Recent Posts:

The return of solar mega-deals

Rob Day: August 28, 2008, 9:27 AM
It's been amazing, as a long-time follower of energy policy and politics, to see just how central energy tech has been in the convention out in Denver. If you weren't watching C-Span, you likely didn't get to see it (the cable news networks seem to prefer showing us their own hired analysts instead of the speeches they're supposedly there to cover), but on Tuesday for example there were speeches by several governors specifically on energy policy issues, a "town hall" panel on the same topic, and even a speech from a cleantech VC, Nancy Floyd of Nth Power. Most Americans may not have gotten to see much of that thanks to the blathering bloviators in the studios, but it was clear that...

Few acquirers in cleantech?

Rob Day: August 22, 2008, 2:52 PM

Apologies to everyone for the lack of posts for the past couple of weeks. At least I have a good excuse (see pic)...

So what did we miss over the past week-plus? Not much. A few deals (and we'll do a bit of an update on those next week), Google putting money into geothermal, and a coming free-fall in silicon prices. Frankly, my news alerts have been filled with much more generic fluff/ hagiography about "big name VCs are jumping into cleantech, and say it's the next big thing!" than any real news items on the subject.

There was also a brief two-part discussion from Dan Primack of PE Week Wire on the cleantech wave. Dan always takes a good critical eye to any emerging...

A must-attend event in San Francisco on Wednesday

Rob Day: August 11, 2008, 9:18 AM
For those who can make it, the Marines' Memorial Association (in association with the Renewable Energy Business Network) will be holding what should be a fascinating forum on Wed. evening. As the campaigning season ramps up into full swing, try as you might to avoid it, you can't help getting wrapped up in presidential politics if you care about clean technologies and energy policy.  Energy policy is now front-and-center in the political debate at the national and at most state levels.  Many people are expecting pretty big shifts come 1/20/09, but there are a lot of unanswered questions about what these shifts might look like. On Wednesday evening, the Marines' Memorial...

What we can learn from A123

Rob Day: August 11, 2008, 9:04 AM
The big news over the last few days has been the IPO filing of lithium ion battery innovator A123, who's looking to go public on NASDAQ sometime soon. Much will be written elsewhere about the prospects for the company's IPO, by those who follow the public markets more closely (and to reiterate the disclaimers, don't get your investment advice from this column, it would be the blind following the blind and we take no responsibility for your investment decisions, good or bad). But there's also a lot of information in the company's S-1... I thought it might be good to go through some of this info as a means of illustrating what a "successful" (still to be proven, but so far so...

Ausra, Blackstone, and Fotowatio

Rob Day: August 9, 2008, 4:36 AM
In the last post, we examined how solar and later-stage investments are really driving the cleantech venture sector these days.  Nice of everyone to prove our point with the various deal and fund announcements this past week -- thanks, guys!

Parsing the E&Y Q2 numbers

Rob Day: August 9, 2008, 3:36 AM
We talked about Q2 numbers a while back, but Ernst & Young's Q2 release this past week is particularly useful to look through because of the depth of data they released -- a great breakdown by stage, category, etc. with historical data.  Inclusive not only of energy, but also other cleantech sectors often ignored.  The E&Y data was worth the wait... The headline which you've probably already seen is that it was a record quarter for U.S. cleantech venture capital, at $962mm, way up from Q1 and the biggest quarter since 2002 (barely beating out Q3 2007). Of course, that's on a dollar basis.  The NUMBER of deals was big, yes, at 41, but that only puts the quarter at the 3rd most...