5 Green Tech Stories You Should Be Reading: April 2, 2012

World-traveling electric cars, how a state is encouraging energy efficiency upgrades through loan programs, and how clean energy and politics are changing with the times. Check out the links below to see what others are talking about in the clean energy and technology fields.

solar wind displacement of fossil fuels, oregon study

image via Shutterstock

1. California Poised to Launch Program Eliminating the Upfront Costs of Energy Efficiency and Solar Upgrades – Forbes – A new plan in the Golden State is encouraging clean upgrades by teaming with banks to provide loans to those installing upgrades, taking care of upfront costs. The loans would be paid back via on-bill repayment, which means that as the loans are paid, the utility rates would decrease.

2. CleanTech is Dead! Long Live CleanTech! – Gigaom – Gigaom discusses the changes in the so-called “cleantech” market, and examines the lull in cleantech investments, or at least the highly publicized ones, thanks to the repercussions from events like the Solyndra bankruptcy. They also take a look at the shift in the concept of the term “cleantech,” and how as business, technology and investing evolves, a new term for clean energy and technology businesses may arise.

3. New Solar Energy Plant Rising From the Desert – The National – The Shams 1 solar plant in western Abu Dhabi, begun in 2010, is slated for completion this year, and will generate 100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 20,000 homes. The solar plant uses concentrated solar power, where sunlight is reflected from mirrors onto a glass collector tube, which uses the highly concentrated heat and light to spur the power generation process.

4. French EV on a Round-the-World Electric Odyssey – Wired – Engineers Xavier Degon and Antonin Guy are taking their electric Citroën C-Zero on a trip around the world in an effort to promote the use of electric vehicles. They’ve been in the US since March 7th, and are currently making their way through the Rocky Mountains, and plan to continue on through Asia next.

5. GOP Running Out of Gas on Solyndra – Politico – After the financial meltdown of solar company Solyndra, the Republican Party took little time to use the company as a poster child for the ugly side of clean energy investing. However, thanks to time and other complications within the party, they may be losing Solyndra, as well as the whole DOE loan program, as a political weapon.

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.