SEC opens the door to equity and debt-based crowdfunding

After significant delays, SEC has proposed rules that could help allow the equity and debt-based crowdfunding movement develop and grow here in the US. The SEC lifted a "general solicitation" ban, which has so far kept entrepreneurs from publicly asking investors for money without registering securities with the SEC. Current regulations have kept equity and debt-based crowdfunding from moving … [Read more...]

Obama’s new CAFE standards could give Electric Vehicles a much needed boost

Courtesy of Department of Energy

This week, the Obama administration introduced new rules to double fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks by 2025. The new CAFÉ standards boost fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon over the next 13 years, building on the White House's existing effort to raise fuel economy to 35.5 mpg by 2016. The rules are aimed at prodding manufacturers to make more fuel-efficient in order … [Read more...]

China shrugs off slowdown, doubles down on cleantech investment

Despite an economic slowdown that threatens the entire global economy, cleantech investment in China is still going strong. The Chinese government announced that it will spend $372 billion on energy conservation projects and anti-pollution measures over the next three-and-a-half years, part of a drive to cut energy consumption by 300 million tons of coal. The government also announced that $155 … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

Draker and Solar Power Technologies, Inc., two leading solar energy software companies, announced a merger this week on top of closing a new $8 million round of funding. The merger will create a global company with a highly innovative offering of performance management solutions for commercial and utility-scale solar markets. The newly combined companies will operate under the “Draker” … [Read more...]

Crowdfunding cleantech: the impact of the Cleanweb

A recent story on Business Insider details the recent struggles of leading venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.  Under the direction of legendary investor John Doerr, Kleiner was an early investor in almost all of the internet success stories, including Netscape, AOL (AOL), Amazon (AMZN), and Google (GOOG). However, the firm missed its chance to invest early in many companies … [Read more...]

Crowdfunding cleantech: distributed solar systems

As the SEC continues to develop the rules and regulations regarding debt and equity based crowdfunding, many in the industry are trying to help entrepreneurs get ready for the changes. For those that have developed projects for donation based platforms such as Kickstarter and Rockethub it will be important to become educated on the complex process for debt and equity based projects. The … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

SolFocus, a developer of solar concentrator photovoltaic systems, has raised $15 million in Series E funding. The total round is expected to be larger, with Advanced Equities serving as placement agent. Advanced Equities calls itself a "Venture Capital Investment Bank" and relies on its network of accredited investors and high-net-worth individuals to bring funding to long-in-the-tooth startups … [Read more...]

Value investor Grantham bullish on sustainable farming and natural resources

Legendary value investor Jeremy Grantham is taking a Malthusian outlook on the world’s future and is warning investors and governments alike of a coming global food crisis. His most recent quarterly newsletter is entitled, "Welcome to Dystopia! Entering a long-term and politically dangerous food crisis". In the letter, he notes that “The general public, the media, the financial markets, and … [Read more...]

Can the natural gas boom restore manufacturing in the US?

As we mentioned in a previous post, environmental concerns regarding the current natural gas boom may be outweighed due to its impact on the economy. Henry Jacoby, an economist at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT, says cheap energy (via natural gas) will help pump up the economy over the next several years. As the economy improves, the political outlook for renewable … [Read more...]

VP announcement reinforces stark differences on energy issues for November

With the announcement of Congressman Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate, many analysts are looking at the implications for energy policy. In most cases, Ryan has toed the republican line of expanding support for the fossil fuel industry while eliminating almost all federal support of renewable energy. Ryan's budget that was passed by the House last year would retain the $40 billion in tax … [Read more...]