses and wood. The approval of new sources of cellulosic biofuels could have an impact on EPA’s final biofuel targets for 2014, expected to be released by September.  Click here for more.

New milestone for biofuels from waste

Over the next 12 months, three plants producing cellulosic ethanol, one of the most heralded of the next generation of biofuels, are set to start production in the U.S. — two are in Iowa: one from Poet, the US ethanol group and Royal DSM, a Dutch biotech company; and one from DuPont, the US chemicals group. Abengoa, the Spanish renewable energy group, plans to open a plant in Kansas soon. Click here for more.

The EPA approved Joule’s first commercial ethanol-producing catalyst, which produces next generation biofuels from industrial waste CO2 and solar energy. This clears the catalyst for commercial use at the company’s demonstration plant in Hobbs, New Mexico and marks the first time that EPA has allowed the commercial use of a modified cyanobacterium. The company has received more than $150M in funding from investors, including Flagship Ventures. Click here for more.

Optimus Technologies first to receive EPA approval on advanced biofuel conversion solution for commercial trucks

Optimus was recently the first to receive U.S. EPA Approval for an advanced biofuel conversion solution for existing medium- and heavy-duty trucks. It is also the first to achieve compliance for use with pure biofuel derived from recycled cooking oil. The solution is based on a combination of Optimus’ Vector bi-fuel (diesel or biofuel) conversion system — hardware and software that bolts-on to existing diesel engines. Click here for more.

New York incentivizes alternative fuel 

On June 19, the New York Assembly voted to pass a bill that aims to amend the state’s tax law to provide tax credits for the production of cellulosic ethanol, densified biofuel and renewable fuel oil. Click here for more.


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