Student Cleantech Entrepreneurship in the Buckeye State

On February 11, 2013, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

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

On February 4, 2013, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

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?

On January 28, 2013, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

“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 […]

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Batteries Are Hot! (Just Ask Boeing)

On January 21, 2013, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

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 […]

Why is it So Hard to Make Money in New Battery Technology?

On January 18, 2013, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

Energy storage is still the rage in cleantech.  But after the collapse of A123 and Beacon, and the spectacular failure on the Fisker Karma in its Consumer Reports tests, fire  in Hawaii with Xtreme Power’s lead acid grid storage system and with NGK’s sodium sulphur system, and now battery problems grounding the Boeing Dreamliners, investors […]

How To Fail In Cleantech

On January 14, 2013, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

The transition to cleantech – some would call it a revolution – inevitably entails change, which implies risk.  In turn, this implies that some things will fail. We’ve already seen more than a few failures, and we’ll no doubt see many more. As long as the successes outweigh the failures, that’s all that ultimately matters.  […]

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Is the Avis / ZipCar Acquisition Green?

On January 8, 2013, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

I am selling my little Honda in California, since I moved to Texas two years ago, I left a car in San Francisco to drive when I’m here. So I’d been looking into getting car share.  Absolutely loving the concept, been trying to figure out if it is a better deal for me than renting […]

Energy Cache: Avoiding Cleantech’s Catch-22

On January 6, 2013, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

Recently, I came across this very interesting thought-piece, “Cleantech Marketing Isn’t IT Marketing”, written by Aaron Fike, the founder and CEO of Energy Cache. Energy Cache has developed a rather unusual energy storage technology.  As described here, Energy Cache is offering a solution that is a hybrid of ski-lifts and mining technology, hauling gravel in […]

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A Crystal Ball for 2013

On December 31, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

Happy new year everyone.  As we reflect upon the year now past us, it’s also that time of year to look ahead. For the cleantech sector, Dallas Kachan from Kachan & Co. recently put his neck on the line with his “Predictions for Cleantech in 2013”.  It’s a good read, well-reasoned.  The sound-bite version: Cleantech […]

A Dose of Lithium

On December 24, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

For those who want an overview of the current state of the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery sector, the fall 2012 issue of Batteries International is just the thing. It’s not a pretty picture that’s painted.  Beyond the well-publicized bankruptcies of A123 and Ener1, the general sentiment espoused is that players in the Li-ion sector face tough […]

Cap and Trade for Traffic

On December 21, 2012, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

Great article today on a study suggesting that traffic congestion is created by the marginal driver, and more interesting, from the marginal driver from specific and predictable locations.  Maybe 1% of commuters leaving from specific neighborhoods have a big increase on traffic congestion and commute time for everyone. The link to the study is here. We dealt […]

Cleantech Venture Investing: On the Deathbed or Merely Resting?

On December 17, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

Two weeks ago, I sat on a panel of eminent (that is, other than myself) cleantech venture capitalists at the New England Venture Summit to discuss our sector as we approach the end of 2012. The basic theme being explored was whether we should be optimistic or pessimistic about the current state of affairs for […]

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The Economics of Cleantech Investing

On December 13, 2012, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

I drafted this memo in early 2003 for a venture capitalist friend of mine, well before the bubble in cleantech.  In light of the back and forth on the recent Solar City IPO, I thought it was worth revisiting.  Some of the points were pretty prescient, calling out many of the challenges cleantech investors and […]

Chicago: Battery Central

On December 10, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

At the end of November, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it had selected Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago to host the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), and bestowed upon it a $120 million grant over 5 years, alongside a $35 million commitment for a new 45,000 square foot facility from […]

Cleantech to “Backtrack” in 2013?

On December 4, 2012, in Blog, by Dallas Kachan

Our firm, Kachan & Co., has just published its latest annual set of predictions for the cleantech sector for the year ahead. To our analysis, 2013 is shaping up to be something of a year of backtracking for the cleantech industry, a year that calls into question some of its traditional leading indicators of health, and […]

Open Letter, Closed Minds

On December 3, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

Last week, 129 signatories sent an open letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, that said in part: “Current scientific knowledge does not substantiate your assertions” recently made that climate change is causing more extreme weather events (such as last month’s disastrous Hurricane Sandy), and that the cost of continued inaction […]

Cultivating Agricultural Cleantech

On November 21, 2012, in Blog, by Dallas Kachan

An expanding world population, coupled with increasing concerns about resource scarcity, land availability, biodiversity conservation and global warming is fostering interest in sustainable agriculture technologies. Large companies and clean technology investors are focused on energy, and some are following water. Yet very few are tracking opportunities in breakthrough clean and green agricultural technology. And that […]

Electric Cars are a Niche? Or Able to Beat Conventionals?

On November 20, 2012, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

Are electric cars a Niche?  Or just coming into their own?  I’ve been asked that question twice now in the last week in various forms, so thought I’d blog my answer. Electric Drive Transportation Association has the total number of US sales at just under 400,000 this year, or 3.3% market share including hybrids.  Hybrids they […]

 

Betting on Black Swans

On November 19, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

The phrase “Black Swan” was coined in the book of the same name by author Nassim Taleb to describe an event that is hugely important and influential that was not anticipated but yet in retrospect could have been. September 11, 2001 is a classic example of a Black Swan.  It was only a failure of […]

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The Deeper Meaning of Sandy

On November 12, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

Watching the video feeds from the New York and New Jersey areas in the wake of Sandy reminded me of the images seven years ago from New Orleans being decimated by Katrina. Other than perhaps providing a warning not to call a particular geographic area “New” anything, what do these storms tell us? Like Katrina […]

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