Renewable energy doesn't happen by itself.
Because it is still so hard to compete financially against fossil fuels - and the industry is still in its infancy - Massachusetts is seed funding researchers working on green energy. Researchers can get up to $40,000 to demonstrate the commercial viability of clean energy technology. The idea is once they get some financial help through a development curve, they can find commercial funding elsewhere.
The MassCEC Catalyst Program, launched by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center is now in its fifth round of funding projects.
Recipients must use the funds for projects that move their idea forward commercially, such as gathering initial data, comparing the technology to existing technologies, and developing a prototype.
To be eligible for an award a state researcher must be a principal investigator or the technology most be disclosed to a researcher's host institution which must be in Massachusetts.
The first deadline for applicants is Oct. 19, 2012. Application directions are here.
Also, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is extending a deadline for Solarize Massachusetts until Oct. 31 because of high demand. The program is designed around using groups of residents or businesses to contract for solar energy so they can negotiate a better price.
The seventeen communities in Solarize Mass - including Boston - have contracted over 288 solar systems that could power the equivalent of 312 homes. More than 4,500 people have expressed interest in the system and more than 2,000 of those scheduling site assessments at their homes or businesses. Installers participating in the program have agreed to extend to program deadline for a month in all 17 communities.
For more information on the program call 617-315-9306.
About the green blog
Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
Christopher Reidy covers business for the Globe.
Doug Struck covers environmental issues from Boston.
Glenn Yoder produces Boston.com's Lifestyle pages.
Eric Bauer is site architect of Boston.com.
Bennie DiNardo is the Boston Globe's deputy managing editor/multimedia.
Dara Olmsted is a local sustainability professional focusing on green living.