14 May 2008

Clean Tech: Gary Kremen's Latest Hot Match, Solar

Mother Jones is not a magazine I usually read, but I was compelled by a recent Twitter post to check out their special report on energy. There's a lot to read there, including one piece that clearly indicates we've reached the tipping point with clean tech.

Forget Gore and Kleiner Perkins. When someone like Gary Kremen (think Match.com and Sex.com) gets in the game, you know that folks are smelling green.

Here's how the piece, written by Jon Mooallem, opens:

"Gary Kremen sat in his San Francisco office on a winter afternoon, shouting on his cell phone and taking frequent, inexplicable swigs from a bottle of lemon juice. Kremen is 44 and stout, with a raspy voice and an inability to sit still. He founded Match.com in 1993 and ran the porn-marketing site Sex.com before selling it off for a reported $14 million in 2006. Lately, he has been sinking a chunk of his wealth and most of his energy into a new, slightly more altruistic startup called Clean Power Finance.

"The new company, says Kremen, 'is all about bringing solar to mass market'—making the case for going solar to average Americans, rather than just selling its virtues to what he calls 'green liberals,' 'national-security types,' and 'utility haters.' He wants to make installing solar panels on your roof as mundane as buying a car or any other big-ticket item. 'If we're really going to get solar working, it can't be a green sell. It's got to be an economic sell,' he says. 'I'm all about 'green is cool.' But that's not big enough.'"

Read the rest of the piece here: Mr. Match.com Pimps Solar

Kremen and solar may not be a match made in heaven, but it's a smart idea. Clean Power Finance "is dedicated to the mass market adoption of renewable energy," according to its web site. They "partner with renewable energy providers and lenders to make residential and commercial systems easy and affordable."

Making clean tech easy and affordable: clearly an indication that we may be on the verge of the "new green economy."