Green

On the GreenBeat: PlugShare app finds car chargers, Suntech beats First Solar in panel production

Here’s the latest action we’re following today on the GreenBeat:

Transphorm unveils first product — The company unstealthed last month with $38 million backing from investors like Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, showing off technology that can save energy losses that happen when power is converted from one form to another (which happens in almost everything that uses electricity). It announced its first product today, power diodes based on its gallium nitride technology, which promises to cut energy waste by 20 percent. Transphorm is targeting markets in motor drives and solar inverters and hopes to one day make a solution that will create more efficient electric and hybrid cars.

App locates electric car chargers — Xatori has released the PlugShare iPhone app, which allows electric car owners to search for electric car charging stations. While electric carmakers like Nissan also offer charge-finding apps, this app is unique in that it allows people to share their own outlets with other electric car drivers.

First Solar no longer top panel maker — First Solar is king no more in solar panel production, at least for now. Chinese solar panel maker Suntech likely beat its 2010 production with 1.5 gigawatts of modules shipped, compared to First Solar’s 1.4 gigawatt (which still represented a nearly 30 percent increase from sales the year prior), according to Forbes. Suntech could pose a threat to First Solar in the future as it continues to cut costs and increase efficiency.

Here Enterprises may buy Texas solar firm — Renewable energy developer Here Enterprises is in talks to acquire an unnamed Texas solar firm, according to the San Antonio Business Journal. It is currently developing the Cycle Ranch wind energy project near San Antonio.

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