10. AltaRock Energy
AltaRock Energy claims it can tap geothermal energy anywhere in the U.S., not just in geologically active hotspots. The company’s wells are as deep as four miles, and AltaRock is in the process of proving its worth with projects in Oregon and Nevada. One of its key hurdles is proving that the technology won’t trigger earthquakes.
9. Solena Fuels
Solena Fuels made headlines in 2011 when a group of major airlines led by American and United Continental entered into negotiations for the company’s proprietary jet biofuel. The company’s plasma generated biofuel is a drop-in alternative to oil-derived jet fuels, offering a new form of energy security to the air travel industry.
8. Defkalion Green Technologies
Early 2011 saw the rise of the Energy Catalyzer, a revolutionary cold fusion heat energy generator developed by inventors Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi. The machine generates more energy than is put into it in a hydrogen and nickel powder reaction. Defkalion Green Technologies is the first company granted rights to develop an Energy Catalyzer power plant.
San Mateo, California
SolarCity is a leading full-service solar provider for homeowners, businesses and government organizations—the first company to provide solar power system design, financing, installation and monitoring services from a single source.
Google recently created a $280 million fund—its largest renewable energy investment to-date—to help SolarCity install rooftop systems across America.
6. Laricina Energy
Laricina Energy is an oil sands development company with estimated 4.6 billion barrels of bitumen in proven reserves. Once under full production, Laricina could catapult Canada into the position of number one oil producer in the world, surpassing Saudi Arabia. The company is currently testing pilot wells with its Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage technology and expects production of 40,000 barrels per day by 2014.
San Francisco, California
Solazyme Inc. has been working closely with the United States military to create biofuels to power fighter jets, naval ships and ground vehicles. The company recently powered the first military helicopter flight to run on algal biofuel. The company’s proprietary algae biofuel process makes it one of the world leaders in the up-and-coming sector.
Auckland, New Zealand
PowerbyProxi is breaking ground on wireless electricity transfer technology. Its unique process converts electricity into a magnetic field that can travel through the air, then regenerate electricity when it reaches its destination. The company is applying the technology to battery charging, control systems and sensors.
Backed by Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, Transphorm has been grabbing headlines with its new energy conversion technology. Using a revolutionary material known as Gallium Nitride, Transphorm believes it can recover billions of dollars worth of energy lost in the electricity conversion process.
2. BrightSource Energy
Backed by Google, BrightSource Energy is developing the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, which will be the world’s largest solar thermal pant. The company has also partnered with BP Alternative Energy, Morgan Stanley, Chevron and Statoil in its pursuit of utilities-scale solar projects.
1. Sapphire Energy
San Diego, California
Sapphire Energy has successfully created a drop-in gasoline alternative that is directly compatible with existing petroleum infrastructure. The company’s “Green Crude” product is a direct replacement for crude oil made from algae that can be used in existing refineries, pipelines and pump stations.
Sapphire Energy’s algae biofuel production takes place in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where CEO Jason Pyle has stated "Sapphire hopes to produce 1 million gallons of algae diesel and jet fuel each year in the next two years" and "1 billion gallons of fuel a year by 2025."
In September 2009, Sapphire Energy partnered with Syntroleum Inc. to provide 50 gallons of its fuel to drive a plugin-hybrid Toyota Prius across the United States to prove the efficacy of the “Green Crude” technology.
The company’s “Green Crude” meets fuel quality standards and has achieved a 91 octane rating. If there’s one company to bet on, it would be the one that can directly replace declining oil reserves; and that’s exactly what Sapphire Energy is doing.