State renewable energy standards have gained momentum over the past decade with 29 states having put in place various types of standard mandates and five more having implemented voluntary standards (34 total). Now the federal government is looking to get into the game with a bi-partisan bill (S. 3813) aiming to set a minimum national standard. Renewable
Invest in a solar, biofuels, or LED lighting company, and nobody will question the company’s cleantech pedigree. Invest in a manufacturer of network switch upgrades for telephone companies, then call it “cleantech” and you’ll see a lot of raised eyebrows. I know, because we did just that.
We are investors in Aztek Networks, a
With the recent “shellacking” (as President Obama referred to the election results) of the Democratically controlled Congress, much of the buzz in the cleantech space has been doom and gloom. Is cleantech doomed to a new dark age? I do not believe so.
Energy policy is one area where there is an
Wind turbines stand tall and mesmerize with their motion. Solar cells bask in the sparkling sun. Meanwhile, hidden down in the dark dirty underworld, a compelling technology sits quietly and gets no respect. Once installed it largely goes unseen and, it seems, it’s equally invisible in the world of clean technology press, venture funding and government R&D funding. Yet this technology provides some of the most
The stimulus bill along with the $31B cleantech element focused on grants and loan guarantees through the Department of Energy was passed into law over 18 months ago. About a year ago I wrote about how the cleantech stimulus was not very stimulating to our economy. I suggested at that time that the goals of stimulus and of long-term investment are
While renewable energy often captures most of the cleantech headlines, if anyone doubts why energy efficiency must play a significant part in the cleantech effort – as significant, if not more so, than the role of renewable energy — just examine the energy flow graphic developed by McCall and Bassett and reprinted in the June edition of Technology Review. At least half of U.S. energy consumption goes to nothing more than creation of hot air through waste heat. And, when one realizes that much of the 13.9% of electricity output from power plants shown in the graphic also ends up as hot air from our computers, lights, etc., the portion of energy consumption going up in hot air is actually greater than 50%.
Couple this with the following facts… According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), on a worldwide basis renewable energy currently supplies roughly 10% of the energy consumed.
While many cleantech companies require very large amounts of capital in order to get to market, there is a quiet group of cleantech companies bucking that trend.
Companies like Heartland Biocomposites (green building materials), RealTech (water testing) and TerraLUX (LED lighting) all built significant and growing businesses with compelling intellectual property and did so initially without multimillions in capital from venture funds (let alone tens or hundreds of millions). Because TerraLUX is one of our portfolio companies and I therefore know them best, their story is one I am able to share.
TerraLUX boasts customers like Cooper Lighting, Phillips, GE Healthcare, Snap-On Tools and many others. It has six awarded patents and eight more filed. Dr. Anthony Catalano founded the company in 2003 and, with exceptional technology smarts, creative boot-strapping and some of his own capital, he built a business with significant revenues, exciting gross margins and deep intellectual property — all without a penny of outside investment capital. And now, only after all those accomplishments, has TerraLUX closed a $5.6M financing from Emerald Technology Ventures and Access Venture Partners.
How did TerraLUX pull this off?