Some of the UK’s best and brightest cleantech companies are in SF this week, courtesy of Clean and Cool Mission 2012. They are all likely running around at the Cleantech Forum this week, as their trip was planned to coincide with the event, so go find them and learn more.
The list of companies is below:
Here are the 16 chosen companies:
· Aeristech http://www.aeristech.co.uk/
· Cella Energy www.cellaenergy.com
· EnergyDeck www.energydeck.com
· Green Structures www.greenstructures.co.uk
· G-volution www.g-volution.com
· Highview Power Storage www.highview-power.com
· Moixa Technology www.moixatechnology.com
· Naked Energy www.nakedenergy.co.uk
· Oxford Photovoltaics www.oxfordpv.com
· RE Hydrogen www.rehydrogen.com
· SAVortex www.savortex.com
· SEaB Energy www.seabenergy.com
· Seawater Greenhouse www.seawatergreenhouse.com
· VerdErg Renewable Energy www.VerdErg.com
· Whitefox Technologies http://www.whitefox.com/home/index.html
· Zeta Controls www.zetaled.com
See their links for more.
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffMarch 21st, 2012
Some very cool companies in here…
Imagine H2O, a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurs to turn water challenges into business opportunities, today announced the winners of its third annual prize competition. Bilexys (Brisbane, Australia) won the Prize’s Pre-Revenue track while Nexus eWater (Canberra, Australia), and Tusaar, Inc. (Lafayette, Colorado) were named runners up. New Sky Energy (Boulder, Colorado) won the Prize’s Early Revenue track.
This year’s prize topic was wastewater, of which an estimated 90 percent goes untreated worldwide. Wastewater is typically defined as water that has been contaminated by human contact, whether residential sewage, agricultural runoff, or industrial pollutants. In order to re-use wastewater, multiple steps are required, including a variety of chemical and biological treatments and a significant amount of energy. The wastewater market is valued at $200 billion per year across the industrial, commercial and residential sectors worldwide. This year’s competition was geared to wastewater management, water reuse, treatment, resource recovery, and energy production.
About the Companies
Bilexys (Brisbane, Australia) is developing an alternative manufacturing platform for the production of chemicals and plastics. The Company’s process technologies involve bioelectrochemistry and the use of wastewater as the source of its raw materials. Traditionally, wastewater treatment has been viewed as an operating expense of an industrial complex. Bilexys approaches wastewater treatment as an opportunity to biologically convert the organics within wastewater into high-value chemical products (including sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide). The chemicals produced by the Bilexys method reduce the need for our clients to purchase and bring in chemicals, providing significant environmental and economic benefit to its customers, with potential payback within two years. Bilexys, a spin off from the Advanced Water Management Centre at The University of Queensland, was formed and incubated by UniQuest – one of Australia’s leading technology commercialization companies. Bilexys has significant operational experience on industrial sites, culminating in the recent operation of a pilot plant at a pulp and paper company, producing food grade sodium hydroxide from their wastewater. Bilexys CEO, Eric Donsky, is a seasoned technology entrepreneur who is the former CEO of BioAmber and TearLab (NASDAQ: TEAR).
Tusaar, Inc. (Lafayette, Colorado) is commercializing a unique media based technology to remove contaminating heavy-metals from multi-chemical process and waste water. Using base technology licensed from the University of Colorado-Boulder, the team at Tusaar has developed a media that sequesters over 40 different metals from industrial waters and provides a solution to coal combustion fly ash pond management and related groundwater contamination, a serious problem for coal-fired power plants. Tusaar media also enables customers to separate toxic waste metals from other hazardous chemicals thereby simplifying disposal and management. Waste volume and related cost reduction of over 95% has been achieved at customer sites leading to payback in less than one year. The Tusaar team of five has over 75 years of relevant technology and industry experience. CEO & founder, Gautam Khanna, has business development experience at Dell, Whirlpool & Pentair, has served as CEO of Pentair Water India and been involved in the global water industry for over twelve years.
Nexus eWater (Canberra, Australia) harnesses the power of a home’s wastewater stream by converting gray water into near-potable water, while recycling the water’s energy for hot water heating. This decentralized solution allows homeowners to reduce water use and reduce their carbon footprint by internalizing water heating costs. The executive team includes the former CEO co-founder of ADS Water and the former VP of Perpetual Water.
