Recent Posts:

XsunX gets a $10.85M commitment

Rob Day: July 27, 2005, 2:29 PM
Publicly-traded XsunX has announced a PIPE funding from Cornell Capital, LP. The funding is in the form of a $10M "standby equity distribution agreement" for tranched funding as needed over 24 months, and $850K of convertible debentures. XsunX appears to be pre-revenue, and is developing BIPV specifically for glass windows.

Wednesday tidbits: Prism Solar, NCSRT, Mid-Atlantic Biodiesel, etc.

Rob Day: July 27, 2005, 1:53 PM
Some items of note from recent news:
  • Prism Solar has taken in $400K in seed stage funding from investors including Counter Point Ventures. More details on Prism Solar's founding and plans are available here. The company plans to start production in 2006, for their solar concentrator technology.
  • Vantage Point Venture Partners' New Energy Capital has led a $10M investment into Mid-Atlantic Biodiesel, as mentioned in today's PE Week Wire. Interesting blurb in the PEWW about cleantech...

"How do I get a job in cleantech?"

Rob Day: July 26, 2005, 6:36 PM
"It's clear that the energy sector is ramping up. Do you have any advice for me as I look to transition into the industry?"
This question and its many variants are posed quite often... People recognize the momentum that clean technologies, and in particular energy technologies, appear to be gaining, and they want to figure out how to get in.

So I wanted to take the opportunity to pass on the answers I usually give to such job-seekers, in case it's helpful. This advice is pretty basic; there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for job seekers, and luck always plays a huge factor in any job search. But below are my thoughts, limited insights, and good links for those looking for a new job...

Some recent moves in solar

Rob Day: July 25, 2005, 8:08 PM
Solar continues to make headlines:
  • Speaking of thin film solar (here, here, here and here), CleanEdge has passed on a recent announcement that Sharp is opening up a new thin-film solar manufacturing plant. The plant will have capacity to produce 15MW of solar cells. This kind of activity by the big players can be both good and bad for the smaller companies in the space, depending upon their...

The biodiesel/ ethanol debate is heating up: What should investors conclude?

Rob Day: July 20, 2005, 8:19 PM
Cleantech investors have been watching with interest in recent days as the debate over the "net energy benefit" of plant-based fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel has heated up.

A couple of weeks ago, researchers at Cornell and UC-Berkeley released a report in which they concluded that "there is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel... These strategies are not sustainable." The researchers examined ethanol production from corn, switchgrass and wood biomass, and biodiesel from soybeans and sunflower, and concluded that in every case it requires more fossil fuel-based energy to make the fuel than the fuel itself then carries -- a net negative energy benefit. Thus,...

Wednesday tidbits

Rob Day: July 20, 2005, 12:40 PM
Here are a few recent news items of potential interest:
  • Another "introduction to cleantech investing" article, this time by SNL Interactive. Some good quotes by Keith Raab at the Cleantech Venture Network, and an interesting investment criteria checklist from GE Energy Financial Services. A decent overview, although it would have been nice if they had also listed Expansion Capital Partners among those active in the space, of course... A strong list and good article nonetheless.