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A sign of trouble in the ethanol business, VeraSun seeks bankruptcy protection after a rapid decline in corn prices and a misplaced bet on feedstock purchases.
Consolidation comes to green tech: Oil refiner Valero snaps up the ethanol refineries of bankrupt VeraSun while solar developer Recurrent Energy buys another company's project pipeline.
There's plenty of enthusiasm for funding the latest green-tech or alternative-fuel company. The problem is the economy stinks, and doesn't look like it will improve anytime soon.
Even amid the economic gloom, smaller clean-tech start-ups in efficiency and renewable energy are being funded because demand for their products remains strong.
Six months ago, biofuels start-up Mascoma had the wind in its sails, as did the rest of the clean-tech sector. Now, the company is treading carefully and scaling back.
Corn ethanol firms talk merger, clean-tech researcher predicts a shift to quality in investments, and Calgary researchers develop a CO2 "air scrubber."
To "get ahead of" future challenges brought by capital market turmoil, second-generation ethanol company lays off president and other executives in an effort to preserve cash.
Algae demonstration plant in Colorado, Pacific Ethanol's quarterly loss, a peek at a quiet clean-tech energy investor, using biomass from Hurricane Ike instead of coal, Fisker expands in Michigan, and the ethanol "blend wall."
In 2002, President Bush signed legislation to avoid a repeat of the "hanging chad" fiasco of the 2000 elections. But as the U.S. heads to the polls, worries about e-voting still linger.
Ethanol investing is full of minefields, and despite ethanol becoming a major source of US fuel supply, that has not translated into gains for the ethanol investors.