Here are the top stories we’re following today on the GreenBeat:
Comverge software expands to cars, air conditioning — The company is a top player in demand response, a peak load-reducing program popular among utilities. But it’s expanding its software offerings today to be included in GM’s OnStar vehicle communications system and wireless thermostats that can help manage energy use of air conditioners made by Carrier, CNET reports. Comverge’s IntelliSource software can also now work with OnStar to monitor electric car charging, a hot area that companies like Cisco, Siemens, Silver Spring Networks and Schneider Electric are entering.
Intel and Capgemini debut new home energy offerings — Technology and consulting company Capgemini and Intel announced a new home energy management offering for utility customers that builds on a home energy management display made by Intel. The display and associated services will allow utilities to communicate with residential consumers and roll out demand response programs, in which customers can realize financial incentives by turning down electricity use during peak times.
Alphabet Energy gears for growth — The waste-heat recovery startup has appointed a new vice president of process and manufacturing, Sylvain Muckenhirn, who will lead the scale-up of the company’s prototype technology. Alphabet makes thermoelectric materials, which are essentially semiconductors that can generate electricity from heat. It’s an area with applications in metals refining, cement and glass production and the military. The company has customer delivery targets in 2012 and 2013, has nabbed $1 million in investment from Claremont Creek Ventures and CalCEF Angel Fund and won small innovation research contracts from the U.S. Army, Air Force and Department of Energy.
Mitsubishi to produce 8 electric cars by 2015 — The company plans to produce eight electric car and plug-in hybrid models by mid-2015, according to Greentech Media. It has already released one electric car, the MiEV, in Japan, with plans for a larger version of the car to debut in the U.S. this year. Mitsubishi plans for electrics to comprise 20 percent of its total global shipments by 2020.
Vivent broadens offerings into home energy management — In the latest sign of companies surging into the home energy management space, top home security company Vivent — formerly APX Alarm — is now offering home lighting and appliance controls. The new series of automation and energy controls are designed to go along with its security offerings and allow homeowners to remotely control and monitor their homes via smartphone.
Vestas has cut 2,200 wind jobs — The top Danish wind turbine manufacturer has cut 2,200 jobs so far in a planned lay off of 3,000, Reuters reports. The layoffs will primarily impact its plants in Denmark and Sweden and are in response to overcapacity in Europe.