Daily Sprout

Tesla Model S Factory Update: Tesla Motors said today it’s in “late-stage” negotiations for a soon-to-be named site where it will manufacture its long-promised Model S sedan. — San Francisco Business Times

LEED for Data Centers: A coalition of data center industry groups has released a draft of an energy efficiency standards for data centers in an effort to push the U.S. Green Building Council toward creating related guidelines in 2009. — Data Center Knowledge

Cap and Trade on the Move?: Promising to draft cap-and-trade legislation by the end of the year (possibly in a matter of weeks), Sen. Barbara Boxer has unveiled revealed a six-point list of familiar climate policy principles. — WSJ’s Environmental Capital

LED Market Looks Bright: The solid-state lighting will bring in more than $33 billion in revenue by 2013, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 22 percent during the next four years, according to a new report from NextGen Research. — Press Release

Government Shutdown: In the current budget crunch, several states have considered following Utah’s switch to a four-day work week, potentially saving millions a year on state utility bills. — NYT’s Green Inc.

Tesla: Model S to be Unveiled in March

Tesla Motors held the first of two planned town hall meetings with customers this week, where it explained to buyers who have not received pre-ordered 2008 Roadsters why the company has decided to charge for options previously included in the sports car’s base price. But CEO Elon Musk was not there to offer only mea culpas (according to Left Lane News, he did express regret over the way Tesla communicated the new charges). He also revealed details about the planned Model S sedan and Daimler’s (s DAI) electric Smart car, set to use Tesla drivetrains in a fleet of test vehicles.

First, the Model S: Musk reportedly (here, here and here) told customers that the startup will show off a prototype of the long-awaited sedan in Los Angeles as early as March 5 (yes, as in five weeks from now), with production beginning in 2011.

Musk also said that Daimler’s electric Smart car will retail for around $20,000 — the “super affordable” price point he envisioned for a third-generation Tesla vehicle (after the Roadster and Model S) last year. He said in September that the car could be produced with a major automaker. With Daimler slated to roll out the electric Smart in 2010, it just might one-up the Model S for Tesla’s second-generation model.

Top 10 Earth2Tech Stories of 2008

We’ve brought you the victories and the disappointments of the year in cleantech, and now here’s a top 10 list that’s a little more personal: The top 10 Earth2Tech stories of 2008. The list is a combo of reader favorites — page views and number of comments — along with editor’s favorites, because there were some stories that made me glad to be part of this team this year. Let’s take a look at them in descending order, Letterman-style:

10) Video: Solar + Robots = AWESOME: This post is proof that you shouldn’t edit a green technology website if you can’t celebrate your geekiness. I shot this mini video of these robots stacking solar panels — digg loved it and so did you.

9) FAQ: Thin-Film Solar: You liked it because thin-film solar is confusing and you want to know more about the technologies, the players and the market.

8) 11 Companies Racing to Build U.S. Cellulosic Ethanol Plants: Yes, cellulosic ethanol companies were definitely racing through the first three-quarters of 2008, all claiming they’d be the first to produce cellulosic ethanol. Towards the end of the year that turned into more of a stroll, and in some cases, a crawl. Will the race be declared DOA in 2009? Biofuels sure don’t have the backing they used to and the corn ethanol markets are ugly.

7) Pics of the First Production Tesla Roadster: Sometimes you’d rather see it than read about it. Particularly if it’s the first Tesla Roadster ever made being delivered. Of course nowadays Tesla isn’t even sure if it’s building its factory to produce the Model S, but at one point you guys cared.
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The Daily Sprout

First Teaser Pic of Tesla’s Model S: Although the company just put development of its electric sedan on hold, much of the design work on the Model S was already done, and here’s a peak at what the back of the car looks like – Business Week, via Autoblog Green.
Reagan Airport and EnergyConnect Partner for Demand Response: Reagan National Airport has enrolled 12 megawatts of load into EnergyConnect’s FlexConnect demand response program. Smart grid is clear for take off – Press Release.
Google vs. Microsoft: Data Center Efficiency: The rivalry between Mountain View and Redmond has spilled over into the green IT world as the two info tech giants try to hit optimal Power Usage Effectiveness – Good Clean Tech.
Lignol & Suncor Negotiating Cellulosic Ethanol JV: Lignol Energy Corporation and Suncor Energy Products Inc. are extending their collaboration with the DOE to build a commercial demonstration cellulosic ethanol facility and are discussing a joint venture to further the commercialization of the companies’ processes – Green Car Congress.
Blue States are Greener on Efficiency: According to a recent study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy the consistently Democrat-voting states are leading the country in energy efficiency efforts. Because making energy a partisan issue is a great idea – Triple Pundit.

Tesla to Build the “Model S” Electric Sedan Back in California

It’s official: Tesla Motors has named its electric sedan (codename WhiteStar) the “Model S” and the company says it has decided to bring the manufacturing of its vehicle back to California. We just got out of a press conference at Tesla Motors headquarters in San Carlos, Calif, where California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Tesla Chairman Elon Musk and Tesla CEO Ze’ev Drori made the announcement and did a photo opp tour of the Tesla factory for a room full of media. (See our photos below).

So that nixes Tesla’s former plans to build its sedan in a factory in New Mexico — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson must be having a bad day. Gov. Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, was straight-up gleeful over the steal, and said that when Tesla had previously decided to manufacture in New Mexico it “drove me absolutely insane. My administration does not like to lose.” And of course he had to slip those Schwarzenegger lines in there, saying he’s happy that Tesla “will be back to California.”
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Do You Feel Like Being Regulated?

The Rasmussen Reports polling organization is out with the results of a new survey on Internet Harassment. They polled 1500 adults, which gives them a +/- 2.5% margin of error. Some of the answers are encouraging for those of us who consider the web an important part of our lives: 48% of the respondents say they use the internet every day, or nearly every day.

But there’s one answer that struck me as surprising and disturbing: when asked “Should the Federal Communication Commission regulate the internet like it does radio and television?,” 49% of the respondents said “yes.” 35% were against regulation, and 16% not sure. That adds up to a phenomenal number of my neighbors and yours coming down in favor of the government getting deeply involved with our means of work. Read More about Do You Feel Like Being Regulated?

Marc Orchant status update

From Oliver Starr:

UPDATE: 8:18AM Pacific Time, December 9th, 2007

From Sue Orchant:

If the outpouring of love, support andcaring could heal Marc, he would be with us telling stories right now.Today we are going to make Marc more comfortable. Friends came by allday yesterday with continued prayers and love. Today just our familywill be with him. I know you are all still there for him and us. Thankyou for all you have done.

Heartfelt Love,

Sue and Family

Online Video: Is It Really Interactive?

Although the online video experience would appear to be this mythical, multilateral, interactive video utopia, the reality is, in fact, quite different. Because while it’s certainly possible for a network of collaborative video artists to work together, online, to piece together a long-term video mosaic of participatory brilliance, the reality has often been more of an ad hoc, trivial mess of mediocrity.
There have, however, been some notable successes. One particularly good strategy has been to connect an online series with a dynamic social network. Ze Frank‘s The ORG and Epic-FU‘s The Mix, both religiously updated by the fanatically involved, have used interactivity to successfully build a fan base and create high-quality, collaborative content. Witness, as well, the growth of interactive fictional dramas. The format allows for the viewers to influence the storyline, but the actors, writers, and directors are able to smooth the story out, making it accessible beyond those who contributed.
Below are four other interactive series that have piqued my interest, either with their success in implementing an interactive model or the promise of bringing something new to the space.
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