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

BrightSource to power up Crete — The Greek island of Crete will install a 38-megawatt solar project with BrightSource’s solar thermal technology, which uses thousands of mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a boiler filled with water atop a tower, generating steam to turn an electrical turbine.

EPA approves ethanol-blended fuel — Cars and light trucks made between 2001 and 2006 are now permitted to use fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol, known as E15. The EPA approved the blend last year for cars made after 2007.

Cleantech venture capital rose in 2010 —  Venture capital dollars going into cleantech amounted to 17 percent of all venture capital invested in 2010, compared to 11 percent in 2009, for a total of $3.7 billion invested in 267 deals, according to the MoneyTree Report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. Five of the top 10 deals last year went to cleantech.

Hug Energy shuts down — The energy management startup is closing its doors, Earth2Tech writes, citing lack of interest from investors. It had developed a computer-based system for home energy management, an area that has struggled to gain traction.

Texas approves wind power lines — The controversial lines will run 140 miles across the scenic Hill Country region to bring West Texas wind power to the rest of the state, Texas Tribune writes. Regulators, who have awarded several transmission line projects for wind, have butted heads with environmentalists and homeowners in the past, some of whom have successfully stopped projects from going forward.

[Image via Flickr/Horia Varlan]