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 […]

ARPA-E Energy Summit 2013

ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit 2013 One of the bright spots in US policy has been the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) program, which has bipartisan support. Both Republicans and Democrats have come out speaking favorably about the potential of ARPA-E’s contribution to wean the country from its dependence on […]

Crowdfunding Coming Of Age In Cleantech

With early stage capital for cleantech innovation becoming increasingly scarce, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and a new crop of clean/green ones are beginning to emerge as significant sources of funding for selected next-gen clean technologies. Hurdles remain, particularly for investors seeking returns, but I’m more optimistic about these sites’ usefulness to cleantech entrepreneurs than I used to […]

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 […]

Japan Sets its Sight on Water

Japan has the 3rd largest economy in the world and is the 4th largest exporter. They produced prominent technological advancements, from reliable and fuel efficient cars to flat screen televisions. Now, Japan is taking interest in water technology markets and innovative water companies. Napoleon said, “Let China sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake […]

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 […]

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

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

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.  […]

Is the Avis / ZipCar Acquisition Green?

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

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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