Wave of Acquisitions to Hit Energy Efficiency Sector
Cascadia Capital expects to see a wave of acquisitions in the energy efficiency space, driven by large players who want to get in, and investors who want to get out while the getting is good.
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Cascadia Capital expects to see a wave of acquisitions in the energy efficiency space, driven by large players who want to get in, and investors who want to get out while the getting is good.
The Cleantech Open announced that 163 semifinalist teams have been selected from across the United States to participate in the cleantech business competition. 35 of the companies will advance in the Energy Efficiency category; 15 are competing in the Green Building category.
Smart Grid. If you work in the energy industry, it’s everywhere you turn. Conferences, webinars, articles, press releases, advertisements. Messages on renewable integration, electric vehicle charging, privacy, security, consumer backlash, mergers and new acquisitions. Which aspect matters the most?
The Energy Electricity segment raised $1.32 billion in 2010, the most venture capital funding for the year, according to an Ernst & Young LLP analysis based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource.
Twitter's "@CleantechRadio" highlights public radio stations and producers who are airing "green" programming. These are the best of 2010.
One item on my list of "top 10 things to do in January, 2011" is to check out how many people are making Green Top 10 lists, and to see what were our most popular stories of 2010.
A new paper from the U.S. Department of Energy explores the ways in which American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investment in clean energy is spurring economic growth and attracting investment from the private sector, and even standing up entirely new industries for the 21st century.
I see myriad opportunities for tech entrepreneurs to transition to energy. The parallels between the Internet and the smart grid are notable -- from innovations to startup financing to industry transformation.
Founding editor Denis Du Bois is moderating the MIT Enterprise Forum on smart-grid entrepreneurship next Wednesday evening. Here's a description. We hope you can be in the audience to ask your questions or share your tech-to-grid experience.
In the next month, dozens of contestants will learn their fates in the nation's largest business plan competition for cleantech startup companies. The 2010 Cleantech Open is naming regional winners in events leading up to the national finals on November 17 in San Jose, CA.
Attorney and guest columnist Jay Eckhardt of Stoel Rives has analyzed the FTC's proposed "Green Guides" for marketing, and finds they don't represent a radical shift from the 1998 version.
Denis Du Bois interviews Ron Pernick, founder and managing partner of research firm Clean Edge, about the "Clean Tech Job Report 2010" released today (6 Oct 2010). Pernick discusses the U.S. cities that are hot spots for cleantech job creation, the payscales for those green jobs, the global picture for cleantech employment growth, the role of China, and how the United States can get its innovation mojo back. Meanwhile, since foreign companies will be creating a majority of green collar jobs, those jobs might as well be in the U.S. (podcast)
Great minds like to think. Now over 2,500 energy professionals are connecting with like minds, in our Thought Leaders group.
Founding Editor Denis Du Bois looks forward on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
I had the pleasure of moderating an expert panel at the Washington Innovation Summit on April 9, 2010. The panelists were executives from an energy efficiency startup, an energy utility, a government agency, and an independent producer of renewable energy.
Washington's Governor "joined us" on stage for a role-playing exercise. And with the help of a prototype Time Machine, we explored several opportunities for businesses, researchers and policymakers to create a prosperous future in clean energy.
The Wall Street Green Trading Summit is coming up on March 23 and 24, 2010, in Times Square in New York City. Launched in 2002, this is one of the longest-running environmental market events in the industry.
The race is on to develop a competitive advantage in cleantech -- not just for corporate profit or state and regional economic development, but as a key driver of national economic competitiveness in the 21st Century. Is the US prepared to compete and win at this new Great Game? Two recent deals in China for US solar companies First Solar and eSolar show a worrying trend.
Despite no binding climate change accord in Copenhagen, VC investment in cleantech is on a global rebound, say The Cleantech Group and Deloitte. Strong M&A and IPO activity in Asia and an increased share of VC investment in Europe underscore the global growth of cleantech.
We talked with people from every stratum of the cleantech world in 2009. Here are 10 voices we think are most worth revisiting as we enter the clean energy decade.
