Tag Archives: renewable energy

The Global Gala: On the Green Carpet

Acknowledgement and awards, help great green ideas keep going!  The Global Green Award helps companies like Go Electric move forward.

IN2 is positioned to help companies think about their end customer, providing technical assistance that leverages the capabilities, facilities, equipment, and expertise that exist at National Renewable Energy Lab – NREL New ideas receive a helping hand from an Incubator: As one of 20 current IN2 portfolio companies, Go Electric received financial support and access to NREL’s facilities and staff.

“We wanted NREL to validate the capabilities of our energy resiliency system because it had a technology aspect we didn’t think anybody had demonstrated,” Laughner said. “They confirmed that we have unique microgrid technology. Working with the engineers at NREL was brilliant. That was great for us to better understand their world.”

Go Electric builds energy resiliency systems that keep a facility running if the electric grid goes out during an extreme weather event, for example, Laughner said. “We can link the energy assets at a facility — including renewables, like solar or wind — to keep it seamlessly operating in a microgrid. That in turn allows the facility to continue to support its local community during grid outages.”

Laughner and her two partners founded Go Electric in 2011. Today, the company has a staff of 27 and has expanded beyond its Anderson, Indiana, headquarters to open additional offices in Honolulu and Brooklyn, New York.

Go Electric has now entered the second phase of the IN2 program where it is planning to deploy one of its systems at a Wells Fargo branch. Making it “real” by getting out in the community is a big step. BEST WISHES to GO ELECTRIC!

Wells Fargo Adds 10 Clean-Tech Startups to Innovation Incubator

This WF program helps advance energy efficiency for commercial buildings by providing startups with cash grants and in-kind resources to accelerate innovative clean technologies

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) today announced it has selected the third round of clean technology startup companies to join the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a five-year, $10 million program which helps advance energy efficiency by accelerating sustainable commercial-building technologies. The 10 early-stage companies in Round 3 will each receive up to $250,000 in cash and in-kind technical assistance to advance their technologies and an opportunity to beta test within Wells Fargo’s real estate footprint. Launched in 2014, IN2 is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The 10 early-stage companies include a diverse mix of technologies designed to advance energy and water efficiency through HVAC system innovation, building management and controls software, advanced lighting, water-data technologies and more. They join 10 other companies selected for IN2 in prior rounds, bringing the total to 20 early stage companies now participating in the highly selective program.

In addition to receiving non-dilutive funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation, IN2 participants receive financial and technical consultation from a network of experts, as well as research and testing support at NREL’s world-class facility in Golden, Colo. Clean-tech startups participating in IN2 will have their technologies validated at NREL’s facilities, and many will follow the lab validation with beta testing at select Wells Fargo locations. The real-world beta testing is a signature component of the IN2 program and an important validation exercise for startups to learn how their technologies will perform and integrate with other systems.

As an organization managing nearly 100 million square feet of real estate, we know that efficiency matters, and we are pleased that our efforts to build and foster an ecosystem that accelerates the commercialization of clean technologies for commercial buildings is bearing fruit,” said Ashley Grosh, vice president and IN2 co-lead for Wells Fargo. “Companies from rounds one and two have achieved significant milestones on their way to the commercial marketplace. We are pleased to add this third round of innovators to IN2 and expect the momentum we’ve seen to date continue across the program.”

The 10 clean technology startups joining Round 3 of the IN2 program are:

  • Transformative Wave: (Kent, Wash/Boulder, Colo.) HVAC, light, and battery storage retrofit kit for commercial buildings
  • Software Motor Corporation: (Sunnyvale, Calif.) Super high-efficiency Internet-enabled motor for HVAC applications
  • PowerFlex Systems: (Los Altos, Calif.) Adaptive EV charging network for demand response and renewable integration
  • simuwatt®: (Boulder, Colo.) Rapid energy auditing software and platform
  • Maalka: (New York, N.Y.) Open modeling platform for managing large scale building sustainability initiatives
  • Geli: (San Francisco, Calif.) Software platform to design, automate, and manage energy storage systems
  • APANA: (Bellingham, Wash.) C&II smart water management systems using IoT and prescriptive analytics
  • EdgePower: (Aspen, Colo.) Cloud-hosted energy simulation application for analyzing and enhancing building performance
  • Ibis Networks: (Honolulu, Hawaii) Plug load management for the enterprise
  • J2 Innovations: (Chino, Calif.) Building automation and operating system for connecting and controlling devices

IN2 continues to attract high quality applicants and companies, and is proving out the model that we had envisioned; participating companies have been acquired by successful clean-technology corporations, received follow-on funding, and beta demonstrations are underway within the program,” said Richard Adams, Director of NREL’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. “We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to advance these early stage technologies as well as to offer real-world test conditions in order to optimize their potential for success in the market.”

