Monday, January 11th, 2010
HelioFocus Ltd., an Israel-based solar thermal systems start-up, has raised more than $10 million from China’s Zhejiang Sanhua Co. and existing investor IC Green Energy.
HelioFocus announced the investment last week at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, where HelioFocus is developing its solar thermal technology to boost electricity production of existing power plants.
HelioFocus CEO Ory Zik said Sanhua, the Chinese maker of appliance components whose stock is traded on the Shenzhen stock exchange, would be not just a financial investor in the company, but will also produce some solar thermal components.
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
Amidst the global recession and discussions surrounding the capital intense nature of most clean tech companies and the question of viable exit strategies for the venture capitalists that invest in them, the IPO market will continue to be dry.
The broader IPO market has been relatively dry since the start of 2008, with relatively few listings compared to previous years (~25/year vs averages from 1980s to 2005 of around 400/year).
While Sarbanes-Oxley is partially to blame for the dearth of US based IPO’s the fact is the public’s faith in and funds for the markets have been squeezed, and I feel that it might be more than wishful thinking that 2010 will be a robust year for Wall Street based IPOs of any sort, particularly clean tech investments.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
Global investments in alternative energy projects will rise nearly 50 percent in 2010, climbing from $130 billion this year to $200 billion next year.
In a survey of the green energy market, Bloomberg News reports that despite the dim prospects of forging a climate treaty in Copenhagen this month, companies and governments are moving rapidly ahead to build wind power farms, large solar arrays, and other green energy projects.
Thanks in large part to state-funded economic stimulus programs, government spending on green energy will more than double in 2010 to about $60 billion, according to the report.
Analysts said that with China, the European Union (EU), and individual U.S. states aggressively adopting regulations and incentives promoting green energy, the field will continue to rapidly develop even if a global climate treaty is not signed.
Monday, August 10th, 2009
For thousands of years, the native Aymara people have been harvesting scarcely fallen raindrops along the Andean foothills in northern Chile by capturing the rainwater in nets for irrigation and drinking purposes. The people in this region, in and around the Atacama desert, are accustomed to fragile ecosystems and an extremely dry climate. However, today, even in the fertile central and southern regions of Chile, there are noticeable tensions over water rights and water availability.
Presently, it is not as if there are times when nothing flows out of the tap here. Nor are the urban folks of Santiago running outside their homes with their own polypropylene mesh nets ready to catch any drop of rain that falls. However, a convergence of factors – an increase in population growth, perceptible changes in climate patterns, and competition for water resources between various industries and hydro power – have caused a national “war over water” of sorts to emerge at the forefront of national environmental, economic, and political discussions.
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
When Congress returns from its summer vacation it will consider legislation that could energize investment in renewable energy projects with an almost “cash for clunkers”-like fervor.
Like the cash for clunkers legislation (and American Idol, and The Office), a feed-in tariff bill would be a ripoff of a European idea modified for American consumption. Bills that would require utilities to pay a premium for renewable power have been tried and failed here before, but the time (and composition of the Congress) may be right for the fight to take flight.
Introduced by Democratic Senators Jay Inslee (WA) and Bill Dellahunt (MA), the bill would guarantee a market for the renewable power projects and would do much to calms fears in today’s skittish investment arena. Feed-in tariffs have been overwhelmingly successful in Germany and Spain, basically creating the solar industries in both those countries.
Because a feed-in tariff promises American jobs and reduces foreign energy dependency, Congress will likely give the idea more of a fair hearing when the leaves begin to turn in DC.
Thursday, February 5th, 2009
One of the more common green stories over the last month has focused on the question of whether the poor economic conditions are going to dampen the clean tech industry. Other stories revolve around the new US administration’s policies.
There seem to be four main story lines:
Tuesday, January 27th, 2009
MMA Renewable Ventures, employer of one of our Bloggers, announced earlier this morning that it has fully deployed it’s Solar Fund III, contributing nearly $200 million to the creation of new solar energy.
Knowing the team there fairly well, the news doesn’t surprise me given how capable their well respected engineers and development associates are. What will be more interesting is how quickly, in this current climate, they can raise new funds to take advantage of depressed module prices and further establish themselves as one of the 900 pound gorillas in the world of Solar and Renewable Finance.