New Sky Energy (Boulder, Colorado) employs a chemical process that combines CO2 and industrial wastewater to make usable CO2-negative solids. This process allows customers to profitably reduce CO2 emissions while manufacturing onsite the chemicals they use every day. New Sky’s CEO, Deane Little, is a PhD molecular biophysicist.
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffFebruary 12th, 2012
If you haven’t been, you really need to add this Summit to your must-attend list for next year. Bird’s eye view: completely committed group. If you want to meet those who are on the playing field doing battle to keep moving clean tech forward – they were by and large here. The price of entry is completely negligible considering what you come away with. This event attracts an inner circle that has been moving so much of clean tech investing forward and they just keep moving the money in the right direction to build companies.
I went because I knew it would help me think. If you want to go where you’ll hear discussion of strategies for the next moves in clean tech investing as well as some frank dialogue around market and political conditions affecting clean tech investing discussed, and basically have an open entree to meeting some of the most influential movers and shakers in the industry and push your brain – this is it.
Great opportunity to learn from and meet some pretty amazing talent.
The Clean-Tech Investor Summit is chaired by Technology Partners’ Ira Ehrenpreis and co-produced by International Business Forum and Clean Edge.
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffDecember 5th, 2011
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffNovember 17th, 2011
Great group of companies, and pretty amazing, to see how far the CTO has come and how much it’s grown: this year, more than 1,000 applications were submitted in countries around the world, with teams from 23 countries traveling to the Global Forum. Six teams were then selected to present to the audience.
More on the national and international competition winners here.
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffNovember 14th, 2011
I am lately getting a number of emails about Lithium ion battery companies [learn more about battery companies in general here]. Between those emails and further expansion of infrastructure investment for the EV category [recent news: Better Place's $200 million round], and this, I can’t help think but there are some companies out there in the transportation sector who should be having a lot of fun creating their bus dev strategies to address the need(s) these developments will bring.
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffNovember 1st, 2011
As usual, way behind in my emails. But here’s some of what’s crossed my inbox. All worth a read…
The first is a blog post from Applied Materials’ Cathy Boone.
The second is an article from Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post.
The geothermal industry is heating up. GEA’s Geothermal Energy Expo 2011 high-level recap…
REV, a company of interest…
…as is STWA – both for quite different reasons. Both pointers to where their markets are headed/what’s happening in those markets…
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffOctober 21st, 2011
It’s that time of year again for clean tech conferences and awards announcements.
Make sure you register for the Clean Tech Showcase, which will be held next Tuesday at Sacramento State University.
The Cleantech Group’s Gala and Summit for it’s 2011 Global Cleantech 100 is upcoming. Save the date.
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffOctober 11th, 2011
From my inbox…
Panasonic Corporation and Tesla Motors have finalized a supply agreement for automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells. Panasonic is the world’s leading battery cell manufacturer and a diverse supplier to the global automotive industry. Panasonic’s automotive grade lithium-ion battery cells will be used in Tesla’s premium electric sedan, Model S.
The agreement supplies Tesla with Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery cells to build more than 80,000 vehicles over the next four years. It guarantees the availability of enough cells in 2012 to meet Tesla’s aggressive production ramp-up and fulfillment of more than 6,000 existing Model S reservations. This supply agreement helps ensure Tesla will meet its cost and margin targets for Model S.
This agreement builds upon a multi-year collaboration between Panasonic and Tesla to develop next-generation automotive-grade battery cells and accelerate the market expansion of electric vehicles. In 2009, Panasonic and Tesla initially entered into a supply agreement. In 2010, Panasonic invested $30 million in Tesla to deepen the partnership and foster the growth of the electric vehicle industry.
Panasonic supplies cells with the highest energy density and industry-leading performance using its nickel-type cathode technology. Panasonic and Tesla together have developed a next-generation battery cell based on this nickel chemistry and optimized specifically for electric vehicle quality and life. These new cells will combine with Tesla’s proven EV battery expertise gained from more than 15 million customer miles driven in Tesla Roadsters and thousands of hours of cell and battery testing to create the most capable electric vehicle ever produced, Model S.
“It is a powerful endorsement of our technology that Panasonic, the world’s leading battery cell manufacturer, has chosen to partner with Tesla to advance electric vehicle performance and value,” said Tesla Co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk. “Incorporating Panasonic’s next-generation cells into Model S batteries will ensure unrivaled range and performance. We are very grateful for our great partnership with Panasonic.”