Denis Du Bois's advice on social media marketing aired on the "Inside Renewable Energy" program from New Hampshire this morning.
...The end of the beginning, that is. Each year, the analyst firm issues predictions for the year ahead. Denis Du Bois interviews Cleantech Group Managing Director and Cleantech Insights Executive Editor Dallas Kachan about this year's predictions, released today. (podcast) (transcript)
The Cleantech Open held its first ever national awards gala tonight, incorporating finalists from two new regional pageants in Seattle and Boulder along with the larger pool of entrants from the original California competition. Here's a quick recap of the contestants and national award winners.
The three 2009 Rocky Mountain finalists will receive $50,000 of cash and in kind services.
Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire was the keynote speaker at the final awards gala for her state's first cleantech business plan competition. About 200 people came to the ACT Theatre last night to see which three startups were selected as finalists. Congratulations to Green Lite Motors, Hydrovolts Inc., and LivinGreen Materials. Winning teams will compete in the National Clean Tech Open in San Francisco next month.
In the next month, dozens of contestants will learn their fates in the nation's two largest business plan competitions for cleantech startup companies. The Ignite Clean Energy competition will name its winners on November 10 in Boston. The Clean Tech Open, with competitions in Silicon Valley, Denver and Seattle, will name regional winners in events leading up to the national finals on November 17 in San Francisco.
More than 7 in 10 chief marketing officers say their 2009 budgets have been reduced from 2008 levels, with a slight majority indicating that their budgets had been slashed by at least 20%, according to the Forrester Research "Q1 2009 Global CMO Recession Online Survey."
The Pacific Northwest Clean Tech Open is a business plan competition. Start here to find our interviews and coverage of the 2009 PNW CTO. http://tinyurl.com/pnwcto #pnwcto
On June 8, 2009, the Department of Energy ("DOE") issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement ("FOA") to deploy over $1.4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to be used to lower our nation's carbon emissions. Applications under this FOA are due August 7, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Most types of entities are eligible to apply.
What started as BuilConn several years ago has become a multi-conference about the convergence of energy and IT. ConnectivityWeek 2009 was held in Santa Clara, CA. Energy Priorities brings you the highlights of Bob Metcalfe's keynote, a speed tour of the expo, a summary of business opportunities identified, and a new place to look up all the acronyms. Plus interviews with visionaries in IT, smart energy, venture investment, and demand response.
Every business needs a dictionary to define important terms and decipher acronyms, and the smart grid business sector finally has one.
ConnectivityWeek 2009 keynote presentations this morning ranged from networks and nuclear to blackouts and blogging. Speakers were Bob Metcalfe and Juval Lowe.
ConnectivityWeek 2009, a conference about the convergence of energy and IT, is off to a great start. I couldn't resist the session titled "Business Opportunities in the Energy-Focused Marketplace." It did not disappoint.
When Denis started Energy Priorities Magazine on Earth Day 2004, he didn't imagine that the world would change so much in just five years.
What will be the next hot opportunity in the cleantech sector? Business organizations lately have been trying to find the answer to this very question. Earlier this month I introduced an excellent panel at the MIT Enterprise Forum, titled "Greenomics." Today I attended Xconomy's "The Rise of Cleantech in the Northwest" forum. Both events attracted sell-out crowds.
As we wait for stimulus dollars to trickle through the system, a provision of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 has finally born fruit for renewable energy.
Despite growing economic uncertainty during 2008, three major clean-energy sectors kept up a "blistering" growth rate, according to the Clean Energy Trends 2009 report released today by Clean Edge, Inc.
The 8th Annual Wall Street Green Trading Summit is an environmental financial market event that takes place in New York City April 1 and 2, 2009. The two-day event covers carbon emissions trading and finance, renewable energy markets, cleantech venture capital, green hedge funds and energy efficiency financial markets.
Hard truths from the front lines of the sustainability revolution: My two-sentence review of Auden Schendler's forthcoming "Getting Green Done" plus an examination of the author's opinions.
Green marketing plays an important role in companies' decisions to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. I'm talking about the marketing done by the buyers, not by the vendors.
