16 December '10
2:29 PM UTC
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Top Ten Players

November Top 10 Players in Green Energy

1: Dan Reicher, Stanford University

Dan Reicher: Leaving Google for Stanford

What’s a top-notch energy thinker to do in a time when energy is a second-tier issue in Washington? Former Assistant Energy Secretary Dan Reicher is casting about for the answer to that question. In November, Reicher left his post as Google’s director of climate change and green energy initiatives to lead Stanford University’s energy and policy finance center.

At Google, Reicher redefined how corporate America can pursue sustainable energy policy by investing the company in bold startups and straightforward wind developments. In recent months, though, Reicher had been focused on policy and thinking about how legislation and government dollars can leverage private investment in renewables. In that context, the move to Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance made sense because Reicher will be able to devote himself full time to those questions. Unfortunately, those policies will likely stay in the academy until Congress is ready to take energy policy seriously. That could take a while. Read More »

11 November '10
12:39 PM UTC
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Top Ten Players

October Top 10 Players in Green Energy

1: Can BrightSource Energy’s John Woolard do anything wrong?

BrightSource Energy’s chief executive was a deal-making machine in October, notably gaining a $300 million investment by NRG Energy in the Ivanpah solar project and inking a partnership with French company Alstom to build power plants in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The company also won approval from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for the 392-megawatt Ivanpah project in California – an accomplishment that not long ago seemed like it might elude the company in the face of opposition from conservationists. As other superstars of green energy have faded – Solyndra, in particular, has drastically scaled back its ambitions – Woolard is moving projects forward, finding funding and looking even further afield, to Australia and South Africa, for friendly markets. Woolard told G.E.R. in June, “Everybody in our company has built power plants and assets before and understands what it takes.” He’s proving it. Read More »

20 October '10
11:43 AM UTC
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Top Ten Players

September Top 10 Players in Green Energy

Editor’s note: We’re back — and a little late — with our monthly top ten ranking! Tune back November 8th for our October ranking.

1: California Energy Commission

September was a busy month at the California Energy Commission (CEC), which approved, according to G.E.R.’s own count, a record 2,351 megawatts of solar projects. With key stimulus programs folding in a few months, developers have been working overtime, pressing regulators to greenlight their projects. Aware of this looming deadline, the CEC (and shortly after that, federal regulators) approved a series of flagship projects including BrightSource Energy’s 392 megawatt Ivanpah solar thermal power plant and Tessera Solar’s 709 megawatt Imperial Valley solar facility. These solar power plants still have to get funded but the rapid regulatory turnaround boosts the probability that they actually get built. Read More »

10 August '10
7:51 AM UTC
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Top Ten Players

July Top Ten Players In Green Energy

1: BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley

Dudley (fourth from left) and Obama: Two men who need a lot of luck

Bob Dudley did not, as far as we know, doodle a rough sketch one night of the containment device that finally capped BP’s gushing Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico.  He did not cause  that issued forth from the well, which blew out on April 20. He did not even force former BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward to resign. But he has benefited from all of those events and the new CEO  has some good will stored up as he now looks to turn BP around. One area he might start: green energy. Dudley was formerly  and was responsible for global solar, wind and hydrogen. He could use that experience to redouble BP’s efforts in green energy – a savvy move given the company’s role at the center of one of America’s greatest ecological disasters. That would be something that Dudley could justifiably claim credit for. Read More »

13 July '10
9:21 AM UTC
Top Ten Players

June Top Ten Players In Green Energy

1: President Barack Obama

Last month’s first Oval Office address by President Obama on the Gulf spill was paned for its lack of specifics. We at G.E.R. believed that the speech was pure-Obama as he he provided the outline for a comprehensive climate change and energy legislation. But much like he did during the healthcare debate, he once again left it up to Congress to come with the details. The strategy, while disappointing for the president’s base, has been productive: It got healthcare passed and the administration is close to getting a financial overhaul bill. Will the strategy work for the Kerry – Lieberman climate change bill? It’s been nearly two months since the legislation was officially introduced to the Senate and so far the odds aren’t in favor of its passage, largely blocked by strong opposition to its cap-and-trade provision. But we can’t say that Obama hasn’t given it a try.

2: Tesla IPO

Given the poor track record of cleantech Initial Public Offerings this year, the prognosis for Tesla’s IPO wasn’t good. The California electric car maker lacked revenues and had a cash burn-rate that would scare away the most tested venture capitalists. But on Tuesday night Tesla, two weeks after its IPO, was trading slightly above its $17 introductory price. Investors appear to be betting that over the long, (long) term the California car company, its and , will come out a winner. Read More »

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