Entries by Neal Dikeman

What’s the State of REALLY Advanced Energy?

What’s the state of REALLY advanced energy?  Is there a breakthrough on the horizon that would really change the game in energy? Fusion?  Small Modular Nuclear Reactors? Is Cold Fusion or LENR real?  How much work is actually going into the area?  Are VCs funding it? Can the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics be […]

Cleantech Venture Backed M&A Exits? Well, Yes, Sort of . . .

When people ask me, are investors making money in cleantech, I tell them yes, but not by whom or in what you thought they were. Most of the analyses of cleantech exits do not differentiate for venture backed companies.  So we conducted our own study. In the last 10 years, Cleantech.org’s Cleantech Venture Backed M&A […]

How About A Sane Energy Policy Mr. Obamney?

It’s Presidential Election year.  Ergo, time to discuss our 40 year whacked out excuse for an energy policy.  Royally botched up by every President since, umm? Objectives: Make US energy supply cheap for the US consumer and industry, fast growing and profitable for the American energy sector, clean, widely available and reliable, and secure, diversified, […]

Cleantech, Hedging Economics, and Commodity Hell

It never ceases to fascinate me the massive amount of impact commodity price swings have on business plans.  Apple, Google, Facebook, they don’t deal with this.   Commodity price swings just don’t hit their bottom line.  But in cleantech, well, government and policy is king, commodity and resource shocks are queen, you and I are […]

The End of Nuclear Power? Or Just the Beginning?

This week’s news: US NRC freezes decisions on new reactor, license renewal applications “The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted unanimously Tuesday not to issue final decisions on granting licenses to build new nuclear power reactors and 20-year license renewals to existing ones, pending resolution of the agency’s waste confidence rule overturned by a court in June. […]

Top 10 Cleantech Subsidies and Policies (and the Biggest Losers) – Ranked By Impact

We all know energy is global, and as much policy driven as technology driven. We have a quote, in energy, there are no disruptive technologies, just disruptive policies and economic shocks that make some technologies look disruptive after the fact.  In reality, there is disruptive technology in energy, it just takes a long long time. […]

Thoughts from Intersolar 2012

By Guest Blogger Charles Waitman I spent a day at Intersolar North America in San Francisco, considered by some to be North America’s premier exhibition and conference for the solar industry.  My career, to date has been in the oil industry.  This was my second Intersolar conference.  These are my observations. PV dominated the conference. […]

7 Cent Solar Power for my House

by Neal Dikeman The other night I answered an ad on Craigslist.  Not surprising, since  buying and selling things on craigslist is kind of my hobby.  But this one was for solar panels.  180 Wp panels from a wholesaler.  Offering for $190 ea if I bought one, or $180 if I bought 20 or more, […]

David Anthony’s Last Question – Can We Power the US Solely off of Solar?

By Tao Zheng, with David Anthony, an active cleantech venture capitalist, who passed away in April 2012.  The sun is the champion of all energy sources, in terms of capacity and environmental impact. The sun provides earth with 120,000 terawatt (TW) energy, compared to technical potential energy capacity of single digit TWs from other renewable sources, […]

A Tribute to our Blogger and Cleantech Venture Capitalist, David Anthony

As previously reported by GigaOm and others, one of our bloggers, cleantech venture capital investor, David Anthony, of VC firm 21 Ventures, took his own life last month.  We are saddened he is no longer with us. For those who are able to attend, there is a Facebook announcement of his memorial service on the […]

Energy and Cleantech – It’s not a Zero Sum Game Guys

By Neal Dikeman A quote in a recent Wired article claiming cleantech is getting pounded epitomizes the zero sum mentality prevalent in the renewable energy and cleantech discussion. ‘Even solar’s biggest allies on Capitol Hill — people such as Edward J Markey, a top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee — fear the […]

Armistice Day 2011: Our Pearl Harbor Moment for Solar is Coming

Ok.  Deep breath.  The first time I modeled solar costs and started reviewing the first PPA solar models, was nearly 8 years ago now.  And they were ugly then.  As in, fully loaded some $0.60-0.90 /kwh ugly, no matter how rosy the solar pollyannas were.  That’s why it took a German Feed in Tariff of near […]

Clean Coal Technology Is Making Venture Investors Money

One of my friends, John Moore. the CEO of Acorn Energy (NASDAQ:ACFN), recently sold off their rapidly growing CoaLogix investment for a quick return. I caught up with John to get the story. So John, who the hell is Acorn Energy anyways? Acorn Energy (NASDAQ:ACFN) is the Sun Studios of the energy sector. We have […]

IPOs and Bankruptcies and Cleantech “Hot or Not”

Last night while watching Office reruns, I realized I’d been remiss, and a lot’s had been happening in the public equities end of the cleantech sector.  Not to mention yesterday’s billion dollar BK broiler announcement by the one-time Next Greatest Thing, Solyndra. So, with my usual aplomb, I thought I’d simply peanut gallery what’s “Hot or […]

Will Crystalline Solar Kill Thin Film? A Conversation with Applied Material’s Solar Head Charlie Gay

By Neal Dikeman I had a chance to chat today with Dr. Charlie Gay, the President of Applied Material’s solar division.  You may recall, we broke the story in the blogosphere 5 years ago about Applied’s entry into solar, which was anchored with a highly touted and very aggressive strategy for turnkey large format amorphous […]

Cleantech Blog’s Parameters for a Workable Energy Policy

Energy is life, the rest runs on it. Since the 70s through every presidential administration and every Congress, we have had an energy policy that boiled down to fighting the cold war through oil and getting lucky on locally sourced coal and gas.  It’s not a zero planning energy policy, we’ve spent money, defined policies, […]

The Elusive Energy Storage Yeti

Large scale energy has proven almost as elusive a Yeti, and perhaps almost as all world saving juicy as the silver bullet for the werewolf or the Holy Grail itself (and not the Monty Python kind). Energy storage for nearly 15 years has been the energy tech and cleantech version of the ultimate “but-if”.  I.E., […]

Geoengineering our Future

The Economist had an article in a recent issue about the “anthropocene” period, our new geologic era, where mankind is the dominant force in the geology of the planet.  A period where our agriculture, cities, dams, etc literally have and will permanently change the face of the earth itself, forever. The article suggests that we […]

Young Cleantech IPOs = Venture Paradise Found?

It struck me the other day that I may have been looking at the recent spate of cleantech IPOs backwards.  Perhaps instead of lamenting the dearth of profitable healthy companies going public on major exchanges  in our sector, what we should be considering is whether early and still risky IPOs mean cleantech venture capitalists are […]