“Panasonic will supply lithium ion cells for EVs that can achieve longer range with large energy density. It is our pleasure to start supplying the cells for Tesla’s Model S and promote sustainable mobility,” said Masato Ito, President, Energy Company of Panasonic Corporation.
Tesla is a supplier of batteries and powertrains to Toyota and Daimler. Tesla is a comprehensive electric vehicle powertrain component supplier to the electric vehicle industry.
Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding vehicle cost, margin targets and range and performance metrics for Model S, are “forward-looking statements” that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations, and as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Various important factors, such as the following, could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements: finalization of pricing and costs from suppliers, consumer demand for electric vehicles; achieving expected results from powertrain systems as well as the risks and uncertainties identified under the sections captioned “Risk Factors” and “MD&A” in Tesla’s Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on August 12, 2011. Tesla disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements.
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (US$105 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2011. The company’s shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company’s website at http://panasonic.net/
About Tesla Motors
Tesla’s goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components. Tesla has delivered more than 1,840 Roadsters, the world’s first electric sports car, to customers world-wide. Model S, the first premium sedan to be built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, goes on the market in mid-2012 in North America, and in Europe and Asia in late 2012. Visit Tesla online at www.teslamotors.com
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments Off
VentureBeat published Rachel’s article on on July 11th. Here it is again, in case you missed it:
Warning: Trite Statement to Follow: The leadership at a start-up makes or breaks the success of the company.
Yes, you’ve heard it a million times. There are multiple reasons for this, and that topic alone calls for a whole different article. Right now let’s focus on one particular skill-set of a leader that has been a positive indicator of success time and time again for energy and ‘cleantech’ venture-backed companies: a successful energy investment requires a Commercialization Executive.
Many venture capitalists will tell you that this is not so, and there are examples where a technical founder is the right CEO to lead the company from start-up through the early growth phase, through a public offering and beyond. There are even studies showing that founder-led companies tend to outperform professionally led firms three years after an IPO. However, these studies usually look at high-tech companies creating new products for new markets. Having worked with and sat on the board of many energy and materials companies for years, we have observed that this sector necessitates this particular commercialization skillset.
Why? The energy industry is dominated by large incumbents with years of experience delivering a commodity product with extraordinary reliability and a high degree of safety at a reasonable cost. Think about it – when was the last time you stopped to question if a light bulb was really going to work before flipping the switch? Or when did you stop to wonder if the gas you are putting in your car will get you to where you need to go? The energy industry is not one in which you can throw a beta version out to the market and see how customers respond. New products must meet the same reliability and safety requirements of existing offerings on day one.
Additionally, selling a product in this industry means dealing with one or more of these large incumbent companies as a customer, distributor or partner. Doing this successfully requires company leadership with personal experience in working with these companies. Being a Commercialization Executive does not necessarily mean that the person doesn’t have a technical background or is not a company founder. However, it always means that the executive has business experience, relationships, and a successful track record in either the exact same or a closely-related industry.
Take for example, the recent successful IPO of biofuel company Amyris. Amyris was founded by UC Berkeley professor Jay Keasling and key members of his lab to design anti-malaria drugs, biofuels and chemicals sought by the market. When the investors brought in a new CEO in 2006, they selected John Melo who was president of the $30 billion U.S. Fuels Operations business unit of British Petroleum, in addition to his experience in the refining and marketing segments of the business. John not only focused the company on biofuels, but also squarely on diesel production (the world’s most widely used transportation fuel) instead of the in-vogue ethanol. Within six weeks, the company had its first yeast strains ready to produce a diesel precursor.
This was someone with first-hand knowledge of the fuels industry on a commercial scale – a Commercialization Executive.
CMEA Capital has applied this lesson to our portfolio companies, including Danotek Motion Technologies. Danotek makes permanent magnet generators, largely for the wind industry. The founder developed the initial innovative technology and successfully led the company through the development stage. Now that the technology is proven and it is time to grow the company, we have added an experienced Commercialization Executive. Don Naab was most recently a Group President with Broadwind Energy, running a $120M business in Gearworks and Energy Maintenance. His success in the wind industry gives him the authority and contacts needed to develop Danotek as a major supplier to that industry. As a result, he has been able to multiply the sales pipeline by more than 10X since coming on board. In talking to customers, many have mentioned that their prior relationship with Don is the reason that they are confident in the success of their contract.
