CleanTech OC Daily - 12/18/12

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why 2012 hasn’t been such a bad year for cleantech
GigaOM looks back on 2012, which wasn't such a bad year for cleantech.
The downside:
  • The solar market has been greatly affected by the cost reduction of solar panels
  • Wind Production Tax Credits will expire at the end of the year
  • Most IPO attempts in the cleantech sector have not been successful
The upside:
  • Low cost Chinese manufacturers have enabled an increase in U.S. solar panel installations
  • New financing mechanisms such as leasing or crowd-funding are more popular
  • VCs are still in the game and are focusing on Green IT
  • Obama‘s re-election creates hope regarding the PTCs’ extension
  • California’s Cap and Trade market finally put a price on CO2 emissions - this will enhance energy efficient systems and promote low-emissions technologies.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is working on a new self-regulating tire that could reduce fuel costs and improve safety. The technology (Air Maintenance Technology) uses an internal sensor that detects a drop in tire pressure allowing a valve to let air to enter a tube mounted inside the tire. As the tire moves forward, the weight of the vehicle pushes the air through the tube, filling the tire back to optimal pressure and then closing the valve. Maintaining proper tire pressure is one of the least expensive ways to increase vehicle fuel economy while saving drivers money.

Senator Lois Walk has re-introduced the shared renewable energy self-generation bill, SB43, which could help to advance community solar projects in California. The first time around, despite strong backing, the original bill (SB443) did not pass. If this bill were to pass, crowdfunding for solar projects could really take off in California.

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