30 March 2010

Andy Swan's "Elite Eight for Entrepreneurship"

As I head out on vacation, I leave you with Andy Swan's

"Elite Eight for Entrepreneurship"









Do you have what it takes to make the Final Four?  To win it all?

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28 March 2010

Earth Hour: Why My Lights Were On

The logo for Earth HourImage via Wikipedia
If you drove by my house last night at 8:30 PM EDT you would have noticed my lights were on, music was playing, and a small group of friends were gathered to enjoy each others' company and conversation.

Whither Earth Hour? The now annual global "action" that tries to get people to turn off their lights for 60 minutes as a stand against climate change. Not in my home.

What I don't like about Earth Hour is it sends the wrong message. It sends a message of deprivation and loss rather than prosperity through innovation.

Two billion people in the world currently live without access to electricity. They rely on kerosene and candles for their lighting needs, sources that are dangerous, expensive, and polluting.

The societal benefits brought to the world by electricity and access to light have been well-documented. Indeed, the relationship between total energy consumption and productivity and wealth creation suggests that the benefits of electricity generation are at least of the same order of magnitude as economic development itself, according to several articles in the journal Energy Economics.

Why would anyone want to go back to the Dark Ages, even for an hour?

How much better would it be if we promoted prosperity through innovation and made the most efficient electricity and lighting available to the most people. Turning out the lights is just empty symbolism.

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25 March 2010

2nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Cleantech Investment Forum

Cleantech interest is alive and well in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Over 380 people showed up at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia tonight for the 2nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Cleantech Investment Forum co-presented by BlankRome and the Cleantech Alliance Mid-Atlantic.

The capacity audience heard opening keynote remarks from the Honorable C.H. "Bud" Albright, former Under Secretary of Energy and now a Senior VP for Policy and Government Affairs with CenterPoint Energy, along with an investor panel, and five presenting companies.

"I'm a policy guy," Albright opened. "And I also believe we can solve our energy problems with technology."

But, Albright continued, "those policies must be focused on the realities today and quickly get out of the way of the market. We need to let the creativity that exists develop."

Part of that reality is that fossil fuels will be around for some time to come, Albright offered, and we need transition strategies, pointing to energy efficiency and transportation fuels as the low-hanging fruit.

"The winners will be those who see the need and meet the need," said Albright.

The investor panel expressed cautious optimism about investing in the sector and a sigh of relief that 2009 was over.

"We're still going to take time to come out," said Kef Kasdin, a general partner with Battelle Ventures. "But we see some optimism in raising capital."

Mary Kay James, a managing partner with DuPont Ventures said they are seeing growth in potential new investments to the point where they are hiring staff to handle analysis.

"The most important thing to drive investment is consistency," suggested Michael Donnelly of GE Equity. "We need consistency in policy. Wind investment, for example, has been a yo-yo" because of the inconsistency of tax credits and incentives.

Michael Bevan, a managing partner at Element Partners, is experiencing higher failure rates, and has been defensive with regard to reserves. "We still have a fair amount of dry powder," Bevan said.

The five companies presenting were:

AE Polysilicon, a Fairless Hills-based manufacturer of high-purity grade polysilicon for use in crystalline silicon solar panels.

BlackGold Biofuels, the Philadelphia-based company with its first brown grease to biodiesel treatment plant now going up in San Francisco.

Community Energy, which was the leading early developer of utility scale wind power projects and markets that is now trying to do the same thing in the solar space.

FiniteCarbon, a forest development company that provides a single-source solution for creating and monetizing carbon credits.

Momentum Dynamics, the Malvern-based company developing proprietary technologies that will allow electric vehicles to be recharged wirelessly, either parked or in motion.

Several other companies exhibited, including AdaptivEnergy, ChiSage Systems, NanoPack, Netronix, Sun & Earth, and Y-Carbon.

The forum, organized in part by Tom Dwyer and Lou Rappaport from BlankRome (with help from Lorrie Scott), along with the Cleantech Alliance Mid-Atlantic, was sponsored by Fairmount Partners, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Fesnak and Associates, PECO, Drexel's College of Engineering, Turner, the MAC Alliance and New Jersey Economic Development Authority, among others.

