Recent Posts:

Are cleantech VCs finally starting to get active again?

Rob Day: March 29, 2009, 4:04 AM
I spent a couple of busy days in Washington, DC this week, meeting with old colleagues and making some new connections.  (And I drove all 1,000 round-trip miles instead of taking the train, how do you like me now, Xconomy!)  One thing that was impressively clear in DC is how front-and-center energy technology is among staffers on the Hill.  A lot of very important things being worked on there right now, and minds seem to be pretty focused.  Great to see.  Unfortunately, it's also clear that the entire cleantech venture and startup community is gearing up to bombard the Hill and the DOE with funding requests... Meanwhile, outside of the Beltway, it's starting to feel like maybe...

Getting a job in cleantech

Rob Day: March 21, 2009, 9:14 AM
It's terrific to see the first of the DOE loan guarantees being awarded, to Solyndra it turns out.  Good acceleration by the DOE to get that kind of industry support underway, and the first of a lot more to come. With a big influx of government support coming into the industry, there will be new project-related jobs as well.  In these economic times, that will be welcome news to many readers, I'm sure. I've already written a few words of guidance in the past, once last year, and once a few years back. In terms of places to look for the jobs, besides the generic job boards out there, a few green collar job sites have sprung up that are worth checking out:

Cleantech Investing: Four Years Old

Rob Day: March 19, 2009, 3:15 PM
Happened to notice that Sunday will be the fourth anniversary of my first Cleantech Investing post.  Going back through the archives really helps bring home what a wild ride it has been over the past 48 months in this sector.  And the fun continues... Many, many thanks to those of you who have made this site such a fun and interactive experience.  Keep those comments and questions and gripes coming!  I hope I can continue to make this column a useful resource for you (and the few thousand of our closest friends who regularly stop by).  And if you are a web2.0 type, check out the Twitter feed and the Facebook page for readers, so you can network with your fellow C.I....

A T.R.I. for carbon emissions?

Rob Day: March 14, 2009, 11:04 AM
Perhaps I'm just a hopeless policy wonk, but I was very excited to see the news that the EPA has proposed that major sources of carbon emissions should have to report what and how much they put out their smokestacks. Information is an undervalued but critically important regulatory tool.  If information gathering and reporting programs are well-designed, they can drive powerful market forces at minimal costs, with maximum flexibility. When policy pundits talk about regulating a pollutant like carbon emissions, what you hear most of the time are arguments for either "market-based" regulations (like cap-and-trade or carbon tax) or "command-and-control" regulations (like "best...

Catching up on a month of cleantech dealflow

Rob Day: March 14, 2009, 10:06 AM
Even in this economy, cleantech deals keep happening.  We're way behind on mentioning them here, so here's a catch-up of sorts:
  • ChapDrive AS, a Norwegian wind turbine transmission startup, has raised an EUR 6mm round of financing.  Existing investors NorthZone Ventures, Hafslund Venture and Energy Capital Management, and new investors StatoilHydro and Innovation Norway provided the funding.

A proposal for government seed stage funding in cleantech

Rob Day: March 9, 2009, 10:06 AM
A couple of weeks ago I wrote up a few thoughts on the chatter about government money being directed to cleantech venture capital firms (and then discovered I'd given fodder to the Globe, who knew?).  At the end of the column, I mentioned that I wished to see more government support for cleantech startups at the early end, too early for many venture capital investors.  It prompted some thoughtful replies from several readers. One reader pointed me to Sustainable Development Technology Canada.  This is a non-profit, quasi-governmental corporation that makes direct investments in Canadian cleantech companies to help them in later-stage growth or for initial project development...

The cleantech anti-bubble is a buying opportunity

Rob Day: March 9, 2009, 6:12 AM
Ah, memories.  Remember way back when I had to devote significant writing on this website to the question of whether there was a bubble in cleantech or not?  And by now, it's starting to look like even my fairly pessimistic 1H09 cleantech venture dollars predictions may have been a bit optimistic, given that Jan-Feb investment totals were on a pace of less than 50% of 2008 annual totals. What we're seeing now is an anti-bubble.  It's across the entire economy, and in fact cleantech appears to be more insulated than many other sectors, but people just aren't putting money out there. In their March 7th issue, The Economist declares: "A share's value must be the present value of...