Spotlight On California Solar Energy Storage

Spotlight On California Solar Energy Storage

Clean Edge, a leading clean-tech research firm, today released its 2014 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index. The Index, which tracks the clean-tech activities of all 50 states and the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. – from EV and renewables adoption to patent and investment activity – is available to partners and subscribers. A 49-page public report, with supporting tables and charts, can be downloaded for free at

Clean energy is becoming a popular energy choice for mainstream America. Eleven states now generate more than 10 percent of their electricity from non-hydro renewable energy sources, with two – Iowa and South Dakota – exceeding 25 percent. Solar installations climbed more than 40 percent year-over-year in the U.S., while registrations of all-electric vehicles doubled between the 2013 and 2014 indexes, to approximately 200,000 nationwide.

“Climate disruption and the growing availability of market-competitive clean-energy technologies are driving many states and cities to tackle climate issues head-on,” says Clean Edge founder and managing director Ron Pernick. “More than ever, this year’s Leadership Index highlights how some top regions are taking climate action seriously, with double-digit clean-energy adoption rates, new policies like California’s energy-storage mandate, and the deployment of clean-energy investment vehicles such as New York’s green bank.”

All Our Patents Belong To You – By Elon Musk, CEO


Tesla 300x102 All Our Patents Belong To You   By Elon Musk, CEO

Recently, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.

Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.

At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.

At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all.

Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.

We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.

Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.


Organic Transit Powers West

CL90849 300x200 Organic Transit Powers WestOrganic Transit, manufacturer of the ELFpedal/electric vehicle, is moving to a larger facility in Durham and opening a West Coast manufacturing center in San Jose. Organic Transit has outgrown the old retail furniture store where it began in 2011 in downtown Durham.  The new location, located just a few blocks away near Durham’s Central Park District, is 7,500 square feet, much more appropriate than the present location.   The company will use sustainable design in the building renovation and implement a higher-volume manufacturing process.

The company builds the ELF, a pedal and solar electric powered vehicle.”We love the old building, and it was perfect for getting us into business,” said Rob Cotter, Organic Transit Founder and CEO,  “But like Henry Ford realized 100 years ago, we need more room for a proper assembly line to increase our productivity.” “We will utilize recycled and upcycled materials in our build out.  And the building is being prepared with skylights, LED lighting, edible gardens, green walls and bee hives.”

Organic Transit is also opening a San Jose manufacturing facility in partnership with Good Karma Bikes, a non-profit that trains homeless individuals to become bicycle mechanics. Cotter said the San Jose location will also be a base to make local deliveries of vehicles and act as a regional maintenance facility.

The Next Generation In Solar Cars

EN4A0310 300x213 The Next Generation In Solar Cars

The internationally recognized Sunswift solar car racing program at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia recently debuted their revolutionary new solar racer “eVe”. The eVe not only inspires with its stunning design but also demonstrates long-term ecological sustainability. The students who volunteer their efforts to Sunswift created eVe in the hopes of capturing another team championship at the 2013 World Solar Challenge (WSC) – the pinnacle event for solar racing.

At this year’s WSC taking place in October  teams from top universities and private institutions around the world will compete in a 3,000 km race across Australia’s Outback from Darwin to Adelaide relying solely on the sun’s energy to power their cars. This year, eVe races in the ‘cruiser’ class, a class that rewards entrants for incorporating practical motoring features into their advanced solar technology vehicles.

Sunswift has teamed with ToyLabs to impart these invaluable science lessons to school kids. The Sunswift team uses the Volta Racer to share their passion and to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers through a series of hands-on workshops located at the University of New South Wales Engineering School and at various location en-route to WSC. During the workshops kids get to build the Volta Racer and learn about Sunswift’s innovative work on eVe. UNSW engineering student and Sunswift Project Director ‘Alex To’ went so far as to liken the Volta Racer to a “miniature version of the car we build. Both vehicles, in fact, use the same direct solar to power conversion methods to provide electricity to their motors. The Volta Racers allow these kids to have a practical hands-on experience building their very own electric car while learning about basic mechanical engineering, electronics and using solar as a sustainable energy application.”ToyLabs founder ‘Tim Curley’ is honored to lend his support to Sunswift’s efforts. “ToyLabs wants to help inspire kids to become the world’s next generation of scientists and engineers – just like the extremely bright students at UNSW working on eVe.