Cleantech stocks are down. But lower oil prices or a drop in the stock market cannot stop the powerful momentum pushing the revolution forward.
The Demand Response and Advanced Metering Coalition is getting a new name, and a high-profile new member.
In Seattle, the only other place you would see so many suits is a funeral. But this capacity crowd of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs came not to bury the future of green. These 380 attendees came to hear what cleantech leaders are saying about the recent economic crisis and its effects on the industry. Optimism abounds. (photos)
SOLAR POWER INTERNATIONAL 2008 -- The Solar Power International conference sold out. Again. And once again the line-up of speakers was first class. They included California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and General Wesley Clark. Celebrities aside, this conference -- the industry's largest -- gave us an annual glimpse into the business of solar. Denis Du Bois talks about the show with CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund Manager Matt Lecar. (podcast)
Sustainable Industries Journal explains how marketers can avoid greenwashing and successfully align their brand attributes with their customers' green identities, in "Communicating Goals through the Five P's of Marketing."
Kevin Klustner has stepped down as CEO of Verdiem, the Seattle energy-efficiency company backed by KPCB and others. Verdiem's product is a tough sell. Will network power management catch on before thin clients/mobility/telecommuting/24-7 shiftwork make it irrelevant?
Great minds think green. The Energy Priorities Thought Leaders group at LinkedIn was founded a year ago, in October 2007. Members can see who they know among Energy Priorities readers, and connect with like minds.
The CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund's announcement earlier this month -- that Matthew Lecar will henceforth manage the fund -- is good news for the cleantech industry. Lecar combines Sand Hill investment savvy with energy industry expertise. That means entrepreneurs will meet an investor who understands the value of transformational clean energy innovations, and sees through those that aren't really.
This was great fun for a Friday... a crossword puzzle all about energy and the utility industry. I got all but four.
The major markets of the world are struggling with the authenticity of green claims. Most e-logos are recent, and labeling laws are a decade out of date. Who is responsible for instilling trust?
National Public Radio's prime-time program "All Things Considered" today ran a collection of brief stories about the steps businesses are taking to reduce their energy bills.
"Probably not" is the response from people Janis Mara interviewed.
Financial justification tools face three major challenges: Prospects don’t believe their output; facilities managers are not financially trained; and sales reps are not trusted to explain the numbers.
When I started Energy Priorities on Earth Day 2004, "sustainable business" for most companies meant having enough working capital. Few people took global warming seriously. Venture capital investment in clean tech (counting everything from agriculture to water) in the previous year had barely crested a billion dollars. The 2003 blackouts were behind us; our attention was on the elections...
Dow Jones dives into green tech -- will the sector ever be the same? Whether you think the Dow Jones imprimatur on environmentalism is the beginning of the Big Time, or the end of the fun, the Dow Jones Environmental Ventures conference in May 2008 will be a new venue to rub elbows with leading investors and entrepreneurs building start-ups in this sector.
A special section in today's New York Times focuses on green collar jobs, green college majors, business opportunities, zero-energy homebuilding, and investing. What collar am I?
Electricite de France is rumored to be working on a deal in which EdF could acquire a controlling share in Iberdrola. The combination would create a renewable energy giant with multinational clout.
The 7th Annual Wall Street Green Trading Summit is an environmental financial market event that takes place in New York City April 2 and 3, 2008. The two-day event covers carbon emissions trading and finance, renewable energy markets, cleantech venture capital, green hedge funds and energy efficiency financial markets.
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD 2008 -- If the global economy coughs, will it choke off the flow of capital into the solar energy sector? Or does this hot industry have a special antibody that makes it immune to a recession? The prospect of a slowdown is a global issue. For a global perspective, Denis Du Bois interviews Peter Bostock of Solaicx, a company that ships its ingots and wafers to major photovoltaic cell manufacturers all over the world. (podcast)
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD 2008 opened earlier this week with keynote addresses by two well-known Nevada dignitaries. This is the fifth year for the conference and expo formerly known as Power-Gen Renewable Energy and Fuels. More than the name has changed. This article is your gateway to our coverage of this all-renewables conference.
