From Silicon Valley to Frankfurt, Germany, green tech companies are making their mark globally. I wanted to highlight a few of them that really stand out from the rest. Most of these are companies that are providing innovative technologies for harnessing solar energy into the mainstream market.
1. Fuel Tech
Despite its emissions, coal is still widely used in industries all over the world. Since it’s an accessible resource for a number of countries, including India and China, very little work has been done to find alternative non-polluting (yet abundant) sources of energy. That’s when companies like Fuel Tech step forward. They help coal-powered utilities to reduce the amount of pollution and operate more efficiently.
Established in 1987, FuelTech has come up with a technology that reduces nitrogen emissions in boilers and furnaces. It’s specialty is cleaning up coal and thereby reducing the resulting pollution.
Since there are over 550 coal power plants in the US alone, FuelTech has come up with a solution to a very pressing problem.
2. Solar Century
Solar Century is a UK based solar energy company that provides an alternative source of energy to residential and commercial buildings. Their solar energy products provide their customers with electricity and water heating facilities.
Solar Century has the potential to generate 4 million kWh of electricity every year and has won various business and design awards for its work.
The thing that sets Solar Century apart is that they integrate solar energy systems with standardized building components, making solar part of the fabric of the buildings.
3. Swetree Technologies
Swetree is a forest biotech company that improves the productivity of seedlings and trees.
They are primarily discovering new ways of increasing the speed of forestation, without using harmful chemicals or fertilizers.
SweTree uses its technology to assist reforestation programs to preserve the natural habitat. With so much deforestation going on around us, such technology can help a lot in expediting the replanting process.
The solar cells made by OderSun were used in the Beijing Olympics. They provided their thin film solar modules for the Olympic Park. Their flexibility of form and power makes them the perfect candidate for providing solar cell energy to buildings.
While talking about Solar tech, we can’t ignore NanoSolar‘s role in this field. They manufacture solar electricity panels for cost-efficient energy.
The technology used by NanoSolar aims to make solar cells that last as long as silicon solar cells. It has operations in both US and Germany.
NanoSolar mass-produces in a global scale, and can thus cater to large projects anywhere in the world. With the rise of sustainable construction in middle eastern and European countries, access to their technology is highly valued.
PolyFuel designs, develops and manufactures hydrocarbon based fuel cells for increased performance of fuel cells in automotives and electronics.
Established back in ’99, PolyFuel’s technology is used in laptops, cell phones and other portable electronic devices manufactured by CE companies.
Because of the abundant availability of the raw material, this is an opportunity for us to move away from traditional fuel sources that are driving the world mad, as it is. This makes Polyfuel a move in the right direction.
CPower delivers energy management services and products enabling its customers to reduce their power usage effectively.
In short, they teach companies and organizations how to reduce their electricity consumption through energy management and sustainability technologies. Their clients include businesses, factories and industries with high rates of energy consumption.
To encourage companies that are not yet running on renewable energy, clean energy is a good step in the right direction. They give incentives to companies to optimize their energy consumption and earn market payments for those reductions.
SunPower is another solar product and services company which produces solar cells and panels. It claims to be able to reduce the cost of solar power by 50% bringing them down enough to compete with retail electricity rates by 2012.
The solar cells technology produced by SunPower is used by some high profile companies such as Honda and Nasa. With such clients in their portfolio, they’re bound to create some more stirs in the industry in the years to come.
9. Solar City
Solar Century also provides solar panels as an alternative source of energy for home owners and businesses. Established in 2006 by brothers Lyndon & Peter Rive, it has become the largest solar power provider in California.
The company aims to make solar panels easy to install at reduced rates so that more and more people switch over from conventional electricity to solar power. Their SolarLease option reduces the installation cost making it an attractive option for customers.
SolarCity has now extended its business into Oregon and Arizona with plans to extend to 10 more states by the end of 2010.
10. First Solar
Solar Century prides itself in producing technology that lowers the cost of solar power. It builds thin film solar modules and by the end of 2009 will have the capacity to produce 1 GW of solar power.
Established in 1999, the company didn’t start producing commercial products till 2002. It aims to lower the cost of solar power enough to make it comparable with fossil fuel based energy sources. Considering the fact that its per watt cost is already at $0.87, I’d say it’s well on its way to doing that.