The IN2 program is part of Wells Fargo’s 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Commitments, which include commitments to accelerate the transition to a lower carbon economy and provide $65 million to environmentally-focused nonprofits and innovative projects that are delivering social, economic and environmental impact. IN2 would not be possible without the collaboration and partnership of its 44 Channel Partners across the U.S., which include universities, business plan competitions and other clean technology accelerators. These Channel Partners provide a pipeline of early stage, high quality startup company referrals to IN2.

Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator Channel Partners include:

  • ACRE |Urban Future Lab / Powerbridge
    NYU Tandon School of Engineering | Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) | Washington, D.C.
  • Cal-Tech, Flow Program | Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Carnegie Mellon University | Pittsburgh, Penn.
  • Case Western Reserve University | Cleveland, Ohio
  • Clean Energy Trust | Chicago, Ill.
  • Cleantech Group | San Francisco. Calif.
  • Cleantech Open | Redwood City, Calif.
  • Coachella Valley Economic Partnership | Palm Springs, Calif.
  • Colorado State University Energy Institute | Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Energy Excelerator | Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Fraunhofer CSE TechBridge Program | Boston, Mass.
  • Green Town Labs | Boston, Mass.
  • Imagine H20, Inc. | San Francisco, Calif.
  • Innosphere | Denver, Colo.
  • Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator | Los Angeles, Calif.
  • MassChallenge | Boston, Mass.
  • MIT Energy Club | Cambridge, Mass.
  • Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) Institute | Boston, Mass.
  • NextEnergy Center | Detroit, Mich.
  • Northwestern University | Evanston, Ill.
  • Oregon BEST | Portland, Ore.
  • Portland State University | Portland, Ore.
  • Prospect SV | San Jose, Calif.
  • Purdue University | West Lafayette, Ind.
  • Rice University Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship | Houston, Texas
  • Stanford, TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy | Stanford, Calif.
  • Sustainable Startups | Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Telluride Venture Accelerator | Telluride, Colo.
  • Texas A&M University, Research Valley Partnership | College Station, Texas
  • Texas State University | San Marcos, Texas
  • The Water Council | Milwaukee, Wis.
  • UC Berkeley, Cleantech 2 Market (C2M)| Berkeley, Calif.
  • UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center (EEC) | Davis, Calif.
  • UC Irvine | Irvine, Calif.
  • UC San Diego | San Diego, Calif.
  • University of Colorado | Boulder, Colo.
  • University of Denver | Denver, Colo.
  • University of Michigan | Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • UNC Charlotte | Charlotte, N.C.
  • UT Austin, Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) | Austin, Texas
  • UT Austin, McCombs Business School Texas Venture Labs| Austin, Texas
  • University of Washington Foster School of Business | Seattle, Wash.
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison | Madison, Wis.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. In 2015, Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 16,300 nonprofits, ranking No. 3 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s rankings of the top corporate cash philanthropists. Wells Fargo team members volunteered 1.86 million hours in 2015, serving more than 40,000 nonprofits. Wells Fargo’s corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on three priorities: economic empowerment in underserved communities, environmental sustainability, and advancing diversity and social inclusion. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Capitalism vs. Climate in Perspective— Thoughts on Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything

BERKELEY, CA—January 19, 2015 – Naomi Klein’s remarkable book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Simon & Schuster, 2014) is a deeply insightful and unflinching look at the global threats posed by climate change, environmental devastation, and economic injustice.

Klein offers up a new framework for understanding the economic and political roadblocks preventing progress on climate protection and social justice. She does not, however, offer a “one-size-fits-all” solution that will work everywhere around the world.

Instead, she points to tactics—like building broad domestic coalitions with strong global ties to Progressive forces abroad—that could lead to the creation of diverse global solutions. Klein’s solutions are best suited to the U.S. and other advanced economies and thus don’t seem to grapple with the problems of burgeoning global population, oil-producing Middle Eastern dictatorships, volatile impoverished nations like Pakistan, and rapidly developing, coal-reliant economic powerhouses like India and China.