2008 promises to be an interesting and fruitful year. We can look forward to the effects of a new Energy Bill, presidential elections, and a growing trend toward sustainability in every aspect of business.
All three hold tremendous potential to strengthen profitability, competitiveness and our outlook for a sustainable future.
Our wish for you is to realize your full share of that potential in 2008.
Happy New Year,
Denis, Linda, Chris, Kathleen and everyone else who makes the virtual "printing press" go round at Energy Priorities.
Austin, Texas will be the site of the first manufacturing facility for HelioVolt Corporation, a producer of thin film solar energy products. The site was announced this morning. HelioVolt is headquartered in Austin, home to several clean-tech companies.
Fat Spaniel Technologies today announced a new web-based monitoring service for commercial-scale solar hot water installations. FST also announced a new integration with Outback equipment for off-grid and grid-tie photovoltaics. The news indicates the company is expanding its market focus into emerging niches of renewable energy information and analysis. (photos)
3Q '07 numbers are out. Deal count is down slightly, but dollars are way up: $2.5 billion. And the year's not over yet. Nationally the most active investor in clean tech was Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which invested $76.8 million. That was followed by Khosla Ventures at $68.4 million and Draper Fisher Jurvetson at $38.5 million.
Solaicx is a manufacturer of silicon ingots and wafers for photovoltaics, and the company recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Portland, OR. The plant will start out producing about 32 megawatts per year, and at full capacity it expects to employ 180 skilled workers and churn out 180 megawatts per year. Solaicx says its proprietary manufacturing technology yields low-cost, high quality cells that are optimized for solar energy applications. Why locate in Oregon, and not Asia? What is it about the Solaicx process that could make solar "affordable?" Denis Du Bois interviews the company's CEO, Bob Ford. (podcast) (photos) (transcript)
There's a one-day conference in Seattle next week, "Clean Tech Investing in the Pacific Northwest," that should be well worth attending. Stoel Rives and Nth Power recruit some outstanding speakers from around the world for the annual conference. Nth Power's founder has been in the energy business since the early 1980s and is best known for founding a clean tech investment firm before the field was even called "clean tech." She will moderate an investor panel discussing best practices in getting cleantech companies funded. Denis Du Bois interviews Nancy Floyd, founder and Managing Director of Nth Power in San Francisco. (podcast) (transcript)
Demand response and advanced metering are in the perpetual pilot stage in many utility territories. What will it take to make demand response an integral part of power delivery? At a conference on the banks of the Potomac, utilities and regulators will search for the answer.
As American businesses wrestle with sustainability and the prospect of even higher energy costs, competitive energy suppliers and members of the building automation industry are coming together at DR Expo 2007 to collaborate on ways to fast-track energy demand response solutions.
Let me be the first to point you to next week's Fortune magazine. Marc Gunther's "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" shines 4 pages of praise on solar module manufacturer SunPower.
In business, as with utilities, the real cost savings come not from the technologies themselves, but from the business strategies they enable. As energy costs rise, businesses must take strategic advantage of being able to know and control the costs in operations and production.
Home builder Peter Erickson used some innovative business ideas to allow homeowners to share in the incentives and financial benefits of harnessing solar energy.
When you're considering whether to install renewable energy at your business, or make any kind of energy efficiency investment, one major factor in your decision is how much and how fast you expect energy costs to change. What are the factors that drive energy prices up or down? I interview Ben Parker, who leads the Boston office of Tradition Energy. He's been involved in retail energy markets for 15 years, was an independent energy broker, and served a term in the New Hampshire state legislature. (podcast)
Why our electricity system is headed for a state of emergency, and what can be done to head it off: My two-sentence review of "Lights Out" by Jason Makansi, plus why I liked it and where it falls short.
An August 1, 2007, Wall Street Journal article relates oil prices to new investment opportunities in energy. It discusses "exotic instruments" such as commodity (oil, natural gas) funds, and "clean alternatives" such as wind and solar. Those are actually quite different investment strategies. Let's talk about the second one, that of focusing on alternative energy sources as an investment strategy.