Are there exceptions to this lesson? Of course! Lots of them. One notable exception is in the area of customer-facing energy software products. This sub-sector of the overall energy industry looks much more like high tech, where a founder with sufficient high-tech experience is probably more valuable as a leader than a senior executive from a utility’s IT department. Should we not invest in a company where the technical founder is still leading the company? No, but an ongoing conversation needs to be started. As the company begins to grow, a plan must be in place for the leadership of the company to get through the critical commercialization phase.
As recent NVCA statistics show, significant VC money is still flowing into energy companies. Do you have examples that either meet or contradict this perspective on a Commercialization Exec?
Rachel Sheinbein is a Principal at San Francisco investment firm CMEA Capital, spearheading the firm’s investments in energy. She is also a board member for Expanding Your Horizons, which encourages girls to pursue careers in math, science, engineering and technology. Twitter: @RachelSheinbein
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffSeptember 29th, 2011
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffSeptember 26th, 2011
This is an except from Rifkin’s ‘The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World’, Palgrave Macmillan 2011.
Our industrial civilization is at a crossroads. Oil and the other fossil fuel energies that make up the industrial way of life are sunsetting, and the technologies made from and propelled by these energies are antiquated. The entire industrial infrastructure built off of fossil fuels is aging and in disrepair. The result is that unemployment is rising to dangerous levels all over the world. Governments, businesses and consumers are awash in debt and living standards are plummeting everywhere. A record one billion human beings–nearly one seventh of the human race–face hunger and starvation.
Worse, climate change from fossil fuel-based industrial activity looms on the horizon. Our scientists warn that we face a potentially cataclysmic change in the temperature and chemistry of the planet, which threatens to destabilize ecosystems around the world. Scientists worry that we may be on the brink of a mass extinction of plant and animal life by the end of the century, imperiling our own species’ ability to survive. It is becoming increasingly clear that we need a new economic narrative that can take us into a more equitable and sustainable future.
By the 1980′s the evidence was mounting that the fossil fuel-driven industrial revolution was peaking and that human-induced climate change was forcing a planetary crisis of untold proportions. For the past 30 years I have been searching for a new paradigm that could usher in a post-carbon era. In my explorations, I came to realize that the great economic revolutions in history occur when new communication technologies converge with new energy systems. New energy regimes make possible the creation of more interdependent economic activity and expanded commercial exchange as well as facilitate more dense and inclusive social relationships. The accompanying communication revolutions become the means to organize and manage the new temporal and spatial dynamics that arise from new energy systems.
In the 19th century, steam-powered print technology became the communication medium to manage the coal-fired rail infrastructure and the incipient national markets of the First Industrial Revolution. In the 20th century, electronic communications–the telephone and later, radio and television–became the communication medium to manage and market the oil-powered auto age and the mass consumer culture of the Second Industrial Revolution.
In the mid-1990s, it dawned on me that a new convergence of communication and energy was in the offing. Internet technology and renewable energies were about to merge to create a powerful new infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) that would change the world. In the coming era, hundreds of millions of people will produce their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories and share it with each other in an “energy Internet,” just like we now create and share information online. The democratization of energy will bring with it a fundamental reordering of human relationships, impacting the very way we conduct business, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life.
I introduced the Third Industrial Revolution vision at the Wharton School’s Advanced Management Program (AMP), at the University of Pennsylvania, where I have been a senior lecturer for the past sixteen years on new trends in science, technology, the economy, and society. The five-week program exposes CEOs and business executives from around the world to the emerging issues and challenges they will face in the 21st century. The idea soon found its way into corporate suites and became part of the political lexicon among heads of state in the European Union.
By the year 2000, the European Union was aggressively pursuing policies to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and transition into a sustainable economic era. Europeans were readying targets and benchmarks, resetting research and development priorities, and putting into place codes, regulations, and standards for a new economic journey. By contrast, America was preoccupied with the newest gizmos and “killer apps” coming out of Silicon Valley, and homeowners were flush with excitement over a bullish real estate market pumped up by subprime mortgages.
Few Americans were interested in sobering peak oil forecasts, dire climate change warnings, and the growing signs that beneath the surface, our economy was not well. There was an air of contentment, even complacency, across the country, confirming once again the belief that our good fortune demonstrated our superiority over other nations.
Feeling a little like an outsider in my own country, I chose to ignore Horace Greeley’s sage advice to every malcontent in 1850 to “Go West, young man, go West,” and decided to travel in the opposite direction, across the ocean to old Europe, where new ideas about the future prospects of the human race were being seriously entertained.
