Recent Posts:

Lessons From the Past Ten Years: Localization

Rob Day: November 27, 2012, 8:41 PM

"Cleantech" being a catch-all term that covers a wide range of mostly disconnected industries and markets and technologies, it's always interesting to note commonalities across subsectors where you can find them.

One such macrotrend which I believe will end up driving a lot of cleantech innovation is the emergence of distributed alternatives to previously centralized processes. 

There are two factors underlying this trend.

First of all, long-range transportation costs appear likely to be higher going forward, simply because they are so dependent upon oil prices. This is not a given. But there are reasons to believe oil prices are likely to rise over the medium to long run,...

The Role of the DOE in Obama’s Second Term

Rob Day: November 8, 2012, 10:30 AM

Have been on a run of policy-related columns lately, and am eager to get back to talking about cleantech entrepreneurs and investors.

But I have had a few people request some thoughts on the role of the DOE in Obama's second term, so figured I would tackle that first.

In short, my overall perspective is that the DOE under Secretary Chu has launched some important things, but now needs to transition from a focus on technological innovation (without losing the progress made there) to a focus on commercialization and consensus-building.

First, let's recap what the DOE actually does, because many people don't really know. The DOE is a massive organization, with something like...

Don’t Fail This Time

Rob Day: November 1, 2012, 9:54 AM

We all watched with horror this week as Sandy carved a path of destruction through some of the most populous areas of our country. Please, stop reading this, go find a way to help, and then when you can, come back to the rest of this. Let's focus on helping those in need as a clear first priority.

It's been fascinating to me to watch how quickly the media and some politicians have pivoted this week, post-Sandy, to talking seriously about the dangers of climate change. Whereas just last week I felt the conversation was so pushed to the sidelines that even just forcing a sober discussion would be a step forward.

Let's acknowledge one basic fact: If we ever get to the point where...