Recent Posts:

Gigaton Throwdown

Rob Day: June 26, 2009, 9:04 AM

Cleantech investor Sunil Paul doesn't just invest his time and effort into startups, he and a lot of volunteers have also now launched the "Gigaton Throwdown", an effort to answer a huge question:

What would it take to reduce CO2e emissions by a gigaton by 2020?

It's well worth downloading and reading the report at the GT website

The report looks at nine different technology areas (ones where cleantech VCs have been putting in a lot of dollars, in most cases) to see what it would take to scale up each one to a gigaton of annual emissions reductions by 2020, including an estimate of how much money would need to be invested in order to make that kind of impact.

  • Next generation...

Defenestrate your assumptions

Rob Day: June 19, 2009, 11:36 AM

If one is to go by what cleantech VCs are saying these days, it seems like we're at a time where some of the core assumptions and current patterns in cleantech venture capital might be about to see some changes.

This is all within the context of VCs generally agreeing that cleantech is going to see continued interest and investments going forward (note: pdf), of course.  But the colleagues I speak with will often refer to some key challenges facing the sector's status quo:

1.  The venture model is (kinda) broken, across all sectors.  Lots of people say this phrase, but they all tend to mean different things by it.  In general, however, there's a growing recognition that in the overall...

What happens if coal ISN’T cheap and plentiful?

Rob Day: June 8, 2009, 11:00 AM

Almost a year ago, I wrote about reading a National Geographic special issue on energy from 1981.  So I was interested to pick up a copy of a new National Geographic special issue on energy.  What's most interesting about the 2009 version is how much gloomier it is than the 1981 version.  The 28 year old report reads almost like an issue of Popular Science, focusing on new technologies and potential solutions to energy supply challenges.  The 2009 version talks about how we are stuck between a "played-out rock and a hard place," focusing as much on environmental challenges as supply challenges.  The tone of the public conversation around energy has certainly changed over the last...

A new pet peeve

Rob Day: June 1, 2009, 3:49 PM

So it seems that the big push among cleantech startups right now isn't just asking for money from the government...  It's also putting out press releases announcing that they're asking for money.  I won't name names, but I now get a few of these PRs in my in-box each day.  I can't imagine it does much good towards affecting any official grant decision-making process.  And if that startup doesn't get the requested grant, then how does it look for them?

Worse, these announcements are often covered as breaking news by the industry media.  Sign of the times, I guess.  But it's still a bit much, IMHO. 

So onto real news -- recent announced deals: