China has long been the untapped wild card in cleantech. Now more entrepreneurs are making connections and raising funds from Asia.
Five-year-old, Bill Gates and Khosla-backed, EcoMotors is finally commercializing its efficient engine technology. And it’s got a killer deal to do it: a $200 million plant being built by Chinese auto giant Zhongding Power.
Google (s goog) CEO Eric Schmidt has likened the current state of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology to a half-baked web tool in need of debugging, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t powerful forces driving the growth of the CCS industry. Those forces — the need to mitigate climate change, a looming price on carbon such as through a cap-and-trade system, and large amounts of government funding — could push the emerging industry to capture and store carbon emissions from power plants toward global annual revenues of $128 billion to $221 billion by 2030, according to a report released today from Pike Research.
But the path ahead includes serious challenges and barriers, and the research firm, which tends to be more bullish than not when it comes to cleantech markets, said it believes many of the current targets for emissions captured between now and 2030 are overly optimistic. So far, there’s been no commercial-scale deployment of CCS technology, and Pike predicts that the systems will hike up the cost of producing electricity at power plants by between 50 and 70 percent (based on today’s costs and capabilities).
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Updated: Yahoo (s YHOO) layoffs have started and they seem to have hit the Flickr team. Many engineers from the service have been either laid off or are leaving on their own. Rev Dan Catt, Ashot Petrosian and Neil Kandalgaonkar were amongst those who tweeted about their exits. Catt, for instance, is moving back to UK. I am told Cal Henderson, Flickr Architect — a rock star developer — has also left, though I have not been able to confirm that. His name is missing from Flickr’s About page , but I don’t want to jump to conclusions. [digg=http://digg.com/tech_news/Flickr_Hit_Hard_By_Yahoo_Layoffs]
I dropped Henderson an email to confirm. He emailed back this morning. “I have left Flickr/Yahoo. I don’t have any plans yet, besides playing lots of video games and enjoying the san francisco summer,” he wrote back. Kara Swisher says he’s is working with Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr, on a new stealthy startup.
Meanwhile check out his presentation about scalable web architectures. Flickr was spared from cuts for a long time but in recent months has been slowly trimming its staff. Frankly, cutting the Flickr team is a bit of a head-scratcher: That group is one of the few pockets of future-thinking tinkerers at Yahoo, especially when it comes to building new media experiences around “social objects” such as photos.
Update#2: We’re hearing that further changes at Yahoo’s Flickr are going to be announced shortly, including exits of some senior/director-level people.