I know at this point, many of my American readers are rolling their eyes and saying, “Give me a break! Europe is falling apart and living in the past. The whole place is one big museum. It may be a nice destination for a holiday but is no longer a serious contender on the world scene.”
I’m not naïve to Europe’s many problems, failings, and contradictions. But pejorative slurs could just as easily be leveled at the United States and other governments for their many limitations. And before we Americans become too puffed up about our own importance, we should take note that the European Union, not the United States or China, is the biggest economy in the world. The gross domestic product (GDP) of its twenty-seven member states exceeds the GDP of our fifty states. While the European Union doesn’t field much of a global military presence, it is a formidable force on the international stage. More to the point, the European Union is virtually alone among the governments of the world in asking the big questions about our future viability as a species on Earth.
So I went east. For the past ten years, I have spent more than 40 percent of my time in the European Union, sometimes commuting weekly back and forth across the Atlantic, working with governments, the business community, and civil society organizations to advance the Third Industrial Revolution.
In 2006, I began working with the leadership of the European Parliament in drafting a Third Industrial Revolution economic development plan. Then, in May 2007, the European Parliament issued a formal written declaration endorsing the Third Industrial Revolution as the long-term economic vision and road map for the European Union. The Third Industrial Revolution is now being implemented by the various agencies within the European Commission as well as in the member states.
A year later, in October 2008, just weeks after the global economic collapse, my office hurriedly assembled a meeting in Washington, D.C., of eighty CEOs and senior executives from the world’s leading companies in renewable energy, construction, architecture, real estate, IT, power and utilities, and transport and logistics to discuss how we might turn the crisis into an opportunity.
Business leaders and trade associations attending the gathering agreed that they could no longer go it alone and committed to creating a Third Industrial Revolution network that could work with governments, local businesses, and civil society organizations toward the goal of transitioning the global economy into a distributed post-carbon era. The economic development group–which includes Philips, Schneider Electric, IBM, Cisco Systems, Acciona, CH2M Hill, Arup, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, and Q-Cells, among others–is the largest of its kind in the world and is currently working with cities, regions, and national governments to develop master plans to transform their economies into Third Industrial Revolution infrastructures.
The Third Industrial Revolution vision is quickly spreading to countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. On May 24th, 2011, I presented the five pillar TIR economic plan in a keynote address at the fiftieth anniversary conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, attended by heads of state and ministers from the thirty-four participating member nations. The presentation accompanied the rollout of an OECD green growth economic plan which will serve as a template to begin preparing the nations of the world for a post carbon industrial future.
In designing the EU blueprint for the Third Industrial Revolution, I have been privileged to work with many of Europe’s leading heads of state, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany; Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy; Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain; Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission; and five of the presidents of the European Council.
Is there anything we Americans can learn from what’s happening in Europe? I believe so. We need to begin by taking a careful look at what our European friends are saying and attempting to do. However falteringly, Europeans are at least coming to grips with the reality that the fossil fuel era is dying, and they are beginning to chart a course into a green future. Unfortunately, Americans, for the most part, continue to be in a state of denial, not wishing to acknowledge that the economic system that served us so well in the past is now on life support. Like Europe, we need to own up and pony up.
But what can we bring to the party? While Europe has come up with a compelling narrative, no one can tell a story better than America. Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley excel at this. What has distinguished America is not so much our manufacturing acumen or military prowess, but our uncanny ability to envision the future with such vividness and clarity that people feel as if they’ve arrived even before they’ve left the station. If and when Americans truly “get” the new Third Industrial Revolution narrative, we have the unequalled ability to move quickly to make that dream a reality.
The Third Industrial Revolution is the last of the great Industrial Revolutions and will lay the foundational infrastructure for an emerging collaborative age. The forty year build-out of the TIR infrastructure will create hundreds of thousands of new businesses and hundreds of millions of new jobs. Its completion will signal the end of a two-hundred-year commercial saga characterized by industrious thinking, entrepreneurial markets, and mass labor workforces and the beginning of a new era marked by collaborative behavior, social networks and boutique professional and technical workforces. In the coming half century, the conventional, centralized business operations of the First and Second Industrial Revolutions will increasingly be subsumed by the distributed business practices of the Third Industrial Revolution; and the traditional, hierarchical organization of economic and political power will give way to lateral power organized nodally across society.
At first blush, the very notion of lateral power seems so contradictory to how we have experienced power relations through much of history. Power, after all, has traditionally been organized pyramidically from top to bottom. Today, however, the collaborative power unleashed by the coming together of Internet technology and renewable energies, fundamentally restructures human relationships, from top to bottom to side to side, with profound implications for the future of society.