Portland Mayor Welcomes SoloPower

sam adamsX390 300x219 Portland Mayor Welcomes SoloPower  SoloPower, the San Jose, California-based leader in high efficiency, lightweight, and flexible thin-film solar cells and modules, recently  announced  the grand opening in Portland, Oregon of its high-volume manufacturing (HVM) facility. The event marked a significant milestone in the company’s plan to make solar energy the primary source of power for commercial and industrial buildings worldwide, and in its ability to meet demand for its unique solutions. SoloPower was joined at the ceremony by Portland Mayor Sam Adams who toured the state-of-the-art manufacturing floor with local and state elected officials, company executives and customers. “Oregon’s manufacturers are playing a key role as we add jobs back to Oregon,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “With the opening today of this high-volume manufacturing facility, we mark a significant milestone for SoloPower and for advanced manufacturing in Oregon.”

“Portland congratulates SoloPower on the grand opening of its operations here, which are ultimately expected to employ 450 people. We have worked proactively and collaboratively to nurture the success of our local industry of which SoloPower is a growing part,” said Mayor Adams. “Portland benefits when we help maximize the global competitiveness of local businesses. SoloPower is creating living-wage jobs in a vital sector of our economy, a sector that is helping to establish Portland as one of the most sustainable economies in the world.”

SoloPower‘s lightweight, flexible SoloPanels and proprietary installation systems revolutionize the rooftop solar integration process, making solar energy easy and cost effective for nearly any commercial and industrial building. The company’s suite of solar solutions optimizes energy performance on a variety of roofs in a range of climates with diverse sun exposure conditions. Non-penetrating installation systems make it simple to remove and reinstall SoloPower‘s solutions, enabling installation on older roofs not yet due for a reroof and substantially expanding the market beyond new and reroof applications. Due to their very low profile on rooftops, SoloPower‘s solutions provide an unparalleled ability to withstand wind, opening additional segments that could not utilize solar energy in the past, particularly in areas susceptible to storms, such as Japan.

“The opening of SoloPower‘s state-of-the-art HVM facility in Portland increases our capacity to meet the energy demands of the world’s commercial and industrial buildings, which consume 40% of global electricity,” said Tim Harris, CEO, SoloPower. “Both we and our customers are very excited: It’s a huge market, our unique solutions expand that market, and now we have the ability to serve our customers who are looking for an easy-to-install, predictable, and cost-effective solution for their energy needs, no matter their continent.”

SoloPower‘s operations in Portland are ultimately expected to have a capacity of 400MW.

Why Electric Cars Are Our Future

Fans Get Charged During Ball Game

att park headshot 300x240 Fans Get Charged During Ball GameThe City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Giants, ChargePoint and ABM, a leading provider of integrated facility solutions, unveiled four new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at AT&T Park. The stadium is the first ballpark in California to offer public access to Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations, a next-generation technology that can charge an EV in four hours, or about the length of a baseball game.“Our San Francisco Giants lead the division in wins, and have now beefed up their environmental batting average by having the division’s first up-to-date EV-ready stadium”

According to the San Francisco Department of the Environment, San Francisco now boasts a total of 110 charging stations at 42 locations across the city — more charging stations per capita than any other city in California.“San Francisco is the Innovation Capital of the World and the EV capital of the world, because we have focused on building the infrastructure needed to make electric vehicles a viable choice for the public,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “The installation of charging stations at AT&T Park, and another 100 on public property for all to use throughout San Francisco, will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create a more sustainable environment, while creating jobs.”

“Our San Francisco Giants lead the division in wins, and have now beefed up their environmental batting average by having the division’s first up-to-date EV-ready stadium,” said Melanie Nutter, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “Supporting new EV infrastructure provides ease and accessibility to electric vehicle owners and is part of our ongoing commitment to making San Francisco the most sustainable city.”ABM installed and will maintain the charging stations, and is offering the public free EV charging at the AT&T Park stations throughout the week of September 17-21. For availability or to locate other charging stations check out ChargePoint’s online tools and mobile applications. ABM has installed over 100 ChargePoint EV charging stations throughout Northern California and ChargePoint is the largest online network of independently owned charging stations operating in more than 14 countries.

The charging stations mark another sustainability milestone for AT&T Park, which in 2010 became the first Major League Baseball park to receive LEED Silver Certification for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance.“AT&T Park’s sustainable features, including solar panels, energy-efficient concession stands – and now the EV charging stations – not only have a positive impact on the environment, but also enhance the fan experience at the ballpark,” said Alfonso Felder, senior vice president of facilities, who oversees ballpark operations for the Giants. “Giants fans will now have a quick and convenient way to charge their electric vehicles while they enjoy a baseball game.”

$10,000,000 Offered For Solar Innovation