Population, half-hearted conservation, increasing consumption and cow farts – all big contributors to Climate Change. What are YOU gonna do about it? How about a victory garden, car-sharing, a vegan meal or two and working from your home? Some of us can do this! Start with our own efforts, that should come first. –the editor

Today’s economic and climate challenges represent a unique “climate moment,” Klein says, and we must seize it in order to implement sweeping new economic and environmental policies for reorienting humanity’s relationship to the natural resources that sustain life on Earth. This Changes Everything is at its core as much about the redistribution of wealth and power on a planetary scale as well as about the ecocide we’re committing in assailing the climate.

Klein thus argues that we must make a revolutionary shift from an unsustainable economic model based on resource extraction and the exploitation of people to a relationship of interconnection and reciprocity with the natural world. Easier said than done.

To bring this about, we have to build a broad social movement, she declares. It needs to be founded on basic moral values and ecological principles, rather than those of unfettered free enterprise, profit maximization, and perpetual economic growth. The steps on the path to creating this movement, however, are never clearly laid out.

False Ideology and The Policies It Vindicates

The current climate impasse, Klein says, stems from acceding to the fundamentalist free-market capitalism paradigm, a false ideology rife with deep contradictions.It rests on a counterfactual belief in infinite growth and on the tenets of minimalist passive governance, hostility to regulation, and aversion to public sector investment. Their free-market worldview, she believes, has brought us over the edge of disaster to the brink of catastrophic climate change.

Commonsense responses to the climate crisis have been blocked, she tells us, by multinational corporations and other vested interests, especially large energy corporations. So, a core battle of ideas must be fought and won to de-legitimize them and their policies before effective massive action to take on global warming can succeed. That means supplanting the free-market paradigm of resource extraction and perpetual growth with a more sustainable model based on resource stewardship and regeneration. But to do that, you need a broad popular movement to curb the influence of corporate money and oligarchic wealth in politics and to force government to regulate corporations and invest in a far-reaching economic transformation.

Once you postulate a powerful social movement in the service of climate protection and social justice, the rest of Klein’s long-term agenda begins to seem more feasible, although it ultimately requires a major economic restructuring, lifestyle changes, and a political transformation, as well as policies aimed at reducing consumption—a politically taboo subject. Klein’s solutions also require long-term energy and economic planning with an emphasis on the kind of decentralized renewable energy production that has proven so successful for many farmers and ranchers in Western Europe and the U.S., plus investments in energy efficiency and electric vehicles.

She envisions an expansion of the public safety net, carbon taxes, and greater support for infrastructure, including mass transit with electric trains powered by renewable energy. As Klein understands, entrenched vested interests will fight these reforms tooth and claw.

Building a Mass Movement

Advocacy of job-creating public investment could indeed serve as a nucleus around which a broadly based social movement could begin to coalesce, but whether it could be induced to embrace Klein’s larger agenda is unclear.

This movement would likely first be dominated by “bread-and-butter” issues. Then smart leadership would need to weave climate concerns into core demands for jobs, higher wages, less inequality, and a better environment. The broad movement could flourish through the implementation of a “Marshall Plan for the Earth,” to which Klein makes a couple of references.

Where Power Ultimately Resides

Klein has great faith in the activism of indigenous people to block fossil fuel development and inspire broader public opposition. She evidently sees these and other local “pockets of resistance” to fossil fuel encroachment as the yeast from which the broad social movement will arise. Here her argument may be more a leap of faith.

These local communities trying to block resource extraction projects don’t have the power to change the U.S. tax code or alter national spending priorities or ram big, New Deal-like social programs through a recalcitrant Congress, all of which must eventually be done to protect the climate.

Yet their isolated pitched battles may be like sparks awakening the conscience of a nation, particularly youth and those who live in the urban population centers where political power is concentrated and middle class movements are likely to arise. In any case, brilliant as it is, This Changes Everything never fully explains the step-wise process by which the seeds of resistance are transformed into that vitally necessary mass climate movement so key to Klein’s vision. Klein seems to believe that like lightning striking a mixture of amino acids in a beaker, the recurrence of ever-more serious climate-related disasters will catalyze the creation of the movement. But even huge disasters like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina have not yet done so, though they have already clobbered tens of millions of people. If a truly colossal disaster on a gargantuan scale is required to finally empower such a movement, it may by then be too late.