The music companies didn’t understand distributed power until millions of young people began sharing music online, and corporate revenues tumbled in less than a decade. Encyclopedia Britannica did not appreciate the distributed and collaborative power that made Wikipedia the leading reference source in the world. Nor did the newspapers take seriously the distributed power of the blogosphere; now many publications are either going out of business or transferring much of their activities online. The implications of people sharing distributed energy in an open commons are even more far-reaching.
Like every other communication and energy infrastructure in history, the various pillars of a Third Industrial Revolution must be laid down simultaneously or the foundation will not hold. That’s because each pillar can only function in relationship to the others. The five pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution are (1) shifting to renewable energy; (2) transforming the building stock of every continent into micro-power plants to collect renewable energies on-site; (3) deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies in every building and throughout the infrastructure to store intermittent energies; (4) using Internet technology to transform the power grid of every continent into an energy-sharing intergrid that acts just like the Internet (when millions of buildings are generating a small amount of energy locally, on-site, they can sell surplus back to the grid and share electricity with their continental neighbors); and (5) transitioning the transport fleet to electric plug-in and fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell electricity on a smart, continental, interactive power grid.
The critical need to integrate and harmonize these five pillars at every level and stage of development became clear to the European Union in the fall of 2010. A leaked European Commission document warned that the European Union would need to spend €1 trillion between 2010 and 2020 on updating its electricity grid to accommodate an influx of renewable energy. The internal document noted that “Europe is still lacking the infrastructure to enable renewables to develop and compete on an equal footing with traditional sources.”
The European Union is expected to draw one-third of its electricity from green sources by 2020. This means that the power grid must be digitized and made intelligent to handle the intermittent renewable energies being fed to the grid from tens of thousands of local producers of energy.
Of course, it will also be essential to quickly develop and deploy hydrogen and other storage technologies across the European Union’s infrastructure when the amount of intermittent renewable energy exceeds 15 percent of the electricity generation, or much of that electricity will be lost. Similarly, it is important to incentivize the construction and real estate sectors with low interest green loans and mortgages to encourage the conversion of millions of buildings in the European Union to mini power plants that can harness renewable energies on-site and send surpluses back to the smart grid. And unless these other considerations are met, the European Union won’t be able to provide enough green electricity to power millions of electric plug-in and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles being readied for the market. If any of the five pillars fall behind the rest in their development, the others will be stymied and the infrastructure itself will be compromised.
The creation of a renewable energy regime, loaded by buildings, partially stored in the form of hydrogen, distributed via smart intergrids, and connected to plug-in, zero-emission transport, opens the door to a Third Industrial Revolution. The entire system is interactive, integrated, and seamless. When these five pillars come together, they make up an indivisible technological platform–an emergent system whose properties and functions are qualitatively different from the sum of its parts. In other words, the synergies between the pillars create a new economic paradigm that can transform the world.
To appreciate how disruptive the Third Industrial Revolution is to the existing way we organize economic life, consider the profound changes that have taken place in just the past twenty years with the introduction of the Internet revolution. The democratization of information and communication has altered the very nature of global commerce and social relations as significantly as the print revolution in the early modern era. Now, imagine the impact that the democratization of energy across all of society is likely to have when managed by Internet technology.
The Third Industrial Revolution build-out is particularly relevant for the poorer countries in the developing world. We need to keep in mind that 40% of the human race stills lives on two dollars a day or less, in dire poverty, and the vast majority have no electricity. Without access to electricity they remain “powerless,” literally and figuratively. The single most important factor in raising hundreds of millions of people out of poverty is having reliable and affordable access to green electricity. All other economic development is impossible in its absence. The democratization of energy and universal access to electricity is the indispensible starting point for improving the lives of the poorest populations of the world. The extension of micro credit to generate micro power is already beginning to transform life across the developing nations, giving potentially millions of people hope of improving their economic situation.
There is no inevitability to the human sojourn. History is riddled with examples of great societies that collapsed, promising social experiments that withered, and visions of the future that never saw the light of day. This time, however, the situation is different. The stakes are higher. The possibility of utter extinction is not something the human race ever had to consider before the past half-century. The prospect of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, coupled now with the looming climate crisis, has tipped the odds dangerously in favor of an endgame, not only for civilization as we know it, but for our very species.
