Green

On the GreenBeat: Building energy management M&A kicks off with Schneider buys, BYD plans U.S. electric car launch

Here’s some of the latest action we’re following on the GreenBeat today:Energy management firm Schneider buys D5X and Vizelia — Many analysts and venture capitalists are predicting that a hot sector next year in cleantech will be in building controls, but it looks like the game is already afoot: Yesterday, energy management leader Schneider Electric announced that it bought two French energy software firms. D5X makes software that optimizes the use of commercial space, while Vizelia’s software allows for real-time energy monitoring of buildings.

Chinese carmaker BYD to launch an electric car in the U.S. — The Warren Buffet-backed company plans to start test-marketing the e6 next year, according to the Wall Street Journal, and will make it available to buyers by 2012. It is also in talks to supply electric buses and potentially build a manufacturing plant in Los Angeles. BYD’s U.S. electric car plans were delayed a year, and the company¬†reportedly canceled electric car plans in China due to lukewarm sales of its hybrid there — lack of charging infrastructure was partly to blame. BYD has also been stretching itself into product offerings in the home energy efficiency market.

Russia to launch gas-electric hybrid car — Russia’s first gas-electric hybrid car will be called the Yo and get about 67 miles per gallon — better than the Toyota Prius, the New York Times reports. The Yo will be powered by an engine that can burn gasoline or natural gas and is backed solely by Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov, owner of the New Jersey Nets. Prokhorov plans to invest about $200 million into a company called e-Auto to manufacture the Yo.

Solar market may be getting overheated — This year was a good one for solar, with industry-wide capacity doubling, driving up the stocks and forecasts of solar inverter companies like Power-One — and global demand is expected to grow 13 percent next year, the Wall Street Journal writes. But subsidies in the powerhouse market of Germany are cooling off and rising euro-zone bond yields are hurting the economics of solar financing in the region. Solar companies will likely feel a squeeze on margins and pricing next year, the WSJ reports.

Soladigm raises $30 million for self-tinting glass – The company announced its third round of funding today, led by DBL Investors and Nano Dimension. It plans to use the cash to kick its $130 million factory in Mississippi into high-volume production. Soladigm makes energy-efficient glass that can be used to create smart windows that automatically adjust tint throughout the day to reduce glare and cut heating and cooling bills.

[Image via Flickr/electricnude]