Entries by Richard T. Stuebi

Ta-Ta (For Now)

I am pleased to announce that, as of last week, I have assumed the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of MAR Systems. MAR addresses some of the most challenging wastewater treatment needs, cost-effectively removing highly toxic contaminants (e.g., mercury, selenium, hexavalent chrome, arsenic, antimony, etc.) from discharges into the world’s water bodies that […]

Worlds of Differences

I’ve always known that Americans hold a pretty different view about the state of the energy sector than elsewhere in the world, but never really knew how to characterize those variances. Today, I write in gratitude, thanking the efforts of Sonal Patel, senior writer at Power magazine.  Patel developed this helpful visual framework summarizing the […]

Contrarian Wisdom Isn’t Necessarily Better Than Conventional Wisdom

For years, many observers (including myself) have argued that — from an environmental perspective — it is preferable for energy prices to be higher, so as to (1) discourage consumption of energy, mostly from fossil fuels which generates significant environmental impact, and (2) make various forms of energy efficiency and cleaner (if not zero-emission) alternative […]

TVA Privatization: An Idea Whose Time Has Not Come, And Is Not Approaching

For those who are irate about the U.S. government intervening in the energy markets, you’ll have to go back a long time to find when that was not the case. To illustrate, rewind 80 years:  in the 1930’s, the Administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt looked at the physical and economic backwaters of southern Appalachia and […]

Survey of Advanced Energy Business Executives

In April, the Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI) released the synthesis of a survey of executives in the advanced energy sector conducted by PA Consulting to suggest priorities for U.S. energy policy. The report, Accelerating Advanced Energy in America, outlined business challenges and policy challenges thwarting the growth of the advanced energy sector, in order […]

Reporting from Omaha

Over the weekend, I attended the annual shareholder’s meeting of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:  BRK.A, BRK.B) in Omaha to hear the wit and wisdom of CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger.  For five hours on Saturday, Buffett and Munger fielded questions from panelists and investors on a wide range of topics.  A good synopsis […]

ABB’s New Solar Star

Over the weekend, ABB (NYSE: ABB) announced the $1 billion acquisition of Power-One (NASDAQ: PWER), which makes a wide spectrum of power conversion electronics equipment. Notably, Power-One is a major player in the market for inverters, which convert DC power into AC power.  In turn, inverters are important for synchronizing DC-based technologies such as batteries, […]

A Tale of Two EVs

Albert Einstein once said:  “Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.”  Pundits always pursue the former, but often fail to uphold the latter. Such has been the case recently in regards to the prospects for electric vehicles.  Will electric vehicles be commercially successful or won’t they?  As often happens, there is superficial evidence […]

Who’s Got Nest?

Like most other tech sectors, the cleantech world is subject to fads that are overhyped — meteoric rises, sometimes followed by spectacular flameouts. It seems like we humans like to create heroes and then tear them down. There’s a particular tendency to sing the praises of the latest “hot company”:  the one that has the […]

Fracking: Where Do You Stand?

In the energy sector, there are few topics that generate more debate today than the relative merits/demerits of fracking.  To see just how strongly-held yet evenly-divided opinion is, check out this online debate moderated by The Economist and sponsored by Statoil (NYSE: STO). The question is framed simply:  “Do the benefits derived from shale gas […]

Chinese Food For Thought

As I posted a few years ago, so many of the best opportunities for cleantech to have immediate benefit can be found in China. Every day, evidence accumulates supporting this thesis.  Of course, this winter’s air pollution crises in Beijing and other cities made global news.  More gruesome was last week’s discovery of nearly 7,000 […]

Cleantech Venture Fertility

I try hard to stay on top of a wide range of developments in the cleantech world.  Maybe I spread myself too thin, sacrificing depth for breadth, as I scan through a lot of journals and attend a lot of events to see what’s new and interesting. Even so, I’m continually surprised by the number […]

Pollution Solutions

In the January issue of Pollution Engineering, Roy Bigham and Josh Foster have compiled their list of “10 Top Technologies for 2013″. Summarizing their summary of the new-and-nifty that the environmental industry should monitor: Self-healing plastics that rush in to repair cracks and voids.  Obviously, this would have significant implications in a wide variety of […]

Water: The Big Issue for Fracking

On February 13, the Cleveland office of the law firm McDonald Hopkins hosted a panel to discuss the pivotal water issues facing producers of oil/gas from shale via fracking.  In addition to three MH attorneys, the panel also included Jeff Dick (Director of the Natural Gas and Water Resource Institute at Youngstown State University), Samuel […]

The Powerful Capabilities of AEP’s Dolan Labs

Thanks to the efforts of Chris Mather, co-head of the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, I was able to gain a tour of the Dolan Laboratories, located just outside Columbus, owned and operated by American Electric Power (NYSE:  AEP). This facility is now highly unusual for the electric utility industry.  Back in the day, a […]

Student Cleantech Entrepreneurship in the Buckeye State

On January 29, I spent a day inside a ballroom on The Ohio State University campus in Columbus serving as a judge for the Ohio Clean Energy Challenge, presented by the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio and NorTech.  This contest pitted student teams from universities and colleges across Ohio pitching their clean energy business […]

EPRI’s View on Emerging Technologies

Writing in the January issue of POWER magazine, Arshad Mansoor (Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Electric Power Research Institute) authored an article entitled “Emerging Technologies Enable ‘No Regrets’ Energy Strategy” to provide a soup-to-nuts vision of the future technology landscape for the electric power industry. I don’t know that it’s possible […]

Goldman, The Contrarian?

“I’m a contrarian, so when everyone else is capitulating, I think it’s time to invest.” So says Stuart Bernstein, the partner in charge of cleantech at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:  GS), in this recent article about the ending slump of renewable energy financing. “It feels like the worst is behind us…The market appears to have troughed […]

Batteries Are Hot! (Just Ask Boeing)

Boeing (NYSE: BA) may soon be on the verge of renaming its new 787 the Nightmareliner… After a prolonged development program and costly production delays, Boeing started delivering its latest state-of-the-art airplane just 15 months ago, three years behind schedule.  Although the company has a lucrative backlog of nearly 800 787s on order, worth roughly […]