Where the money is in cleantech: oil and gas

Cleantech investment is not dead, it just requires new approaches and a recognition that the traditional oil and gas industry may very well be the best patron for cleantech development and deployment. At least for now.

BrightSource actually raising $130M for solar thermal

Solar thermal company BrightSource is actually looking to raise $130 million, which is another $50 million over the amount it announced last month. The company makes solar thermal power plants which use mirrors and a boiler to produce electricity.

A road trip to the land where oil and solar meet

An 180-mile drive takes me through the farm belt of California to Coalinga, where Chevron runs an old oil field that uses steam to boost its production. It operates a demonstration project, completed last fall, that uses sun’s energy instead of natural gas to produce steam.

Biofuel investments keep on coming

Developing biofuels continues to be a bright spot in the cleantech world. Two startups, plant genetic engineering company Chromatin and biofuel producer ZeaChem, announced separately on Tuesday that they have raised new rounds of funding.

BrightSource’s solar steam project went way over budget

Solar thermal startup BrightSource recently finished building a solar-to-steam farm for oil giant Chevron, which will enable Chevron to use steam from the solar farm for enhanced oil recovery. But according to a filing from BrightSource, that project ended up costing significantly more than BrightSource expected.

Chevron is really bearish on cleantech investing

Most of the oil giants have made small investments in cleantech and Chevron’s investment arm, Chevron Technology Ventures, was no exception. But Chevron has been moving away from making any cleantech investments, and hasn’t invested in a cleantech startup in two years, according to its President.

PHOTOS: Chevron’s solar to steam project

Curious about what a project that concentrates the sun’s rays and turns them into steam looks like? Here’s photos of Chevron’s solar to steam project, which uses tech from BrightSource, and with a plan to use the steam for enhanced oil recovery.

Solazyme Prices IPO Up at $18, Raising $198M

Algae oil and fuel maker Solazyme priced shares for its IPO late last night at $18 per share — above its previously estimated price range — enabling the company to raise around $198 million when it debuts on the Nasdaq on Friday.