It might be summer, but the energy event calendar is packed with interesting events. Renewables, smart grid, intelligent buildings and more, all between now and Thanksgiving. Here are our recommended top picks.
Stanley Bing stabs directly and not-altogether-humorously at the heart of American environmental gluttony. And he offers a solution.
Happy Birthday, Energy Priorities!
On Earth Day 2004, Energy Priorities Magazine became one of a very few voices talking to business leaders about energy issues with bottom-line sensibility. On the magazine's third birthday, founder Denis Du Bois notes how much has changed in a short time -- and how far we have yet to go.
Fat Spaniel Technologies recently appointed Hitesh Shah as chief financial officer. In this interview, Shah talks about the differences between energy tech and his experience with a venture capital fund and a computer-networking startup. He shares some words of advice for companies entering the energy sector.
Environmental activists and Wall Street are interweaving at a fevered pitch. Is it the activists who are grasping the importance of finance, or is it the finance community that finally gets the potential economic disaster of ignoring climate change?
In the dot-com boom, cities and states did their best to attract internet companies. Now that we're in the watt-com boom, it seems like every locality's economic development office is trying to attract renewable-energy businesses to their region. To me, it makes a statement about renewable energy's status as a sector, and about government leaders' expectations for the long-term growth of the industry. I interviewed some regional representatives at the Power-Gen Renewable Energy and Fuels 2007 conference. (podcast)(photo)
California's big three utilities have 2,660 MW of demand response enrolled, ahead of the regulators' policy goal for next summer. Enrollment is not the same as participation. Do companies have enough price elasticity to participate? If so, is demand response cost-effective for utilities? Can participating companies recover the cost of the necessary equipment? Who pays the price?
Blogged live from a meeting entitled "Demand Response: Simple Solutions, Real Savings, Fast Payback," this article grew as the meeting proceeded. It's still in its rough form, but nonetheless full of interesting information and perspectives. I invited readers to post questions using the comments form at the bottom of this article, and I posed some of them to the speakers and panelists.
Global clean-energy markets are poised to quadruple in the next decade, growing from $55.4 billion in revenues in 2006 to more than $226.5 billion by 2016 for four benchmark technologies, according to a report released today.
Six solar projects make 2006 a milestone year for this renewable-energy finance innovator. Third-party financing removes removes a cost barrier, and power purchase agreements promise predictably-priced green energy.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a "Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge" for 2007. The campaign urges large companies to make a greater commitment to renewable energy.
Engineers have been giving the electric utility industry gray hair -- literally. For several years, utilities have worried about the imbalance between the rates of retirement and recruitment of engineers. They're concerned that they'll lose one out of five of their most experienced engineers in the next 10 years, and as many as half of them in 20 years, to retirement.
Gonzaga University has a formula to help address the graying of the utility workforce. (The traditional formula, Grecian, goes only so far.)
Exporting clean energy technologies to developing countries is a potentially huge business. This deal is an example. China produces over 10 billion cubic meters of methane per year from their coal mines. A $100 million Hybrid Coal and Gas Turbine (HCGT) will turn that methane into electricity. The "clean coal" power plant technology was developed in Australia.
Renewable energy credits (RECs) are earned as power is produced, and can be sold to companies who want to offset their carbon output. That's an incentive to companies installing solar, but when California said "mine," solar companies screamed.
SunPower Corporation yesterday announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire PowerLight Corp.
BP's "Statistical Review of World Energy: Quantifying Energy, the Global Context" is summarized online in several forms, including a video podcast available on iTunes.
A new venture fund partners with institutional investors, project developers, and customers to build distributed clean energy generation plants and to sell the electricity and renewable energy credits to the host site under a power purchase agreement.
SEATTLE -- One of the highlights of today's "Investing in Clean Energy for the Pacific Northwest" is the panel of venture capitalists. The GP panel is a Who's Who of energy VCs. What attracted them to energy? Is it to make money, or to save the environment? What sets casual funds apart from serious players? How do strategic investors and public policy affect investments?
"If you are inclined to take a flier on an investment, might we suggest not a specific stock but a specific sector: energy." --Bill Virgin, P-I columnist.
