CleanTech OC Weekly

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says Tesla will repay its loan to the DOE in half the time
Earlier this week Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said the company plans to pay back its loan to the Department of Energy in half the time required – five years rather than ten. Musk’s remarks came at the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E Summit in a discussion with DOE Secretary Steven Chu. Tesla has already started paying back its loan with a payment of $12.7 million made in the fourth quarter of 2012. Next month the company plans to make its second payment.

At the 2013 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. this week, the agency announced some updated figures for how its grant-winning projects are doing in raising private capital. So far, seventeen projects awarded a collective $70 million from ARPA-E have attracted more than $450 million in private sector follow-on investment, the agency reported. Click the link above for a list of the ARPA-E projects that have also won private investment so far, along with a brief description and what ARPA-E program they’re funded under.

While 2012 was not a good year for concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar firms, a new co-development agreement between Solar Junction and Amonix could be a bright spot in 2013. In a statement from Vijit Sabnis, a Solar Junction co-founder, he states that "the joint development agreement between Amonix and Solar Junction will enable the two technical teams to work very closely together to develop a low-cost CPV module with DC efficiencies exceeding 35 percent in the near term and a goal of 40 percent in the next couple of years. Think of Apple designing an optimal piece of electronics all in house vs. the Wintel traditional OEM model; the latter never really works as well as we’d all like."

On Tuesday, California held its second auction for carbon-emissions allowances as a part of the next phase in its controversial mechanism to curtail greenhouse gases. The Air Resources Board sold more than 22 million allowances, each containing the right to emit one ton of carbon into the air. The state agency will wait until tomorrow to release prices and other results from the auction. Prior to Tuesday’s action, California's first carbon auction was held last November and raised $290 million.
President Obama Doesn’t Know How to Deploy New Energy
Ernest Moniz is the likely nominee for Secretary of Energy, and, with this nomination, President Obama has chosen invention over deployment and R&D over job creation and carbon reduction. Moniz proves that there will again be no plan from the Obama administration on oil independence. The U.S. has already invested in the technologies to democratize energy so finding the right Secretary of Energy to deploy existing solutions to drive the next economy is the crucial next step.

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