Investors Loved Wind, Solar, Efficiency in 2010

Investors loved the wind energy sector, and they showed it by blowing the most investment dollars that way in 2010. They also were most busy with energy efficiency deals, the number of which surpassed other cleantech categories last year, according to a U.S. market report by Peachtree Capital Advisors.

GM and LG Chem Turn to Argonne Lab for Battery Tech

GM and LG Chem are licensing a broad suite of patents from Argonne National Laboratory to develop lithium-ion battery cells and packs for next-generation electric cars. LG Chem will use the IP to make cells in Michigan starting next year.

Holy Molycorp: Stock Soaring

On the back of a series of positive news for recently-public rare earth mining company Molycorp, the Colorado-based company’s stock is soaring at above $50 per share this morning. That’s waaay up from its New York Stock Exchange debut price of $13.25 in July.

Lithium-Ion Battery Startup ActaCell Gains Partners, Funds

Lithium-ion battery startup ActaCell, which has already raised funds from such high profile groups as Google.org, DFJ Mercury and Applied Ventures (Applied Materials venture arm), is out touting over $3 million in newly acquired financing this morning.

ActaCell Charges Ahead With New Way to Make Batteries

A new $3 million NIST award could offer a significant boost for Austin, Tex.-based ActaCell, whose backers include Google.org, DFJ Mercury and Applied Ventures. The startup aims to scale up production of its novel nanocomposite material for lithium battery anodes by a factor of 1,000.

The Energy Storage Story

The key to getting utilities to embrace renewable energy is investment in inexpensive, convenient, and highly efficient utility-scale storage for solar and wind power. The issue remains one of supply and demand: Supply the energy storage solutions without demanding too much of anyone.

ETV Motors Shifts Gears, Drops Microturbine Dream

Executives from startup ETV Motors tell us, in an exclusive interview, how they’re shifting gears and divesting from the turbine business to focus on high-voltage, energy-dense battery cells for aviation, electric bikes and eventually plug-in cars.

Contour’s New Battery Niche: 3D TV Glasses

Contour Energy Systems has launched an opportunistic attack on a niche consumer market right in time for Christmas. The Caltech battery spinout formerly known as CFX Battery announced a line of disposable coin cell batteries specifically engineered to make 3-D TV glasses last longer than competitors.

A123 Tapped for Chinese Auto Giant’s 2012 Electric Car

One of China’s largest automakers has tapped A123 Systems to supply lithium-ion batteries for an electric car slated to roll out in 2012. The deal was a silver lining to the disappointing earnings it reported yesterday for the three months ending September 30.

Tesla Picks Up $30M from Panasonic

Tesla Motors has just picked up a $30 million investment from Japanese electronics giant Panasonic. The two companies announced on Wednesday that Panasonic — a preferred battery cell supplier for Tesla’s electric vehicles — has bought a $30 million stake in the Palo Alto, Calif. car maker.