Monday, June 27, 2005


I was traveling at tail end of last week (on my way back from a conference), and missed the opportunity to post anything on Friday or over the weekend. The below is a summary of the last few days (and also some items from last week I didn’t have time to comment on during the conference).

  • GE plans largest desal plant in Africa. As a part of GE’s ecomagination effort, GE Infrastructure, Water & Process Technologies today announced it plans to build Africa’s largest saltwater desalination plant in Algeria. The project is scheduled to begin this month, and last for 24 months, so the majority of the technology is likely already spoken for. This does however underscore the continued interest in desal, another source of demand for improvements in membrane technologies (briefly discussed before in this blog).
  • Merrill Lynch, World Resource Institute collaborate on “Energy Security & Climate Change: Investing in the Clean Car Revolution” report (see here for WRI’s announcement and here for Greenbiz’s article on the report). It’s good to see increased coverage of public Cleantech companies. From a venture perspective, the public markets offer an obviously attractive exit path, although in the near term, M&A’s are a more likely source of liquidity for investors.
  • This article in the Seattle Times today addresses VC interest in electric cars. Has the recent success of hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius paved the path for electric cars? An interesting question we may discuss at some point. In the meantime, read the article.
  • Ballard Signs Agreement to Sell German Subsidiary to DaimlerChrysler and Ford. The automakers continue to show interest in fuel cell technologies. While the word is still out on the hydrogen economy (see this post), it is good and interesting (in light of the above bullet) to see the automakers taking a long term perspective on fuel cells.
  • And finally, adding even more on to this post, HelioVolt Receives $8 Million from New Enterprise Associates to Develop Thin-Film Solar Technology. The Company seeks to dramatically shorten CIS (Copper Indium Selenide) photovoltaic manufacturing and thermal budget (total amount of thermal energy transferred to the wafer during the given elevated temperature operation). One word on the VC market for solar: Sizzle.


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