John J. Berger, PhD. (www.johnjberger.com) is an energy and environmental policy specialist who has produced ten books on climate, energy, and natural resource topics. He is the author of Climate Peril: The Intelligent Reader’s Guide to Understanding the Climate Crisis and Climate Myths: The Campaign Against Climate Science

Follow John J. Berger on Twitter: www.twitter.com/johnjberger

**Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book, review written  by John J. Berger © 2015

Power-One Renewable Energy Business moves to the ABB name

2014-05-05 – ABB will unveil the solar industry’s most comprehensive value proposition at key trade fairs

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced today that the Power-One Renewable Energy Business will transition to the ABB brand in May 2014 as part of the planned integration of its Power-One acquisition. As a result, the ABB brand will represent the most comprehensive solar value proposition on the market today and one of the industry’s broadest inverter product portfolios.

ABB acquired Power-One, the world’s second largest manufacturer of photovoltaic inverters, in July 2013. The entire current Power-One Renewable Energy product offering, including all its product names, such as UNO, TRIO and ULTRA, will remain intact under the ABB brand, and all of its product certifications in all countries will remain valid.

In addition to maintaining its current solar offering, ABB will continue developing state-of-the art inverter, monitoring and integrated energy storage solutions to fulfill the growing global demand for solar solutions.

“By transitioning Power-One’s Renewable Energy business to the ABB brand, we will be able to take full advantage of the combination of these two companies. We will have one of the most comprehensive solar inverter offerings under one brand, meeting customers’ needs across all key segments – utility, commercial and residential,” said Pekka Tiitinen, head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division.

“Solar is an important and rapidly growing part of our global energy mix, and ABB remains confident about the continued importance of this segment,” said Otto Preiss, head of ABB’s Power Conversion business unit. “ABB’s position in solar is built on a combination of leading technologies, customer intimacy, and a unique knowledge of local grids. By transitioning the Power-One Renewable Energy business under the ABB brand, it will allow us to focus on and invest in one strong and powerful brand around the world.”

Alex Levran, Manager Product Group Solar in ABB’s Power Conversion business unit, added “Combining our shared passion for technology with ABB’s financial stability and global reach is going to create a great growth story. And ABB’s reputation for quality and service will ensure that our customers continue receiving world class care.”

The unified Power-One and ABB solar inverter product offering will be on display together for the first time at a number of the solar industry’s highest profile trade events, including Solar Expo (Milan on May 7-9), Intersolar (Munich on June 4-6), PV America (Boston on June 23-25) and Intersolar North America (San Francisco on July 8-10).

About Power-One

Power-One, a leading provider of renewable energy and energy efficient power conversion and power management solutions and the world’s second largest manufacturer of photovoltaic inverters, was acquired by ABB in July 2013. The company is headquartered in Camarillo, CA, USA and has global sales offices, manufacturing, and R&D operations in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

As announced on April 28, 2014, Bel Fuse Inc. has agreed to buy Power-One’s Power Solutions business from ABB. The sale is subject to customary regulatory clearance and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

About ABB   ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.

 

Craig Shields, Physicist, Author of Books on Renewable Energy

I hope this email finds you well. I would like to introduce our client Mr. Craig Shields, a physics major with a 25-year career as a business consultant to the Fortune 100 in the renewable energy field. Craig is the author of three best selling books on renewable energy:

Renewable Energy – Facts and Fantasies (2010) – Craig explores the tough realities that our civilization faces in the migration away from fossil fuels.

Is Renewable Really Doable? (2012) is a deeper dive into the imperative to move to clean energy, as well as the challenges we face in the process.

Renewable Energy – Following the Money (2013) – Craig has been hard at work bringing together cleantech entrepreneurs with sources of investment capital, including angels, venture capitalists, high-net-worth individuals, family offices, corporate venture teams, and institutional investors.

Earlier this year, Craig consummated a deal between an Asian industrial giant and a small manufacturer of light-duty electric trucks. In addition, he has gained considerable traction in arranging investments in several other early-stage companies in wind, concentrated solar power, biomass, energy storage, eco-friendly building materials, and sustainable agriculture.

In Craig’s own words:  Several important trends currently affect billions of people, e.g., climate change, ocean acidification, water and food shortages, skyrocketing rates of disease, deforestation, loss of biodiversity – and they all stem from the thoughtless and wasteful ways in which humankind generates and consumes energy. The future will be written by people like you and me who share a level of compassion for humankind and who work hard on its behalf.

Craig is in an ideal position to educate people on the practical issues that we face in terms of clean energy, efficiency, conservation, electric transportation, and smart-grid. To this end, he is a frequent guest of radio and television hosts, as well as a speaker at conferences and college classes on environmental studies and sustainability.