Energy Minute: Customers with broadband over powerlines, or BPL, can get high-speed internet connections through their electrical outlets. The technology has been around for a long time, but it's getting more attention as demand for broadband grows. (Podcast)
“With the rising buzz about clean energy, this is the perfect time to help forge productive partnerships. And the Pacific Northwest is the perfect place to do it.” --Bill Holmes, chair of the Stoel Rives Energy and Telecommunications practice group, remarking on an October 4, 2006, conference in Seattle. The event will bring together authorities on clean energy investment trends and will focus on the intersection of clean energy, private investment and public policy in the Pacific Northwest.
SunEdison LLC has closed a multimillion-dollar financing round led by Goldman Sachs. The company offers financial and management services for commercial and residential solar installations.
WebGen Systems Inc. raised $9.5 million in Series B funding during 2Q 2006. The energy management software company offers applications for energy conservation and control in commercial buildings. Sigma Partners led the round.
Is broadband over powerlines bogus, or real? Analysts and vendors are predicting rapid growth for the internet technology. One analyst, though, has done the research and doesn't share their zeal.
Miartech Inc., a Chinese start-up, just raised $6 million in venture capital from Draper Fisher Jurvetson's Dragonfund for its BPL chip.
The Washington Technology Center presented its annual Washington State Technology Summit on April 28, 2006. The common themes were education, competitiveness, and awareness. The renewable energy track, focusing primarily on biofuels, was very well-attended.
Author Tim Flannery, interviewed recently on NPR, said he sees a softening in the Bush administration's rhetoric on climate change. It's a softening, he said, that cannot come too soon.
Bush appointee retires, takes post as chairman of Areva SA, a nuclear energy giant with designs on the newly lucrative U.S. market.
Private investment in "clean tech" -- primarily renewable energy technologies -- is climbing, while some of the funded companies are making headlines with their initial public stock offerings. Meanwhile the oil president puts on a green face, which puts smiles on the faces of biofuels producers and feedstock growers. Where does it all lead? An analyst report released today by Clean Edge examines factors the firm believes are influencing clean-energy market growth, and offers forecasts of coming trends.
Choosing a supplier for advanced meter reading technology and services is a difficult task for utilities. Analysts offer their views on AMR technology trends.
The State of the Union Address surprised many observers with its focus on renewable fuels. How will this seemingly sudden policy change -- and policy in general -- affect the business plans of companies in the renewable energy sector? Three experts discussed the topic at the Clean Tech Investor Summit.
Appearing two days after the "green" State of the Union Address, and in the middle of a Clean Tech Investor Summit, this Wall Street Journal article covers all the bases.
Clean Tech Investor Summit conference chairman Ira Ehrenpreis kicked off the event with his perspective on why clean tech investing is suddenly gaining momentum.
Summit scheduled for Feb. 1-2, 2006, in Rancho Mirage, CA, brings together venture and private equity investors, corporate executives, entrepreneurs and other industry players.
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory launched two demonstration projects to test new technologies designed to help energy users make smarter energy choices, and to help prevent power blackouts. (with podcast)
BP Alternative Energy will manage BP's growing investments in solar, wind, hydrogen and gas-turbine power generation. They say the unit's investments could amount to $8 billion over the next ten years, generating revenues of around $6 billion a year within that time, employing several hundred staff, and achieving a 15 percent return on capital.
Day4Energy Inc. has closed a fourth round of new funding for its specialized photovoltaic technologies.
Advanced solar cell company Advent Solar has closed a $30 million C round of VC financing.
One of the high-tech bubble's top innovators is playing with solar power. Actually, he's not playing. This is getting serious.
Energy technology event brought together entrepreneurs, utilities, investors, research organizations, academia, and government involved with the region's emerging energy sector.
The role of venture capitalists is to find the next big thing before everyone else does. Some private equity investors are finding companies with green and clean technologies.
An emerging revolution in electricity transmission and distribution holds tremendous potential for the U.S. economy, and for the Pacific Northwest, according to a new report by Washington-based Climate Solutions.
