Venture capital in cleantech falls even further, but corporate investment helps fill gaps

Figure courtesy of PricewaterhouseCoopers

Venture investments in cleantech totaled $369 million in the first quarter of 2013, lower than any time in the past four years. The data was released in PWC’s cleantech practice quarterly report, and show a 61 percent drop compared to the first quarter of 2012. More data show that average deal size was down by 48 percent, first-time funding was down by 68 percent and follow-on funding decreased … [Read more...]

Massachusetts set to issue first of its kind Green Bonds

Investors have another opportunity to invest in both quality yield and quality ‘impact’, this time, right here in the U.S.  Massachusetts is set to begin offering ‘Green Bonds’ to help pay for environmentally friendly infrastructure projects. The Green Bonds are part of a $1.1 billion bond sale that will occur between Friday, May 31, and Tuesday, June 4. It will issue $100 million of Green General … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

Better Place, an electric car infrastructure company, has filed for bankruptcy, after blowing through more than $850 million in venture capital funding.  Better Place was launched in late 2007 to build out a network of battery-swapping stations for electric cars. In 2008, partnered with Renault to build an electric car and create a system of battery swapping stations along highways, similar to … [Read more...]

CBO analysis shows benefits of a carbon tax, if implemented carefully

Courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis of the policy implications of a carbon tax, making a compelling case for its inclusion in any legislation to reduce the deficit or reform the tax code. The CBO’s report, titled Effects of a Carbon Tax on the Economy and the Environment said that there are many uncertainties about how to design and implement a carbon tax, but waiting too … [Read more...]

New report shows no slowdown in Pentagon’s ambitious renewable energy plans

The U.S. Military has not let the dreaded sequester get in the way of its ambitious energy plans. Despite some opposition from Republican lawmakers, the move to locally sourced, renewable energy has made bottom line sense for the military. It provides a more secure supply chain that is buffered against grid disruptions, it opens the potential for a long term downward trend in energy costs, and it … [Read more...]

Obama Administration takes next steps towards an LNG export policy

Image courtesy of DOE

After months of debate over whether the shale gas boom will allow the US to join the global gas market through LNG exporting, the Obama administration may have finally signaled its intentions. Last week, the Administration issued an approval for a $10 billion LNG facility in Texas. The decision could be a milestone in the U.S. transition toward becoming a major supplier of world energy markets. … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

SolarCity Corp. (SCTY), a solar-energy developer, recieved financing from Goldman Sachs (GS) Group Inc. for more than $500 million in rooftop solar systems that the company will complete this year. The lease-financing agreement will help SolarCity build about 110 megawatts of solar power systems with little or no up-front cost for homeowners and businesses, the company announced. “We are … [Read more...]

Investors continue to see developing risk in the ‘carbon bubble’

The divestment movement continues to gain steam, as a recent survey finds that more and more clients are asking their financial advisors and wealth managers to divest fossil fuel related stocks from their portfolios. First Affirmative Financial Network conducted a Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey and found that over half of sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investment industry professionals say … [Read more...]

Institutional investors eager for Green and Climate bond offerings

Institutional investors looking for both quality yield and quality ‘impact’ quickly snapped up the International Finance Corp’s (IFC) latest green bond offering of $1 billion, the largest in the short history of green bonds. The IFC, which is the World Bank Group’s private sector division, offered three-year, triple-A-rated bonds that yielded 15 basis points higher than comparable U.S. Treasuries … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company, announced that it will launch an internal venture fund, called $20 Million & Change, that will invest in startups working to make the world a better place via the clothing, food, water, energy, and waste industries. The company has made a practice of giving one percent of its profits to nonprofit grass-roots environmental organizations. Now it’s looking … [Read more...]