Recent Posts:

First look at Q4: What happened??

Rob Day: December 31, 2009, 10:25 AM

Over twenty participants already in the 2010 CI Readers' Prediction survey, in just a few hours after launching.  If you haven't taken the survey yet, click here to do so.  It's only a couple of quick questions.

 

The first of the year-end cleantech VC deal and dollar tallies has come out, with GTM's Eric Wesoff releasing his always-useful quarterly review.  Eric has a pretty good write-up on his results, so I won't go over it all here, but I wanted to highlight a few specific things that struck me:

1.  While Eric's blog posting talks about 2009 overall numbers, I'm frankly a bit taken aback to see that his totals for Q4 venture dollars were down at $817M, way down from Q3's $1.9B and...

Flashback:  How were last year’s CI predictions?

Rob Day: December 28, 2009, 11:26 AM

About this time last year, I put together a few predictions and readers chimed in with theirs.  How did we all do?

 

Question 1:  How far will U.S. cleantech venture dollars drop from 1H08 to 1H09? 

I wrote it could be as high as 40%.  I argued that what was going to go completely missing were the mega-deals, and that on a dollar basis at least those made up a significant chunk, around 40% of quarterly tallies. Readers voted for a drop, but totaling less than a third on a dollar basis.

Well, according to the Cleantech Group's tallies, in 1H08 the total North American disclosed venture capital tally was $2.9B, and for 1H09 it was down around $1.6B.  Which is a 45% drop... 

 

Question...

2010:  Five predictions

Rob Day: December 23, 2009, 1:35 PM

As we near the end of the year, it's time to take stock of 2009 and look ahead to 2010.  We'll look back at the past year and what we learned in another post, but for what it's worth (and remember what you're paying to read this, and value accordingly) here are five predictions for the coming year in cleantech investing:

 

1.  In terms of U.S. climate change legislation, something will be passed, but it will be more symbolic than impactful

The health care reform kerfuffle has demonstrated that it won't be easy for the Democrats to pass major legislation through the Senate without it being majorly watered down if it happens at all.  For something like climate change legislation in...

Random thoughts

Rob Day: December 16, 2009, 10:08 PM

1.  PWC has come out with a pretty useful report on cleantech in general, but what's interesting is that they've made it a very car- and meter-centric perspective.  Are cars and meters really the center of the cleantech universe?  It's an interesting way of looking at things, and it has some merit, as they are key segments in the electricity and transportation value chains.  However, it really ignores the commercial and industrial aspects of cleantech, in favor of residential.  But it's quite interesting to see the implicit shift away from electricity generation and fuel production as the centers of the universe.

 

2.  Eric Wesoff has a good column with a lot of venture investors'...

First impressions on cleantech venture capital in Israel

Rob Day: December 11, 2009, 12:28 PM

I've spent the week in Israel -- my first time ever visiting the country -- as the guest of Israel Cleantech Ventures (I'm a bit biased toward these guys, I admit), visiting a bunch of cleantech startups and getting a first-hand view of the market.  And it's been fascinating.

Israel is among the most innovative countries, especially on a per capita basis.  Israel was recently ranked 4th in terms of scientific activity, and ICV claims to be tracking 800 cleantech venture investment opportunities here.  And all this activity is taking place in a country with only 7 million people -- just a bit more than the total population of Arizona.  As was recently written about elsewhere at...

Advanced lighting:  Sales leaders wanted

Rob Day: December 4, 2009, 2:12 PM

Advanced lighting is a subsector of cleantech that particularly intrigues me, because it so epitomizes many of the opportunities and challenges across the cleantech spectrum.

First of all, it is a huge opportunity.  Most light sources out there are better heaters than they are light sources, and lighting accounts for around 30% of electricity consumption according to some tallies.  There's a lot of efficiency to be gained with no sacrifice (and increasingly, with added benefits) for end users.  You can find compelling payback periods for some advanced lighting opportunities already, and LEDs (my leading candidate for nextgen lighting technology) are just getting brighter and cheaper...