The Daily Sprout

Firefly Wins $2M from Dept. of Defense for Battery Tech: Lead-acid battery developer Firefly said today it has been awarded $2 million in funding by the U.S. Department of Defense to further development of its microcell foam battery manufacturing processes – Press Release.
Comverge Secures $25M Credit Facility: Demand response firm Comverge (s COMV) announced today that it has entered into a $25 million credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank. $15 million will be used to pay off old acquisition costs while the other $10 million will be available as working capital – Press Release.
China to Adjust Gas Prices to Avoid Slump: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China would “take advantage of good timing” to adjust gas prices to better reflect global pricing. We guess “good timing” means “while everyone is distracted by that $586 billion stimulus package we gave out” – Bloomberg.
An Interview With a Scandinavian Carbon Capture Expert: Karl Anders Hoff has been working on carbon capture and storage technology since the 90s and is now project manager of an eight-year, $46 million CCS R&D project. We’ll ruin the ending for you – it’s still too expensive – Biopact.
Boeing and Air New Zealand Set for Biofuel Flight: The aircraft maker and airline have set December 3 as the date for their test of jatropha-based jet fuel in a 747 jetliner – Green Car Congress.

PG&E Ups In-House Demand Response — Utility Trend?

PG&E announced the launch of its PeakChoice demand-response program this week, which asks business customers to voluntarily reduce energy use by at least 10 kilowatts during peak demand times, in exchange for incentives. Demand-response programs are gaining popularity across the U.S. as utilities try to better manage increased energy use and avoid building new power plants to meet peak demand.

Given that PG&E will be handling this program in house, what does this mean for third-party vendors like EnerNOC and Comverge? EnerNOC and Comverge were some of the early success stories to come out of the cleantech world — EnerNOC has some 1,643 megawatts under management, while Comverge has a total of 2,075 megawatts. If utilities start managing their own demand response programs that could in theory mean less business for these types of vendors.
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LS800 in the wild photos

It seems the Tablet PC is growing in popularity with Mac users, no doubt since Apple just won’t listen to the masses who keep asking for a Mac Tablet.  Some brave Mac owners are doing what they have to do and picking up Tablet PCs to provide the tool they need to work with ink.  Blogger and podcaster Eric Rice has recently picked up a Toshiba Tablet PC and couldn’t be happier.  He is beginning to post about his “ink enlightenment” on his blog Eric Rice (catchy name).  Another user known as TabletSwitcher has just received the new Motion LS800 and he/she has posted photos of the unveiling on his blog.  There are some nice comparison photos with other items so you get a real feel for just how small the LS800 really is.  Any other Mac users making the switch to a Tablet PC?  I’d love to hear from you.  You know, any device that can cause a long-time Mac user to pick one up and use it means there must be something to those Tablet PC things.