GreenBeat in pictures: John Doerr, Vinod Khosla, and more

VentureBeat held its big cleantech conference this week, GreenBeat 2010, at Stanford University. Our lead green writer, Iris Kuo, has already reviewed one of the conference’s big themes — that data may be the next big wave in cleantech.

EcoFactor impresses judges with smarter thermostat

EcoFactor wants to make your home climate system smarter. The company demonstrated its product at VentureBeat’s GreenBeat conference today, where it was one of the highest ranked among the 10 competing startups (although Redwood Systems beat EcoFactor for the grand prize).

Redwood Systems wins title of most innovative company at GreenBeat 2010

Intelligent lighting system provider Redwood Systems was voted by judges to be the best of 10 companies presenting in the Innovation Competition today at VentureBeat’s cleantech conference, GreenBeat 2010, at Stanford University. Judges have decided that Redwood Systems will have the biggest impact on making more efficient power grids a reality, the main theme of GreenBeat 2010. founder backs Capire Micropower’s engine-on-a-chip

Capire Micropower, a startup that manufactures an engine-on-a-chip power supply, announced today that it has secured angel funding from’s Aaron Patzer and is coming out of stealth mode at VentureBeat’s cleantech conference GreenBeat 2010 at Stanford University.

Cleantech VCs are thinking small

Cleantech has been the industry of big-money investments in ambitious projects, but that may be changing, judging from a venture capital panel at VentureBeat’s GreenBeat conference today.

Startups bet on solar panels on every home and building

Cleantech startups are expecting that the market for distributed solar energy — installing individual solar panels where power is needed — is going to grow as quickly as the personal computer and cellphone markets.

Power Map turns your appliances into Facebook friends

Power Map wants to provide consumers with a way to track the power consumption of their appliances the same way they follow their friends’ shenanigans — through the Internet.

Knowledge base SmartGridView baffles GreenBeat 2010 judges, audience

SmartGridView is marketing itself as a service that brings together experts to discuss intelligent power grids, and packages that knowledge for the rest of the world to see. But the attendees at the GreenBeat 2010 conference in Palo Alto, Calif. weren’t quite sure what the company actually did.

Redwood Systems wants lighting to behave like a broadband network

Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is more power-efficient than your typical incandescent light bulb, but it requires a different type of power setup. That’s where Redwood Systems, a provider of intelligent lighting systems, comes in.

GM exec: Chill, Volts won’t bring down the grid

As electric cars move towards the smart grid, there’s been a lot of worry about the cars overstraining the grid. But at least for now, GM and PG&E are united on the answer: Not a problem, guys.

Facebook friends the environment … or does it?

Facebook announced today it’s going green. The social networking giant unveiled “Green on Facebook,” a site geared toward sharing environmentally-friendly living tips and green content.

Grid Net makes play for U.S. market

Smart grid software platform company Grid Net announced today it will release the second generation of its smart grid operating system, PolicyNet, for the US market.

More trouble for Solyndra as factory closes, layoffs start

Troubled solar panel maker Solyndra has announced it will close its first factory to save $60 million in operating expenses, and will lay off 40 workers just seven weeks after opening its second plant, a $733 million facility.

Panasonic invests $30 million in Tesla

Tesla is getting an infusion of $30 million from Panasonic, a key supplier, as it gears up its new Fremont factory to start production of its Model S sedan.

Smart grid could mean your energy bill goes up

Here’s a novel thought — as homeowners slap solar panels on their rooftops and unplug from the grid, users of traditional energy could see their bills go up.

Investor Vinod Khosla scoffs at smart grid wannabes

Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla continued to warn against the hype around smart grid technologies this afternoon, taking aim at two main targets — consumer technology that he argued isn’t really part of the smart grid and environmentalists, who bring wishful thinking to the smart grid debate.

PG&E exec: Why the smart utility must evolve

As the grid gets smarter, it also gets more demanding of utilities, who will have to work overtime to catch up, according to Kevin Dasso, senior director of transmission and distribution at PG&E.

Could the new GM be a cleantech play?

General Motors announced today it will move forward with a public offering valued at around $13 billion. The company will be selling 365 million shares of common stock between $26 and $29.

9 more startups charging the Super Grid

The super grid, the focus of this week’s GreenBeat 2010 conference, isn’t just the domain of huge companies like GE and Cisco. The opportunities to create a clean, self-healing energy network, dynamically integrate renewable energy and local power sources, and automatically lower electricity demand are so big that startups are finding numerous niches to exploit. Besides the 10 startups presenting at GreenBeat’s Innovation Competition, here are nine more worth watching.

10 startups that could make serious green at GreenBeat 2010

We’re excited to announce the finalists of the GreenBeat 2010 Innovation Competition. VentureBeat and its advisors selected these companies for having the most promising ideas for making the next generation of the smart grid — a bionic upgrade we’re calling the super grid that’s the ultimate marriage of infotech and cleantech — a big business.

Want to hail an electric taxi cab? Head for San Francisco

Urban taxi service may be the equal of any proving-ground torture test. Taxis are driven hard, up to 20 hours a day, and must handle both bad roads and bad drivers. Those that survive without falling apart should do fine in civilian duty.

Meet 26 experts charging the super grid: GreenBeat 2010’s latest speakers

We’ve written a lot about what it will take to transform today’s energy infrastructure into the super grid of tomorrow, from cleaner, cheaper energy sources to smarter networks and support for fleets of electric vehicles. But the ultimate requirement is people. We’ll have to tap our collective brainpower like never before. That’s why VentureBeat is assembling a superstar cast of speakers for our GreenBeat 2010 conference, at the academic powerhouse of Stanford University on November 3 and 4.

32 companies charging the Super Grid now

The super grid, the theme of VentureBeat’s next GreenBeat conference, involves a bewildering array of technologies and companies from industry behemoths like GE and Cisco to disruptive young startups. Together, they’re taking existing efforts to build a smart power grid to the next level. With billions of dollars of untapped potential in the profitable collision of information technology, energy, and cleantech, it’s no wonder so many pioneers are staking out territory.

Use less power at peak, and pay less? Everyone’s jumping in

For the past century, buying electricity from your utility hasn’t changed much. If you pay a monthly bill, and you really don’t care what time of day you use your power. Whether it’s night or day, who cares?  It costs about the same.

The super grid. Coming soon to a power outlet near you

If there is one technology which is truly essential and ubiquitous in our world, it’s electricity. Yet few of us have any idea how the power grid works. That’s going to have to change. Understanding the grid of today is the key to building the grid of tomorrow, a theme which VentureBeat will explore next week at its GreenBeat 2010 conference at Stanford University. The theme: “Charging the Super Grid.”