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Green-tech news harvest: Solar batteries for home electronics

Roundup: solar-powered batteries in Japan; water utilities for climate change; looming solar-industry shakeout; Cleantech Forum news; and newspapers vs. online reading.

Solar home batteries. Japanese newspaper Nekkei reports that Sharp is forming a partnership with Daiwa House Industry and Dai Nippon Printing to make home batteries that will be powered by small solar panels. Set for release in 2009 or 2010 in Japan, the lithium ion batteries would be able to store up to 18 kilowatt-hours of power, enough to run home electronics such as laptops. There is a growing number of portable solar chargers for gadgets, like cell phones, but larger batteries are needed for most household appliances and electronics. Reuters. Asia in Focus.

Climate change hits water sources. Eight of the top U.S. water utilities have formed a coalition, called the Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), to better prepare for the impact on water supplies from global warming. The coalition's first act was to call on federal agencies to make better climate-modeling tools. Reuters.

The global face of clean tech. At the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, Abu Dhabi-based The Masdar Initiative and Google won awards for their clean-tech efforts. Cleantech Media.

Girding for a solar-industry shakeup. Greentech Media lists nine major trends driving the solar industry. Analysts expect to see a shakeout following a multiyear run-up in investing. Atop the trend list: larger is better.

Are dead-tree newspapers greener than Web news outlets? A Slate columnist runs the numbers and disagrees with a Swedish report that concludes that physical newspapers are better for the environment than their online counterparts. Slate.

Green homes and scooters. CNET's Elsa Wenzel and photographer Corinne Schulze scan the Cleantech Forum's exhibitor floor. Photos: Turning green into gold.