CleanTech OC Daily - 10/23/12

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stem, founded in 2009 and formerly called Powergetics, uses data to show customers their energy use patterns. The analytics then allow them to forecast their electricity use and control their energy budgets. Stem is just one of a growing number of cleantech startups that are using data, analytics and energy storage to manage companies’ energy consumption.

On Friday, officials broke ground on the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) which will house research laboratories and the offices of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), a U.S. Department of Energy backed partnership between the Berkeley Lab and project lead Caltech. The JCAP was announced back in 2010 as one of three “Energy Innovation Hubs” and will focus on a way to leverage the energy of the sun to produce transportation fuels.

China produces 95 percent of the world's rare earth metals and in 2010 it began restricting the export of the metals used in electronics, hybrid cars, solar panels, and wind turbines. It appears that the restrictions will come to an end due to increased mining of the metals from other countries own reserves, thus decreasing dependence on Chinese exports. Additionally, companies also began recycling the metals from their products and using manufacturing processes that use less of the metals.

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