I’m an independent technology and business reporter and the national correspondent for Xconomy. I also write write for MIT Technology Review, IEEE Spectrum, Greentech Media, the Guardian, GreenBiz, the Boston Globe, and Scientific American. I previously worked at tech news site CNET, where I was the lead reporter and manager of the Green Tech blog, and as executive editor of enterprise IT publication InfoWorld. You can view articles by topic from the menu above. Below are some recent stories.

Interest in Silicon Valley Solar Startups Returns

Solexel Cell

Solar Survivors: Despite a brutal industry shakeout and the flight of venture capitalists, next-generation solar cell technologies from Silicon Valley startups show signs of maturing.

Xconomy

 

Tech Entrepreneurs Warm to Urban Farming

Using emerging lighting technology and automation, indoor farmers hope to accelerate urban farming one warehouse and home garden at a time.

The Guardian

A Big Bet on How to Store Grid Energy Cheaply

ICAES Sept2013There’s a technology race going on to develop a cheap, reliable, and safe energy storage system for the grid that can store multiple hours of energy to back up wind and solar and even replace power plants. Many companies are pushing novel batteries. But there’s a whole other group engineers working with basic materials–air, steel, water, gravel–hoping they can get there first with mechanical systems. 

Smithsonian magazine online

 

Electric Grid, You Have Software Updates Available

Cal ISO

Researchers are developing software that will let renewable energy flow into and out of a decentralized power grid like data on the Internet 

Scientific American

 

Nuclear Startups Reimagine Atomic Energy11nuclear08[1]

 

Young entrepreneurs are taking on the daunting task of improving nuclear power over worries about climate change. The Boston Globe

 

Giant Batteries to Replace Power Plants

3a816c69-e815-4c07-b0c8-14f30bb948f7New battery technologies will transform how power is delivered on the electric grid.

IEEE Spectrum

Drones In Service of the Planet

Civilian drone adoption is still early but already people are imagining ways these flying robots can improve agriculture, environmental and wildlife monitoring, and wind turbine inspection.

GreenBiz

The Internet of Things and the Environment

Turning everyday objects, such as thermostats and streetlights, into smart connected devices has lots of potential if businesses and cities can find the killer apps. GreenBiz

Running the Electric Grid on “Negative Watts”

Demand response is transforming how the grid is run. GreenBiz

Storing Hours of Solar Energy by Circulating Saltwater

enervault blogA flow battery from startup EnerVault could pave the way toward long-duration batteries replacing natural gas plants.

IEEE Spectrum

Fish Get Pedigrees, the High-Tech Way

Entrepreneurs are bringing technology to the ancient business of hauling fish from the sea. They aim to improve the traceability of wild-caught fish in an effort to make the industry economically and environmentally sustainable.

The Boston Globe seafood globe

Fracking fuels water tech innovation 

The energy industry’s growing demand for water is spurring water-treatment innovation that could spill over into other sectors.

Guardian Sustainable Business

Why Cheap Biofuels from Superbugs Fell Short

credit: Jonathan Remis, JBEI

credit: Jonathan Remis, JBEI

LS9 was a synthetic biology pioneer created by premier scientists and top-flight venture capitalists to make low-cost fuels such as diesel from sugar. But companies formed to make biofuels from genetically engineered microbes have yet to produce fuel at scale or compete with petroleum on price. MIT Technology Review

Making Ethanol from Waste Gases

Stanford researchers develop a copper catalyst that can efficiently convert carbon monoxide and water to ethanol. If perfected, it could provide an economic incentive for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

MIT Technology Review

Converting CO2 to Chemicals and Fuels

Liquid Light   Startup Liquid Light has an electrochemical process for making valuable chemicals from waste carbon dioxide–a route towards potentially making chemicals and fuels with renewable solar and wind. MIT Technology Review

Microgrids 101: What you need to know

Why all the buzz about microgrids?

Microgrids and the Future of Energy 

Everyone agrees that distributed energy is changing the electric grid, but whether microgrids and distributed energy fundamentally reshape the energy system is still up for grabs. GreenBiz