Here is what we are hearing:

ClearEdge Power lands world’s largest utility fuel cell deal

Fuel cell maker ClearEdge Power has scored the mother of all utility deals: a 50 MW, $500 million deal with Austrian utility Güssing Renewable Energy. ClearEdge Power VP of Marketing Mike Upp tells me in an interview that Güssing will run the entire distributed network of fuel cells off of biogas, produced from the area’s forest and agricultural bi-products.

MGI: QuesTek helps develop software to model precipitation in multiphase and multicomponent systems

Thermo-Calc Software AB and QuesTek Innovations LLC have jointly developed TC-PRISMA, a powerful new user-friendly software package available from Thermo-Calc Software AB for modeling precipitation in multicomponent and multiphase systems, which is used in conjunction with well-established Thermo-Calc and DICTRA software. TC-PRISMA evaluates concurrent nucleation, growth and coarsening, and incorporates key models and algorithms from QuesTek’s PrecipiCalc precipitation simulation software. Charlie Kuehmann, QuesTek’s President and CEO, commented, “The launch of TC-PRISMA software is very timely given President Obama’s recent establishment of the Materials Genome Initiative. TC-PRISMA is an important new tool for materials design engineers to computationally design materials.

China’s cement growth slows in November 2011, but flat glass output accelerates

China’s building materials showed different momentum of growth in November 2011, with a slowing cement output growth and a speeding plate glass, according to latest statistics from the country’s top economic planner. Cement output growth in November 2011 stood at 11.2 percent year-on-year, 6.1 percentage points lower than previous year, while plate glass production expansion reached 7.1 percent year-on-year, quickening by by 0.5 percentage points from previous year. Still, China’s cement output reached 1.89 trillion tonnes in the first 11 months of last year, an increase 17.2 percent year-on-year, 1.6 percentage points faster than previous year. The output of flat glass, a sector fraught with overcapacity and duplicated construction problems, rose 17 percent year-on-year to 6.82 trillion weight boxes in the January-November period of last year.

AGA cookers go greener with aerogel ‘Cool Covers’

Designed as a simple retrofit option for the AGA Classic, Cool Covers are aerogel insulated and magnetically attach to the underside of hob lids to obstruct heat transfer from the hob plates to the lids. Not only do Cool Covers reduce total cooker energy consumption, but they also cut CO2 emissions by up to 0.55 tons/year, decrease kitchen temperatures in summer, and act as self-cleaning spatter guards to keep the lid liners clean.

Lux Research picks E Ink, Cypak, Cambrios as top companies in printed, organic, and flexible electronics

Partnerships are key to the success of companies in printed, organic, and flexible electronics. To see which companies are best candidates for alliances, Lux Research applied the Lux Innovation Grid to rate technology developers in displays, organic photovoltaics, smart packaging, transparent conductive films and thin-film batteries, in a new report. “Successful projects require bringing together companies to support the three key areas of expertise: materials, equipment and devices,” said Jonathan Melnick, Lux Research analyst and the lead author of the report. “Few, if any, companies have best-in-class capabilities in all of these areas, so picking partners with care is an essential component of a successful strategy.”