Can Hurricane Sandy spur the adoption of smart microgrid technologies?

When natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy hit, economic impacts can be enormous due to property and infrastructure damage. An often overlooked economic impact is the enormous financial impact of power outages due to lost work days and productivity. While infrastructure repair after such disasters can actually in some cases add to overall economic growth, power outages do not and in fact often … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

BrightSource, a solar thermal startup, has raised another $80 million in equity, bringing its total funding raised to $615 million. Lead investors in the round included power company Alstom and venture firm VantagePoint Capital Partners, and additional investors included DFJ, CalSTRS, DBL Investors, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Technology Ventures and BP Ventures. BrightSource develops solar thermal … [Read more...]

Romney vs Obama on energy, while Michigan and Arizona face key clean energy ballot measures

Much attention has been paid to energy issues by both campaigns; arguing over oil and gas development, investment in cleantech companies by the government, and the extension of the production tax credit for wind. With the release of President Obama’s 27 point plan for a second term, energy issues play a key role in the economic plan, as they did in Governor Romney’s 59 point plan issued earlier in … [Read more...]

Climate change reduced to a punchline during presidential campaign

With last night’s final presidential debate come and gone, for the first time in 24 years, climate change was not mentioned during any of the three presidential debates or the vice-presidential debate. While President Obama has made mention of climate change on the campaign trail, republican nominee Mitt Romney joked about climate change during his acceptance speech in Tampa. “President Obama … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

Bidgely, an energy management software developer, announced its first round of venture funding with a $3 million investment from Khosla Ventures. Bidgely has said it has created algorithms that can dig into real-time smart meter energy-consumption data, can reduce consumers’ home energy use by between 4 percent to 12 percent, and can also deliver other beneficial home services to consumers. The … [Read more...]

VC investor Kholsa a fan of ‘risky’ cleantech deals, and capital continues to flow to Cleanweb

Last year, famed venture capitalist Vinod Khosla spoke at a meeting of the Energy Storage Association (ESA). He acknowledged the critical importance of energy storage and discussed some of his current investments in the technology. He surprised many in the audience when he dismissed several of the technologies that many were working on. In particular, he described lithium-ion batteries as "toys … [Read more...]

Battery maker A123 Systems to file for bankruptcy

After a very difficult year, electric vehicle battery maker A123 systems has filed for bankruptcy protection after it says it was unable to make a payment on its debt. The company, which was awarded a $249 million federal grant, is looking to sell its business lines and has already lined up Johnson Controls to acquire its automotive business and two factories in a deal valued at $125 million. … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

IO Data Centers, a provider of "modular data center" technology and services, on Wednesday was set to announce it completed a $90 million round of funding. The $90 million funding round was led by New World Ventures. Previous rounds were led by Sterling Partners. Other investors include JPMorgan Asset Management. IO also is in the process of securing a new debt facility, two years after raising … [Read more...]

Cleanweb tools grow as consumers demand more home energy management capabilities

Earlier, we discussed how the enormous private equity firm Blackstone placed a huge investment in Vivint, hoping to take advantage of the growing demand for  next generation ‘connected home’ technologies. These technologies utilize cloud-based data management with the increased demand by utilities and their customers for smart grid technologies. While adoption of these new cleanweb technologies by … [Read more...]

Global slowdown of cleantech investment continues

Several reports are out on 3rd quarter investment numbers, and the outlook for cleantech continues to dim. The Cleantech Group announced that cleantech venture capital investment stood at $1.6 billion in the third quarter, which is level with the second quarter’s tally. However the $1.6 billion represents a 30% decline from the $2.23 billion invested in the same quarter last year. Deal count also … [Read more...]