(Disclosure: I am co-founder of the Cleantech Alliance Mid-Atlantic, and an advisor to BlackGold Biofuels.)

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22 March 2010

World Water Day: Stand Up for Water and Sanitation?

Today, March 22, 2010, is World Water Day, an attempt to raise awareness about the importance of clean water and the thousands of people who still do not have access to clean, healthy water resources.

World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.  Each year, it has a different sanctioned theme, determined by the UN Water Group.  This year's theme is "Clean Water for a Healthy World."

Clean water scarcity is a serious situation affecting more than 2.5 billion people.  Lack of access to clean water and basic sanitation leads to more deaths among children than malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB combined, according to the UN. 

In addition 4000 children under the age of five die every day from preventable water-related illnesses such as diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera and dysentery.

Serious stuff and in need of attention.  It's hard to believe that in the 21st century some parts of the world are without simple sanitation and access to water.  World Water Day is an attempt to shed light on this problem.

In one of the sillier actions associated with the "celebration" this year, a coalition led by the group End Water Poverty, along with Freshwater Action Network, and the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre has organized a Guinness World Record attempt to form the world's largest toilet queue.

To participate, you need to gather at least 25 people and have them wait on line to use the bathroom in a public place from 10 minutes up to 24 hours.

What seems like a joke from the days of Monty Python is actually a "serious" attempt to capture the imaginations of the caring public and the World Record.  (And you wonder why I'm a skeptic!)

(Did you know there was a record for longest toilet waiting line? The current record for an individual queue stands at over 868 people, according to organizars.)

Remember: don't cut in line and wash your hands after you go.

19 March 2010

Jack Donaghy and the Future of Manufacturing in America

Jack DonaghyImage via Wikipedia
Jack Donaghy is the archetypal American businessman.  He's a striver who thinks he can get to the top through hard work, innovation and creativity -- and okay not a small dose of cronyism -- really, by making things.

But, Jack, played by Alec Baldwin, is a dying breed.  As he points out in last night's episode of 30 Rock, we've become a nation of consumers rather than a nation of makers.

Jack's company has been bought by a cable network from (ahem) Philadelphia, which as one character says in the episode, "doesn't make anything and has no expectations of innovative ideas from its executives."

Despite this, Jack is determined to make something, to use his creativity to create value.

"We need to get back to doing what American businessmen do best," Jack tells his new colleagues. "Making things."

I think Jack is onto something.  And I'm reminded of a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with Sheila Kennedy of Kennedy & Violich (KVA) in Boston.

Sheila is an architect, designer, and innovator.  She makes things.  Beautiful things.  Practical things.  Some of the things she makes are going to change the world.  Actually, they are already changing the world.

Her Portable Light Project, for example, is bringing flexible photvoltaics into fabricated products that can be integrated into blankets, handbags, or other useful items to provide a small amount of energy to charge a cell phone or provide lighting for rural villagers without access to power grids.

Soft House is another project of KVA MATx.  Soft House transforms household curtains into a set of energy harvesting textiles generating up to 16,000 watt-hours of electricity -- about half the daily power needs of an average American household.

Sheila makes things.  Yet she was telling me that we've lost the art of making things.  Prototypes, for instance.  It's getting increasingly difficult to find someone in this country to actually make a prototype.  If a designer wants a prototype, she very often has to go overseas to get it made.  Why?

We have become a nation of consumers and packagers and marketers of other people's fabrications.  We've even taken to referring to our economy as a "service economy," as if all we can do now is serve others.  And serve them what?  OPM -- other peoples' makings.

It's really quite extraordinary.  And we're seeing it now in the cleantech sector, too.  The manufacturing, research and development in the sector is shifting oversees, has been for years, but is starting to accelerate now as China, India and others ramp up their capacity to make the products and technologies to meet the energy needs of the future. 

When our economy gets too far from the art of manufacturing, of making real, tangible things, it's a bit like what Ezra Pound said about poetry getting too far from music; it begins to atrophy.

