2012 – The year in Cleantech Finance

We have seen a mixed bag for clean technology over the past year. Let’s take a quick look at some the big stories we covered here at Cleantech Finance. The 2012 Election During the presidential campaign, President Obama was attacked for his promotion of renewable energy, green jobs, and environmental regulations. Many opponents claimed that stimulus investments in renewables didn’t work. A … [Read more...]

Obama administration calls for congressional action on new energy financing vehicles

The Obama administration continues to push for a congressional effort that would open a financing structure for renewable energy. Energy Secretary Steven Chu called on Congress to approve legislation that would allow investors utilize master limited partnerships (MLPs) for renewable energy, which he said would spur development. “It’s a world of difference and it will have a profound effect on … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

WegoWise, a building data analytics company, has purchased startup, Melon Power, to shift into the commercial energy industry. WegoWise offers a Web-based platform to analyze water, gas and electricity data, mainly targeting multi-tenant apartment building owners. Melon Power leverages Green Button and other utility data to help commercial buildings target Energy Star benchmarking. The … [Read more...]

Wind industry open to gradual PTC phase-out

In a surprising move, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) sent a letter to Capitol Hill lawmakers dated December 12, saying it is willing to accept a gradual phase-out of the wind production tax credit (PTC). In the letter, AWEA CEO Denise Bode said her group could accept a six-year phase-out of the credit, where the tax credit would remain at the current 2.2 cents per kWh for projects … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

SolarCity (SCTY), raised $92 million in its IPO, the first for a cleantech company in months. The company priced around 11.5 million shares at $8 per share, for an initial market cap of around $584 million. SolarCity has raised over $210 million in VC funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson (26.3% pre-IPO stake), Generation Investment Management (7.5%), DBL Investors (7.4%), Silver Lake Kraftwerk, … [Read more...]

Efficiency and innovation in agriculture

Following up on Tuesday’s post, how are some of the companies, both established and just getting started, dealing with the coming food crisis? We take a look at three of the larger fertilizer companies in the world who are trying to make their current fertilizer products more efficient. We also briefly talk about three innovative new companies, who are each taking novel approaches to solving the … [Read more...]

Grantham’s dire agriculture predictions should open eyes toward innovative cleantech investments

In August, famed bubble predictor and long-time value investor Jeremy Grantham addressed a coming food crisis in his quarterly newsletter to GMO Investors. In his most recent newsletter, Grantham again addresses the issue of an emerging global food crisis, climate change, and forecasts stagnant growth for the US economy well into the future. Grantham also writes a column for Nature in which he … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

Garage Technology Ventures has raised funding in a new strategic cleantech corporate investment program. According to the early stage venture firm, the new fund "is not set up with a traditional fund structure, because corporates have been frustrated by the typical fund structure." Garage is co-managing an investment off the corporate's balance sheet and is being paid a management fee "with an … [Read more...]

Energy crowdfunding platforms are gearing up for 2013

When President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the JOBS Act), many in the renewable energy business took notice. The law is designed to solve the major problem of financing small-scale business ventures, which could include community-based renewable energy projects. The JOBS Act may finally allow millions of regular investors to make a modest return by crowdfunding local … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

Sopogy, a developer of concentrating solar power technologies, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series E funding. Mitsui & Co. led the round, and was joined by Southern California Gas Company, 3M and other key strategic investors. Existing investors, Kolohala Ventures and Enerdigm Ventures also joined the round. The round will support the continued commercialization of Sopogy’s solar … [Read more...]