Google powers a data center directly with wind for the first time

For the first time Google has purchased wind power to directly power a data center in Oklahoma. Previously Google has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into clean power projects, but had yet to power its data centers directly with clean power.

5 bets the DOE made that are better than Solyndra

It’s been over a month since the Solyndra news came out, but it’s still dominating. Because it just won’t go away, here’s my top five list of projects that the DOE also backed with loan guarantees and that are showing some early signs of success.

Today in Cleantech

Sixty thousand protestors gathered in central Tokyo this morning, demanding a total phase out of nuclear power in Japan. The protest comes days after Siemen’s CEO, Peter Loescher, told the influential German newsmagazine Der Spiegel that his company would exit the nuclear power industry, citing the “clear position of German society” on nuclear power. Siemens built all of Germany’s existing 17 nuclear plants, and it’s interesting to see such a powerful corporation decide that it didn’t want to fight the zeitgeist surrounding ending dependence on nuclear power. Volkswagen invested a billion euros in wind energy earlier this month, and it’s refreshing to see a country where the moral imperatives of its population are driving corporate behavior.

Introducing: The new eco label “WindMade”

Eco labels have worked well in some cases, such as organic food, but will they work for renewable energy? The wind energy industry thinks so and proposed a program Wednesday to encourage companies to invest in wind and display their eco-friendly cred.

Solar v. wind: which gets more government love?

As key programs from the stimulus package draw to a close, we look at how wind and solar power plant projects compete for same pots of money. The scores: solar gets more loan guarantees while wind gets more grants.

Data Mania: Better Tech Needed to Crunch Climate Change Data

Both Google and the government have taught us one important lesson: data rules. On Friday, U.S. officials said they will develop what they called the “first-ever, comprehensive and up-to-date database” of satellite images that will show land-use changes around the world.

Kleiner Perkins Doubles Down on a “Shrouded” Wind Turbine Design

Venture capitalists are starting the New Year off with a deepening interest in the wind industry. About two weeks after Khosla Ventures and others invested in wind turbine maker Nordic Windpower, another wind startup, FloDesign Wind Turbine, announced yesterday that it closed a $34.5 million second round of venture funding to further develop its “high-efficiency shrouded” wind turbines that draw inspiration from the aerospace industry.

High-profile investment firm Kleiner Perkins, the only disclosed backer of the startup’s $6 million first round, led this latest funding and was joined by Goldman Sachs, Technology Partners, and VantagePoint Venture Partners. FloDesign Wind also announced that Lars Anderson, the former head of wind energy developer Vestas’ business efforts in China, joined as chief executive officer. The startup’s previous CEO and co-founder, Stanley Kowalski, will remain with the company as vice president.
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Khosla Bets on Wind, Joins GE to Back Danotek

UPDATED High-profile cleantech investor Vinod Khosla has made his first publicly announced bet in the wind industry, backing Danotek Motion Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of advanced electrical generators for wind turbines. Khosla’s venture firm Khosla Ventures led the $13.2 million round of funding for the Canton, Mich.-based startup, and according to the release, this marks the first investment for Khosla Ventures’ new “late-stage Venture Expansion Fund.”

CMEA Capital, Energy Capital Management and GE Energy Financial Services, the investment arm of General Electric (s GE) also joined the round, which Danotek said will help it expand R&D, increase its staff and ramp up production of its generators. Scott Mabie, Danotek’s director of business development, told us the firm plans to produce about 1,000 generators next year and reach 4,000 units annually within three years.

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