- Protonex announced that they added $2M to their Series B round from the $9M previously announced (and described here back in April), by adding funding from Venture Capital Fund of New England and Yellowstone Energy Ventures, and more money from that previously committed by Parker Hannifin Corp. Corporate venture funding has an important role to play in cleantech investing -- something to address in a longer discussion at a later, less-busy time.
- Here's a decent primer on "green tags." Between green tags (renewable energy certificates), carbon emission reduction credits, and other emissions credits, there are some new avenues opening up for energy efficient technology firms to gain additional revenue besides simply selling commodity electricity or capturing energy cost savings. Even in the absence of effective policy change in the U.S., such efforts to monetize the positive market externalities associated with clean energy technologies can help cleantech firms capture some of the additional value they are creating. It is a very early, but promising, market development -- which deserves a longer discussion at some point.
- Frost & Sullivan released a report which forecasts U.S. revenues for microfiltration membrane technologies (for water and wastewater treatment) will reach $1.3B by 2011. And then take note: The Chinese market for water technologies could be even larger. Who was it who said, "water will be the next oil?" Oh right, everyone says that now -- and for good reason. This deserves a longer discussion at some point.
- SunEdison announced the launch of a new $60M fund to finance solar installations, in conjunction with BP Solar. SunEdison reminds us that, while we all search for cost-effective technological solutions for manufacturing and installing solar systems, there is a potentially lucrative market in simply providing the capital and project management know-how. And that's true for a lot of other power generation approaches beyond simply solar. Such solutions require innovative financial models, strong knowledge of regulations and regulatory drivers, and a good ability to connect cutting edge technologies with installers and naturally-reticent end customers. But SunEdison is not alone in seeking the profit in such a role, there are several other groups with similar aspirations... We will have to discuss them and this broader topic down the road.
It's a bit busy around here right now, but there will be more on these and other topics when the opportunities present themselves...