torsdag 25 oktober 2007

Fortum to acquire shares of wave power company

According to Ny Teknik (in Swedish), Finnish power company Fortum will buy 8.4% of the company AW-Energy. The company work has developed a wave power solution called Wave Roller. In contrast to other wave power solutions, that take advantage of the motion energy at the surface, the WaveRoller concept is focused on generation power from bottom currents. Also covered here

onsdag 24 oktober 2007

Ann Arbor pioneer in using LED for street lighting

Ann Arbor, Michigan will be the first city in the United States, and to my knowledge, in the world, to only use 100% LED lights for their street lighting. In addition to saving US$100.000 per year in electricity costs, it is estimated that CO2 emissions will be reduced by the equivalent of taking 400 cars out of traffic. Lighting stands for more than 20% of all the power consumed in the United States.

LED lighting has been discussed earlier on this blog, here and here. LED lamps offer several advantages over traditional bulbs, as well as CFL low energy bulbs.

tisdag 23 oktober 2007

Kista Cleantech Venture Day

Another cleantech investment event is coming up, this time in Kista, Stockholm, 20th of November. At the event, which is co-organized by the city of Stockholm and the US Embassy, a group of Swedish Cleantech companies will be presented to US investors. Several of these companies have been mentioned earlier on this blog.

Read more about the event "Kista Cleantech Venture Day" here

The current state of the cleantech sector in Sweden

The state of cleantech investment in Sweden

A brief overview of some current events in the Swedish cleantech investment sector:
  • Swedish public foundation Industrifonden ("The Industrial Fund"), has invested USD3 Million in Chromogenics.
    Although the first commercial applications include bike helmet visors, the technology is expected to be used in energy efficient windows.I have earlier mentioned Chromogenics here and here.
  • The Swedish Energy Agency, Energimyndigheten, recently published their (in Swedish) overview of the Swedish cleantech sectors, with focus on the investment development. THe report can be found here (in Swedish).

  • How can cleantech companies and venture capitalists and other types of investors meet in a beneficial manner? That question was studied by Maria Tunberg from Cranfield University/Swedish Agricultural University. According to the study, TAG could be the answer. TAG stands for TechnologyApproval Group, and is a model that has been working with reasonable success is Great Britain. The TAG models focuses on uniting three different parts of the cleantech market: technology providers and developers looking for capital, possible clients and VC companies. A committee, with representatives from industry and possible, evaluates the market potential of different cleantech companies. In that way, cleantech providers can adapt their products and services according to the needs of the market, and find possible clients. Investors can take part of the results, and be sure to put their money in technology companies and innovators that are sure to have clients and a market potential.

  • Criticism has been forwarded regarding the interest (and hype) about cleantech in Sweden. According to Anders Ocklind from the Swedish fuel cell company Cellkraft, companies that have been hyped recently, especially those picked by Michael Wood. It should be noted however, that this criticism comes from a competitor to the chosen companies. The criticism seems to be focused on the technologies themselves. As earlier stated in this blog, it is true that specific companies and products may be overvalued, and thus failed investments. But that does not necessarily only depend upon technology characteristics. It should be remembered that although the technology is the primary component of the investment opportunity, it is not the only one. Revolutionary application or innovative marketing of a mature technology can give a strategic advantage. Besides, it is a natural consequence of selecting several assets for a conceptual portfolio that some assets will not develop as good as others. By diversifying the portfolio that is not necessarily a problem.

tisdag 16 oktober 2007

Virgin Air to fly with biofuels?

Who will win the race for commercial use of renewable aviation fuels?

As reported Richard Branson plans to produce biofuels as a part of the Virgin Fuels ventures.

There are several technical challenges with aviation fuel, compared to fuels for terrestrial vehicles.
Butanol is thus an interesting alternative
I have earlier written about the topic of renewable aviation fuel here.