Friday, March 10, 2006

Stories from the week

In case you missed them, below are some interesting stories from the past week or so:
  • Tyler Hamilton has tracked down some interesting info about the Kleiner ultracap startup EEStor, which has been "stealth" for a while. His Clean Break column here also links to his full Toronto Star article on the topic. Ultracaps have a lot of potential to take on batteries in certain applications where rapid charging and discharging is valuable (the highest profile example being electric vehicles). Cost, however, remains an issue around which further innovation is being sought (and, of course, funded).
  • The next technology you've never heard of that will save the world: Modified high-density plasma toroidal collisions. Start stocking up on heavy water today! “Heat is a particularly interesting discussion since our discovery will reduce waste heat from cars by about 70%... thereby reducing global warming.” The good news is that they're developing a version for your home that will not emit radiation, which is a nice feature. Best of all, and certainly totally coincidentally for the timing of this article, the developers of this breakthrough approach are raising $10m in funding.
  • Here's a useful report on the upcoming wave of IPOs (particularly solar IPOs) expected to be coming out of China. 42% of all Chinese companies are planning stock issues? OK, then, we're going to need a lot of new tickers... Regardless, there is a lot of emerging demand in China for clean technologies, in many cases driven by very favorable government policies, so it's not surprising to see a lot of entrepreneurial activity in the field that would attract a lot of outside/ public market investment, and this article does a very good job of exploring that trend.
  • Want to win $25M? The folks behind the X Prize are now developing a new effort to inspire market introduction of mass-produced hyper-efficient cars, hopefully providing inspiration and incentive for entrepreneurs and VCs/angels. Start your engines!
  • Finally (self-promotion alert), here's some follow-up media coverage of this week's cleantech VC data from the Cleantech Venture Network. It'll be interesting to see if the momentum continues in the first quarter data when that comes out, or if there will be a near-term normalization.


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