Saudi Arabia uses your gas dollars to fund solar energy

Later this year, Saudi Arabia is expected to approve very ambitious plans for a massive array of renewable energy projects. The first installations should be completed next year.

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Despite falling solar prices, experts say U.S. remains “rare bright spot”

Solar panel prices have fallen more than 40 percent this year to $1.30 per watt, well below the high of $3.50 per watt they hit in 2008. But that shouldn’t scare clean technology investors interested in U.S.-based solar providers, where the solar panel market is predicted to double this year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

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Sodium-ion cell maker Aquion Energy raises $20M

Aquion Energy, a maker of sodium-ion batteries that can store large amounts of electricity, has raised $20 million of a roughly $30 million round that includes Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Foundation Capital as investors, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Google report suggests huge payout for clean technology expansion

Aggressive spending and expansion in clean technology would generate 1.1 million new jobs by 2030 and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent, according to a new report by Google. If the U.S. employs more federal mandates and provides funding for clean technology projects, those projects will generate 1.9 million jobs and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent, the report states.

Google drops another $55M on Calif. wind farm

Google has invested $55 million in a wind energy farm in southern California that will generate up to 1,550 megawatts of power — bringing the search giant’s total investments in clean energy up to $400 million.

Are solar panel manufacturing component prices falling fast enough?

The price of polysilicon, a key component in manufacturing solar panels that capture sunlight and convert it to electricity, fell 5.1 percent to $74.4 per kilogram from $78.19 last month. Still, the decline is smaller than expected and the current prices could hurt profit margins for solar panel manufacturers that rely on crystalline silicon panels.

First Solar nears U.S. DOE loan guarantees, but is it enough?

First Solar is getting closer to securing loan guarantees for three solar panel plants that would add 1,300 megawatts of power worth of clean energy to the United States — a critical step in shoring up the potentially threatened American solar panel manufacturing industry.

GE to build cheaper thin-film solar panel plant in U.S.

General Electric has finished acquiring thin-film solar panel maker PrimeStar Solar and will build a 400-megawatt thin-film solar panel manufacturing plant in the U.S., the company announced today.

Update: Ice Energy raises a cool $24 million

Shortly after announcing a $4.5 million infusion of cash from TIAA-CREF and Good Energies, energy storage company Ice Energy announced today that it has closed a total $24 million in third-round funding.

How Marin County gets 75 percent of its power from renewables

In June, California voters shot down Proposition 16, a measure backed by Pacific Gas & Electric that would have made it much harder for local governments to form their own utilities. Now one Northern California municipal utility is demonstrating why this was a wise choice.