Clean Energy Investors Don’t Want Technology Risk


In the venture capital community, one hears a great deal about “technology risk.” In my most recent meeting with Ray Lane, Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins a few months ago, he told me: “We want all technology risk removed before we put more than a few million dollars into a deal.”

OK, but what exactly does that mean? To illustrate the point, let me tell you about a company I came across at the Energy Storage show in San Diego last week, that appears to me to be the poster child for technology risk. Check out “Gravity Power.”

The website does a far better job than the description I’m about to provide, but imagine a hole 30 meters in diameter and 2000 meters deep, filled with water, in which a huge stack of pancake-shaped concrete disks rises and falls. The concrete, which is heavier than the water by a factor of 4 to 1, is driven upwards by energy coming in beneath it pushing it up, or falls, releasing that stored energy. In the energy generation mode, as the concrete falls, it pushes water up through a return pipe connected to the main hole. In the charging mode, water is pushed down the pipe, forcing the concrete to rise.

Is this theoretically possible? Of course. But has anything like this ever been built? Sort of. Anything of this scale? No, and the first deployment will cost $600 million. Now that’s what I call risk.

And yes, most of the risk is associated with technology. What if you can’t fabricate a huge concrete pancake with seals sufficient to do the job? What about earthquakes — and hundreds of other issues that I can’t even imagine?

But let’s acknowledge that there are other forms of risk here as well. What happens if a better form of energy storage comes into play in the years that it takes you to get your first implementation in place? What happens if energy storage is taken over by vehicle-to-grid connected EVs — or somehow doesn’t turn out to be the big deal that most people expect?

I can find you people who will risk $6 million on an idea like this that has the potential to impact the world of energy storage as we currently conceive it. But $600 million? That’s some real risk.



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3 comments on “Clean Energy Investors Don’t Want Technology Risk

CHAGANTI

WORLDS CHEAPEST ELECTRICITY cost per each MW 3 million US$ and generation cost just 10 Indian paisa per kw or unit
RAW MATERIAL IS FREE AND NO TRANSPORTATION CHARGES
SMALL GRID IS SMART GRID IS MY CONCEPT FOR TRANSMISSION TOO
METHOD:
FULL TEXT
Renewable energy is considered to be “environmentally” clean – meaning it is typically non-polluting example the application is water running in man made structures is my idea
‘Head’ is a measurement of water pressure or kinetic energy
In dams the head is often proportional to the height of the water behind the dam (From top of the reservoir to the bottom of turbine tail release) because the powerhouse is to the very bottom of the head in the dam or bottom of the dam
Head is used for make the water run faster and faster down and down with kinetic energy transferred from top of reservoir into turbine blades
By increasing the height of the water level behind the dams increase the force of the falling and running water down the pen stock on the turbines blades, thereby increasing electrical generation capacity
Low head dams are less than 30 feet tall and typically have generators smaller than 10 megawatts (MW), whereas high head dams are at least over 500 feet tall and have generators of at least 30 MW and more according to the water availability
Dams store water as a source of fast, reliable and zero emission clean and green energy generation and they can serve as a base load source of electricity to link with variable generation of today’s fossil fuel and nuclear energy
Rivers have water “pressure head” or the running water pressure to turn the turbine for electrical generation
Kindly read my innovation or method (Text)

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ALL COASTAL AREAS WILL GET MANY ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENTS MANUFACTURING UNITS, BATTERY MANUFACTURING UNITS THERE BY IMPROVEMENT IN DAY TO DAY LIVING ACTIVITIES

CHAGANTI

ANSWER TO YOUR GOOD QUESTION

THINK BIG

WORLDS CHEAPEST ELECTRICITY

Is this theoretically possible? Of course. But has anything like this ever been built? Sort of. Anything of this scale? No, and the first deployment will cost $600 million. Now that’s what I call risk.

Gary Terry

Here is the problem, investors thinking they are engineers thinking they actually have a say in how the product is made up and what of. As an investor you have zero input lets get that straight incase some investors out there think they know more then the inventors the fact is you dont ok the only reason we would be having a conversation is because I allow it me the inventor. If I do not like you or you are a capitalist pig we are done there will be no investment made by you or taken from you simple as that. Let me dumb it down for you. This is the product this is what it does where it does it and this is what it costs thats it in or out. I have lost count how many investors honestly believe they are engineers and can tell me how my product could be better I say go ahead you make it since you are such a genius make the investment in yourself “Yeah right”

Sharpen up 2GreenEnergy you do no justice pulling down people that are trying anyone and everyone in the cleantech space deserve praise as we are up against allot of machines political to private to public.

Regards,

Gary

ps: In relation to your $6m I would call you in onit if I knew you would honor it which you wont because I have been on LinkedIn for 2 years and with cleantechies for about a year and I have the only retrofit hybrid compressor storage solution on the planet 1 revolution = 2000 compressions and I havnt seen you once in the forums. Only Ceylan

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