Clean energy hits $1 trillion of investment

Global investments in clean energy and energy efficiency have officially passed the trillion-dollar mark, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It’s like the recent 7-billion-person mark, but for energy geeks!

Global Clean Energy Investment Hits $243B

We can thank China, offshore wind and European solar rooftops for a record $243 billion of global investment into clean power — including funding mechanisms like the public markets, private investment, government funding, asset financing and corporate spending — according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Cold Reality in the Solar Thermal World

Schott Solar’s announcement that it plans to halve its factory capacity for solar thermal equipment and will lay off 30 workers is a sobering reminder of some of the hurdles ahead for this emerging industry (or re-emerging, depending on your perspective).

MobiTV Launches on the iPhone

Mobile video firm MobiTV has launched a new application on Apple’s (s AAPL) iPhone that will allow viewers to watch live and on-demand programming from TV programmers such as ABC (s DIS) and NBC (s GE). The application download is free, but you have to be a subscriber to the MobiTV service to watch premium content on the app, which includes eight live channels and 30 channels of full-length on-demand TV content.
Users can sign up for the MobiTV service and pay directly within the app. MobiTV’s service is available in packages of one, three or six months, with plans costing $9.99 a month, $24.99 for three months, or $44.99 for six months. iPhone users that want to download the MobiTV app can do so by clicking here.

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SolFocus Founder Turns Up the Heat with New Solar Startup b2u Solar

Gary Conley, the entrepreneur who founded concentrating solar company SolFocus, is at it again. Last month he launched b2u Solar, a startup which uses the sun’s heat for industrial applications like drying, curing and commercial baking, and is one of a crop of startups working to take advantage of the higher efficiency potential of heat compared to electricity.
At the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco last week, Conley claimed b2u’s technology can deliver the equivalent of 40 to 60 cents per watt – and 2.5 to 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour – by generating heat directly, instead of producing energy that is then used to make heat. That makes it potentially competitive with natural gas today, and the economics look even better if the heat is also used for air conditioning, as well as heating, Conley said. (It may sound counterintuitive, but heat can be paired with a chiller to generate cool air).
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Where to Watch Hope for Haiti Now Online

UPDATED: Wyclef Jean, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews and Justin Timberlake are just a few of music stars that will take part in tonight’s Hope For Haiti Now benefit concert, starting at 5 p.m. PST and 8 p.m. EST. They’ll be supported by Hollywood talent like Will Smith, Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jon Stewart, Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio, according to MTV.com. The concert will air simultaneously on pretty much all the major broadcast and many cable channels, and the organizers of the event already call it the biggest telethon in TV history.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9AJunhGpcg]

But what do you do if you’re stuck at an office with no TV in sight? No worries: It looks like Hope for Haiti Now is slated to also break a few records online, where the concert will be live-streamed on more than a dozen major sites.

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Report: Cost of Solar Power to Drop By Half By End of 2009

The cost of solar equipment has been steadily dropping over the last decade, but as the economy hit the skids over the past year, the cost to finance solar projects actually increased. In other words it became more expensive for a utility or company to raise capital to build solar projects this year than in previous years. But according to a report out this morning from New Energy Finance, the research firm predicts that by the end of 2009 the “capital markets will loosen up” and combined with the continuing decrease in solar equipment costs, will lead to a 50 percent drop in overall solar costs compared to the end of 2008.

Basically as the economy picks up and access to capital markets improves, the financing hurdle that emerged this year will be removed, while solar equipment costs continue to decline. The average U.S. installed costs of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system — which includes solar panels, inverters, labor and more — declined to $7.50 per watt in 2008 from $10.80 per watt in 1998, a 30 percent drop over a 10-year period, according to a recent report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
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