The Third Industrial Revolution offers the hope that we can arrive at a sustainable post-carbon era by mid-century. We have the science, the technology, and the game plan to make it happen. Now it is a question of whether we will recognize the economic possibilities that lie ahead and muster the will to get there in time.
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffSeptember 25th, 2011
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffSeptember 22nd, 2011
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffSeptember 19th, 2011
Have to hand it to all these students…
This week, 4,000 college students hailing from five countries and four continents will design, build and operate solar-powered houses that produce enough energy to perform all the functions of a typical home. They’re participating in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon, which takes place in Washington, D.C.
Starting this Friday, Sept. 23, 19 teams will reveal nearly two years of innovation, perspiration, and inspiration, as they converge on the National Mall at West Potomac Park to assemble a “solar village,” which will be on display to the public through Oct. 2. Students will display reasonably priced, clean energy products and systems that are available today and will be judged, in part, on their ability to keep costs down while designing and building their houses. The winner is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
Teams have incorporated a range of cool, energy-efficient technologies into their houses, including:
-Roofs that store and treat rainwater collection for household use
-Window systems that allow net heat gain over the course of a year
-Self-watering plant walls that provide food and carbon cycle systems
-Ventilation systems that regulate air distribution and fresh air supply without energy consumption
-Landscapes that provide food, modify microclimate, reduce solar heat gain, and prevent storm water runoff
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffSeptember 16th, 2011
Polyflow, an Akron, Ohio advanced energy company, utilizes a patented process that converts hard to recycle plastic and rubber waste into transportation fuel and aromatics, the building blocks of polymer and rubber manufacturing. The primary benefits of commercializing Polyflow’s groundbreaking conversion process include a calculable reduction of our country’s dependence on foreign crude oil, the diversion of plastic and rubber waste from landfills, and the creation of green jobs in the emerging waste to energy field. This patented technology offers an alternative end-of-life solution for all types of mixed and contaminated polymer and rubber waste with emphasis on plastic types 3-7, tires and carpet. Polyflow is the recipient of a 2011 State of Ohio Third Frontier Advanced Energy grant and is an active participant in the NorTech Waste and Biomass to Energy Cluster.
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffSeptember 15th, 2011
Yesterday, the Environmental Business Cluster announced it will be home to the Canadian Cleantech Accelerator hosted through the Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, with the Canadian Cleantech Accelerator to be the Silicon Valley landing pad for promising innovative companies.
This is good news for entrepreneurs in Canada wanting a chance to come to Silicon Valley for a turn; it’s also good news for Silicon Valley — fresh intellect, new perspectives from some of the best minds – this sort of thing is what makes Silicon Valley strong. It doesn’t really surprise me either…it’s a smart move on the part of Melinda Richter, Executive Director of the Environmental Business Cluster and her team. Melinda is Canadian, and if you know Melinda even a little, you know this is just the sort of thing she’s good at making happen. The full release is below.
Canadian Cleantech Accelerator to be Silicon Valley landing pad for promising innovative companies
San Jose, Calif. – September 14 – Starting September 2011, the Environmental Business Cluster, 10 S. Third Street in Downtown San Jose, will be home to the Canadian Cleantech Accelerator hosted through the Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco|Silicon Valley.
The Canadian Consulate will select high potential companies from Canada to grow at the Environmental Business Cluster. These companies will have access to their own dedicated office space, common innovation space, strategic coaching and the full commercialization program offered through the Environmental Business Cluster, first cleantech incubator in the U.S. The Canadian cleantech companies are bringing their innovative technology to Silicon Valley and will be engaged in promoting mutually beneficial business arrangements that leverage Canadian as well as partners, collaborators and talent in San Jose with the intention of taking their products and services to the global marketplace.
In addition to bringing an infusion of promising Canadian cleantech innovation to Silicon Valley, the partnership between the Environmental Business Cluster and Canadian Consulate will also bring a surge in entrepreneurial head-count.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity to host Canada’s top cleantech companies at the Environmental Business Cluster,” said Melinda Richter, Executive Director of the Environmental Business Cluster. “This partnership is further proof that the Environmental Business Cluster, and San Jose, is truly the destination location for cleantech companies from around the globe.”
To celebrate the opening of the Canadian Cleantech Accelerator, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed welcomed the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and Cassie Doyle, Consul General of Canada, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, at a ribbon-cutting held at the Environmental Business Cluster.
