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Stephen Lacey's Posts

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Five hot, rockin’ geothermal companies

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. Like the natural gas sector, which has experienced an incredible boom due to new drilling techniques that allow companies to cost-effectively access unconventional gas, the geothermal sector is going through a renaissance that may open up a vast new set of resources. Traditional utility-scale geothermal, often called hydrothermal, utilizes hot water or direct steam beneath the earth to run a turbine and generate electricity. While there's only about 11 gigawatts of capacity built around the world (the solar photovoltaic industry built 17 gigawatts in 2010 alone), the actual electricity generation from these baseload plants typically doubles …

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Flashback: In 2003, Romney attacked coal jobs that ‘kill people’

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, like his fellow GOP contenders, supports unlimited coal and oil production and opposes cap-and-trade markets to limit greenhouse pollution. Romney calls cap-and-trade a "radical feel-good" policy that would have "devastating results for people across the planet." Last month, he told Fox News that the nation needed to "start drilling for oil" and to "use our coal resources" because "you have to have oil and gas to power America's economy." But according to his standards, Romney himself used to be a "radical" environmentalist who supported clean energy policy and opposed a pollution-backed …

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By 2015, we could see a new generation of photovoltaic technologies, including 3-D solar cells

Image: Solar3DCross-posted from Climate Progress. Solar photovoltaics (PV) is one of the hottest high-tech areas around. For instance, 3-D technology is all the rage these days. Now, one company thinks it can bring the concept to solar too. Santa Barbara-based Solar3D is working on a silicon "microcell" at the nano scale that uses an optical element to direct sunlight into a walled-in structure, thus capturing more photons and increasing the amount of electrons that are discharged. If a traditional solar cell is the ceiling of a room, the 3-D solar cell would be the room itself with the optical element …

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Sungevity partners with Lowe’s to bring solar to the public

Sungevity will install kiosks around Lowe's stores in California.Photo: Grant BiermanCross-posted from Climate Progress. Yesterday's news from the solar company Sungevity that it will partner with Lowe's Home Improvement stores to help customers quote and install a solar system is a great indicator of where the industry is going. Critics often charge that solar is "fringe" or "inaccessible," which has historically been true. Since the '70s, home solar photovoltaics has been largely a technology for environmentally conscious first adopters and high-tech lovers. But with prices coming steadily -- and now dramatically -- down over the years, and companies adopting innovative …