Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cleantech company news

A few interesting news items from several cleantech companies have come out over the last couple of days:

  • Xerox PARC and solar concentrator PV startup SolFocus have announced that they're teaming up to develop commercial systems. SolFocus won the grand prize at the most recent NREL Growth Forum. You can read more about the PARC-SolFocus partnership here.
  • The next "Ginger"? Dean Kamen's technology (he invented the Segway, famously) for a cow dung-powered 1kW generator is apparently the focus of an effort by Grameen Phone's Iqbal Quadir to license the technology for use in providing water and power to rural villages. Quadir's startup, Emergence Energy, would then look to raise $30M in venture capital to bring the technology to market. As we discussed back in October, the device is apparently powered by a Stirling engine, and now it appears he's coupled a second device (this time the code name is "Slingshot") which provides clean water, as powered by the waste heat from the generator. Right now each prototype costs $100,000, but the hope is that the price can be dropped to 1-2% of that.
  • Why are investors hot on solar? Because of stories like this. 27x is a nice multiple, especially for an investment held less than 2 years...
  • A final note not related to any particular company: For the many, many, many of you who regularly contact me for thoughts on how to get a job in clean energy, if you're in the bay area on the 23rd, this general-public event seems tailor-made for you. For my own thoughts on the topic, there was this post a while back...


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