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Bloomberg New Energy Finance Picks 10 ’Pioneers’ for 2012

Bloomberg New Energy Finance recognized 10 companies for developing innovative solar, biofuel, power-storage and electricity-management systems.

The research company announced its New Energy Pioneers at its fifth annual conference today in New York.

The recipients were selected for both the potential value of their products and services and the companies’ ability to bring them to market, according to a statement. Some are focused on financing rather than energy, such as Clean Power Finance Inc., which operates an online marketplace for investors to fund consumers’ rooftop solar projects, said Nathaniel Bullard, an analyst at New Energy Finance.

“Buying a solar system five years ago was like buying an automobile in the 1950s, as there was one way to do it -- you had to pay cash,” Bullard said in an interview. Clean Power Finance’s market mechanism may address one of the basic hurdles of residential solar projects. “They still require more money than most consumers are willing to lay out in one go.”

Other Pioneers, such as Xtreme Power Inc., Smarter Grid Solutions Ltd, Maxwell Technologies Inc., Silver Spring Networks Inc. and Tendril Networks Inc., are developing storage systems, smart meters and software that may make the power grid more efficient.

Joining them are:

-Ecotality Inc., which develops electric-vehicle charging stations.

-Emefcy Ltd., which creates bacteria that generates electricity from treating wastewater.

-LanzaTech Inc., a developer of microbes that convert waste gas into fuel and chemicals.

-Va-Q-Tec AG, a maker of vacuum-based insulation materials.

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit begins today and runs through March 21.

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