WEEKLY NEWSFLASH 7/31 – 8/3: California Proposes All Renewable Energy by 2045 & New Discoveries in Energy Storage, Water Tech and Solar Panels

This week, our CEO, Emily Reichert, was featured on an Interchange podcast about incubators and the support they offer startups in the energy sector; she was in great company alongside our partners from NY ACRE, the Incubatenergy Network, and Powerhouse! Speaking of, Powerhouse is one of our west coast-based friends located in Oakland, CA, the state that just presented a law (that is likely to pass) to reach 100% renewable energy by 2045! This is a huge milestone and makes California and Hawaii the two most ambitious states in this regard with Massachusetts expected to follow suit.

Industry research made big strides this week! A team from Rice University is making breakthroughs in water purification called supported-epoxidized carbon nanotube (SENT) that can filter out 99% of heavy metals. Similarly, a group from MIT has developed see-through solar cells and the Google Lab Alphabet has been exploring salt based energy storage solutions.

Did you know August 2 was this year’s Earth Overshoot Day? That’s the day that marks the point in a year that we’ve used a year’s worth of resources from the Earth. :/ That is a bit scary BUT we’re proud to report that with some very simple changes we can shift this date over time and make us sustainable earthlings once again.

What news have you been reading this week? Share with us @GreentownLabs!


Greentech Media- So You Want to Build a Cleantech Startup? Here’s What (and Who) You Need to Know

  • This week, the Interchange Podcast featured a conversation with four execs from incubators around the country, including Emily Reichert, our CEO at Greentown Labs. They chatted about the emergence of new funding sources, different business models for incubators and accelerators, and the importance of corporate partnerships.

“While venture capitalists swoon over startups devoted to making people click on ads and stare at their phones longer, they’re decidedly less interested in solving more difficult real-world problems — like transforming the energy sector.”


ForbesCalifornia Goes All In — 100% Renewable Energy By 2045

  • California is quickening its pace in its plan to achieve 100% renewable energy — now by 2045. If the law is passed as expected, California’s influence on clean energy and climate change will grow and the state will become the nation’s de facto leader.

“If California passes the legislation it will sit alongside Hawaii as the only two states that require by law 100 percent renewable energy use by 2045.”


FuturismAn Incredible New Filter Can Remove Almost 100% of Toxic Materials from Water

  • A team of chemists from Rice University alongside a high school student developed a new material for filtering heavy metal contaminants from water. Their filter successfully removed 99 percent of contaminants in samples with various heavy metals.

“Their filter was able to remove 99 percent of contaminants from samples with cadmium, cobalt, copper, mercury, nickel, and lead. One gram of this material, the researcher claimed, could easily get 83,000 liters of water at par with WHO standards.”


Bloomberg TechnologyAlphabet Wants to Fix Renewable Energy’s Storage Problem — With Salt

  • The research lab, which hatched Google’s driverless car almost a decade ago, is developing a system for storing renewable energy that would otherwise be wasted. It can be located almost anywhere, has the potential to last longer than lithium-ion batteries and compete on price with new hydroelectric plants and other existing clean energy storage methods, according to X executives and researchers.

“If the moonshot factory gives up on a big, important problem like climate change, then maybe it will never get solved.”


PV Magazine- MIT researchers develop ‘any surface’ solar cell

  • A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative has developed a flexible, transparent solar cell, using low-cost organic materials and graphene. The researchers say this cell could turn virtually any surface into a source of power generation.

“Organic solar cells incorporating the electrodes achieved efficiencies of 2.8 to 4.1%. While still far from commercially viable levels, MIT states that these results represent significant improvement over previous work using all graphene electrodes.”


U.S. DOE – Energy Department Announces Eleven Projects to Boost Private-Sector Support of Energy Innovation

  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $7.8 million in support of eleven projects to unlock private-sector resources for energy innovation. The projects, part of DOE’s Innovative Pathways program, are designed to address the systemic barriers currently preventing the private sector from more fully supporting energy innovation and bringing new energy technologies to market.

” The eleven new projects will enable an increased reliance on the private sector for applied research, development, and commercialization, as outlined in the Administration’s budget request.”


GreenBiz– On Earth Overshoot Day, an ecological budget 42 percent overdrawn

  • August 2 marked Earth Overshoot Day, when humans have consumed more natural resources than the Earth can renew throughout the year.

“Pushing the date of Earth Overshoot Day back by 4.5 days per year would bring humanity back within the resource budget of this one Earth by 2050.”