“I am delighted to welcome Minister Oliver, his delegation and these Canadian companies to San Jose, and to celebrate the opening of this program linking clean tech innovation between San Jose and Canada,” said Mayor Chuck Reed. “With unparalleled access to capital and talent, San Jose is an ideal location for international companies looking to expand. We look forward to working with the Canadian Cleantech Accelerator to help these companies stay here and grow here in the years ahead.”
The Trade Commissioner Service at the Canadian Consulate is an organization dedicated to encouraging trade, investment and innovation partnerships between Canada and California. “We have a great deal of promise when it comes to Canadian cleantech innovation and the opportunity to partner strategically with Silicon Valley firms through the Cleantech Accelerator program is an ideal scenario for our companies,” said Minister Oliver. “This will further enhance and strengthen existing collaborations in the knowledge-based industries between Canada and California.”
The Canadian Cleantech Accelerator program builds on the success of two other Canadian Accelerator programs already operating in the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Cassie Doyle, Consul General of Canada. “This new program will help provide Canadian clean technology companies access to customers and partners in California and other global markets.”
About the Environmental Business Cluster
The Environmental Business Cluster is an award-winning clean tech incubator that provides commercialization services to emerging clean energy and environmental technology companies. Its suite of services includes expert coaching and strategic counsel, focused educational and networking programs, targeted access to investors, strategic partners and industry networks, attractive furnished office space, equipment, conference rooms and training facilities. Core services are provided in Silicon Valley, but EBC companies come from across the nation and around the globe. For more information, visit www.environmentalcluster.org
About The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service
Located in more than 150 cities worldwide and in regional offices across the country, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service is Canada’s most extensive network of international business professionals, offering expert advice, problem-solving skills and a global network of contacts. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, part of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, helps Canadian companies and organizations succeed abroad. For more information, visit http://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/eng/office.jsp?oid=58&cid=0096
About Prescience International
Prescience International, operators of the Environmental Business Cluster, is a firm dedicated to accelerating the commercialization and global adoption of science and technology. With industry expertise in the future of technology markets, Prescience International creates and manages centers of excellence in the form of research parks, innovation centers, research foundations, research institutes and emerging companies. Our team brings a unique combination of business and lab experience to translate science and technology into economic wealth and social impact. Prescience’s projects have won international acclaim and the companies within these projects have demonstrated that their development times and costs are cut by at least 50%. For more information, visit www.prescienceintl.com
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffAugust 28th, 2011
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffAugust 25th, 2011
By Courtney C. Capshaw, Lockheed Martin, Member of the Con Edison Green Team
Office buildings consume more energy than any other building type, according to the U.S Energy Information Administration. These buildings use 198 billion kWh of electricity each year, equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by 18 million American homes annually. The cost of this energy usage is on average $1.51 per square foot in office buildings nationwide. That number is closer to $2.50 per square foot in New York City, where buildings consume almost 80% of all energy.
Con Edison’s Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Energy Efficiency Program can help to reduce energy consumption in office buildings. This program provides C&I customers cash rebates and incentives for implementing energy efficient solutions and installing energy efficient equipment upgrades. Available for both gas and electric projects, these energy efficiency upgrades can help improve your company’s bottom line by reducing energy usage and maintenance costs while increasing operating efficiencies.
Con Edison anticipates these cash rebates and incentives will encourage the completion of energy efficiency projects in the Company’s service area, which includes New York City and Westchester County. With rebates and incentives available for both gas and electric, the program offers a variety of participation options. “Since the launch of the C&I Program last summer, we’ve received over 1000 project applications, accounting for nearly 67,000,000 kilowatt hours and 512,000 therms savings and almost $ 6,500,000 in rebates and incentives for our commercial and industrial customers. Con Edison is committed to providing our customers with the resources they need to lower their energy usage and we encourage more customers to take advantage of these financial incentives”, stated David Pospisil, Con Edison C&I Program Manager.
Saving money, energy and the environment are simple reasons to participate in Con Edison’s C&I Energy Efficiency Program. More specifically, the program provides cash incentives to reduce the cost of your capital investment – a welcome benefit in today’s current economic environment. The program also provides customers with a network of approved energy efficiency contractors, distributors, and other energy professionals for your efficient upgrade projects.
The program team is robust, ready and willing to support you on your path to a more efficient future. You can learn more about the Con Edison C&I Energy Efficiency Program by visiting their Web site at conEd.com/energysavings or by calling toll-free 1-877-797-6347.
Posted in The Abrams Clean Tech Report | Comments OffAugust 25th, 2011
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