måndag 7 september 2009

A Rebound in Cleantech Investments?

The first half of this year has been much slower regarding investments in clean technologies and renewable energy projects, $294 million in the US in Q1 2009, compared to $1,8Bn in Q3 2008. Recently however, investments are increasing, reaching $540 in Q2 '09. A clear sign that the economy is recovering.

The lower activity is not necessarily only a bad thing; vc funds making deeper assessments before committing themselves will make the capital influx into the clean tech sector hopefully reach those who most deserve it, healthy, profitable companies with a feasible expansion plans. This will decrease the risk for creating bubbles. Many good ventures will however suffer, especially if they have not yet reached the commercial stage.
Ideally, increasing cleantech investments will be done with the scrutiny and careful analysis applied during the worst decline.

More in the Mercury and, regarding the Swedish situation, here

torsdag 14 maj 2009

Investments continue to pour into cleantech

Despite the fact that investment rate has decreased during the last six months, money continue to pour into cleantech. PowerIT is one of the companies; the may play an important role in increasing the efficiency in the US power grid.

Some observers have called the strong interest in renewable energy and environmental technology a "green bubble". I would argue that while it is definitely probable that some individual companies will not perform as well as expected, and temporary trends may create situations where entire sectors are overpriced, the underlying reasons for investing in cleantech are strong and valid, and many sectors will continue to grow until environmental problems are solved or at least mitigated.

tisdag 31 mars 2009

Solar power companies see lights in the tunnel

The optimism remains in a lot of Swedish cleantech companies, and solar power companies are no exception. For example, Climatewell is a Swedish cleantech company with a factory in Spain. With new investments in the fabric they are multiplying their production rate. Stockholm based Midsummer is another company using the sun as a direct source of energy, with a fully-automated production technology as their competitive advantage. The method is borrow from the cd/dvd industries. Recently, Midsummer was chosen as one of te most interesting technology companies in Sweden at a venture capital event. They are looking for additional financing to be able to scale up the production to commercial levels next year.

The most spectacular news however might be the articles about Ripasso Energi AB. Ripasso intends to use Stirling engines for solar power generation. The use of the stirling engine is an increasing trend in the solar tech sector, other proponents include Swedish Cleanergy. Ripasso pretends to use an engine earlier used in Swedish submarines. Another interesting aspect is the owner of Ripasso, former Ericsson CEO Sven-Christer Nilsson. According to a recent public funding application, their pretensions are far from modest: "to make Sweden a world leader in the area of Concentrated Solar Power".

torsdag 12 februari 2009

Wind Power to Increase in Sweden

The 30 largest wind power developers in Sweden are planning to develop wind farms amounting to approximately 18GW in power during next few years. This calculation considers approximately 6000 new towers, generating in total 55 TWh per year.
With increasing possibilities for EU member countries to count emission reductions from projects developed in other Annex I countries, this number may as well increase even further.

Further beneficial factors for the wind power industry are looming at the horizon, through a from a recent Swedish government proposal. According the proposal, bureaucratic obstacles will be removed, and the possibility for wind farm neighbors to appeal court decisions will be reduced.

tisdag 25 november 2008

Recovery through Infrastructure and Cleantech Investments

According to Cleantechies.com, infrastructure and alternative energy will be two areas which Obama's recovery plan will focus on.

There are signs of similiar strategies in other countries. If carried out, this may soften the fall of young cleantech companies even further.

Morphic Biogas Fuel Cell System

After successful pilot testing, Morphic will no start to market a complete system for biogas-to-hydrogen transformation. The reformer technology comes from their subsidiary Helbio S.A. and generates a hydrogen used in fuel cells from Exergy Fuel Cells, another subsidiary.
Naturally, biogas from waste disposal centres, farms and waste water treatment plants could be upgraded and used directly for heating, power generation or vehicle propulsion; it is not entirely necessary to convert it to hydrogen. But thanks to the conversion, the application is more versatile. The hydrogen can be used wherever fuel cells are necessary.
Read more about it here (in Swedish).

Biogas fuel cell applications, but with a rather different technology, have earlier been discussed here

lördag 15 november 2008

Wave Power Competition

WaveRoller and WaveDragon, technologies that have been mentioned earlier in this blog, are far from alone in the quest for efficient utilization of the energy generated by waves and tides.
earth2tech providedes a neat summary of 12 other competitors.