Major carriers are not serving the high-speed internet needs of every community to the satisfaction of city leaders. Some municipalities are rolling out broadband networks of their own -- to the consternation of incumbent service providers like Verizon and Comcast. In the process, these towns are testing leading-edge technologies such as 4G wireless. Others are moving ahead with broadband over powerlines (BPL).
New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and New York are working on separate plans to bring broadband to rural businesses and homes. Australia is taking a more national approach, while the US cuts funding for rural broadband. The U.S. is falling behind its global competitors, according to the Global Information Technology Report.
Three VC firms will manage investments for the California Clean Energy Fund. With matching funds, the potential investments could total US$47 million. CalCEF's investment strategy will focus exclusively on clean energy, including renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage, and enabling technologies and services.
Dr. Dan Arvizu, the new Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, presented a challenge in his keynote address to an audience of energy industry professionals at the second annual Power-Gen Renewable Energy Conference.
The second annual Power-Gen Renewable Energy Conference was held in Las Vegas March 1-3, 2005. The exhibit hall was busy, the sessions well attended, and the hallway discussions lively.
UK renewable energy companies have been meeting with counterparts at Power-Gen RE and at meetings in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. Their goal is to establish relationships and build awareness.
With 386 megawatts of installed capacity, France remains one of the smallest wind energy producers in Europe. The industry was given a boost by an electricity feed-in tariff law passed in 2001. Wind capacity in France has more than doubled since the law was passed. The most recent development is an announcement by Boralex of its plans to construct two new wind energy production sites with a total capacity of 57 MW.
What are the top five actions that your business can take in 2005 to become a more responsible energy user and take us closer to a clean and sustainable energy future? EP gathered ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs and investors to compile this year's business energy priorities. Here they are, in priority order.
The electric utility industry may play a role in breaking the broadband barrier in the US. Rural businesses and communities are the last to get broadband, mostly due to sparse populations and price sensitivity. Now there may be an interesting alternative for high-speed internet connections: Broadband delivered via the electricity distribution infrastructure.
Customers with broadband over powerlines (BPL) can get high-speed internet connections through their electrical outlets, without any special installation or wiring. It is faster and cheaper to deploy than most other forms of broadband networks.
"Energy efficiency and renewable energy are our future, and the time to seize that future is now," said Washington state senator Karen Fraser, opening a half-day forum on shaping her state's energy future.
Washington isn't the only state vying for a leadership position in renewable energy. Several US states are well organized behind similar initiatives, as are Germany, Norway and others. In fact, Washington is more than a bit behind its competitors, but has some attractive features.
Energy entrepreneurs need more than money and general management advice from their investors. A few venture investors offer valuable expertise and resources to their portfolio companies. As the corporate venture arm of Groupe Electricité de France (EDF), Easenergy has access to a wealth of technical expertise, partners and markets. The venture has found a creative "sweat-equity" method of leveraging these resources for their portfolio companies.
Between the Energy Venture Fair and the Cleantech Venture Forum one could easily conclude that venture capitalists are taking an interest in the energy sector. Actually, they are. Investment in the sector is at an all-time high.
The energy technology industry needs venture capital investors who provide expertise and resources, not just money. As competition for deal flow increases, the successful firms will differentiate themselves with this brand of commitment.
MIT Enterprise Forum presented another outstanding program on smart energy -- "Business Opportunities in the New Energy Economy" in Bellevue, Washington on October 13, 2004. Whereas last year's program focused on the grid, this year's discussion concentrated on the supply side and alternative sources of energy. The conversation ranged from problems and predictions to risks and advice regarding energy entrepreneurship.
Here's a company that's not exactly "smart energy" related, but they're certainly energy related, and smart enough to attract venture capital and a high-profile CEO. This news is included on EnergyPriorities because it's promising, for three reasons.
Market pressures are causing utilities to rethink how they manage field service. Is real-time wireless data connectivity a good automation strategy, or a colossal waste of money?
Next to the power our electric utilities produce, a field technician's time is their most perishable resource. Utilities are looking at wireless data -- connecting handheld computers to the main office over cellular phone networks -- as a possible way to meet tomorrow's service demands with today's staffing levels. What's the reality?