There are some hopeful signs, as Sheila and I discussed.  One of these is Etsy, a consumer web marketplace for other peoples' makings; specifically handmade products, art, books, jewelry, handbags, woodworking, and almost everything else you can imagine.

"Your place to buy and sell all things handmade..." is a great tag line.  We need more hopeful efforts to rebuild manufacturing in this country.  The future of manufacturing in America may be smaller, more localized production and distribution, and it certainly requires a more patient, long-term view.

Perhaps then Americans can get back to what we do best, as Jack Donaghy says: making things.

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18 March 2010

"Cleantech Companies to Watch" in Philadelphia

One has an odorous solution to a growing risk...

One takes brown grease and turns it into gold (well, diesel fuel)...

One takes the wait out of recharging Electric Vehicles with the ease we've come to expect with EZPass at toll booths on the turnpike...

These were three of the promising start-ups from the mid-Atlantic region that presented  last night at the Entrepreneurs Forum of Greater Philadelphia's "Cleantech Companies to Watch" program.

Held at the Haub School of Business at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, the event was part of an ongoing series of entrepreneur-focused programming offered by the organization for its members.

Enersol, which we've been familiar with since last year, has developed a technology to odorize hydrogen gas. Why? Because, as Founder and CEO Patrick Flynn says, "with the growing demand for hydrogen in industrial and commercial applications there is an increased risk of accidental escape and combustion of this highly flammable, odorless gas."

That smell you smell with natural gas that tells you when you have a leak? It's added for the same reason. Without it, sensors would have to detect any leak and, while they are generally reliable, the risk of accidents increases as use of the gas becomes more ubiquitous.

Recently named one of Always On GoingGreen East's Top 50 companies, BlackGold Biofuels is no stranger to readers of this blog. (CEO Emily Landsburg was a part of the first cohort of GoodCompany Ventures last summer and we've continued to work together.)  But what was really impressive is she made this presentation -- and didn't skip a beat -- just six days after giving birth to her first child, Max, who was in the audience.

BlackGold has a patent-pending technology to convert sewer grease -- a multimillion dollar municipal pain in the, well, sewer -- into biodiesel.  Literally turning a liability into an asset. They are installing their first full-scale plant in the city of San Francisco, having beat out two west coast competitors.

Very intriguing was the final presenter, Momentum Dynamics, which is developing a game-changing proprietary technology that solves one of the biggest issues facing the electric vehicle market: it's wired. Not only that, but as inventor and CEO Andrew Daga said, full-cycle charging reduces battery life and takes a minimum of 30 minutes to charge.

So, where once the car provided freedom, electric vehicles as currently being developed require you to plug in, which means you need to be able to do so at home, office, wherever and whenever. But you can't and won't; we all forget to charge our phones, don't we?

Momentum's solution charges automatically, whether parked overnight or for just a few minutes or even while traveling at normal speeds. Think the EZPass lane compared to cash-only toll lanes.  This breakthrough gives EV drivers, as Momentum's tag line says, "Freedom to move."

"The Entrepreneurs Forum hasn't had an opportunity to focus on cleantech in the past," said Dan Ross, the EF's executive director. "But we felt it is an emerging growth area in the region."

The Forum intends to look for other ways to spotlight cleantech entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia area.

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16 March 2010

Clean Energy Trends 2010: Hope Springs Eternal

Green shoots are starting to poke up out of the ground in my yard, a sure sign that Spring is on its way.

Hope springs eternal for the cleantech sector as well, according to the folks who bring us the Clean Energy Trends annual report, despite the downturn in the overall economy and failure at Copenhagen.

The 2010 report was issued today by Clean Edge Inc., a research and publishing firm devoted to the cleantech sector.

In 2009, according to the report, "combined global revenue for the three major clean-energy sectors – solar photovoltaics (PV), wind power, and biofuels – grew by 11.4 percent over 2008, reaching $139.1 billion."

These three sectors are expected to reach $325.9 billion by 2019, according to Clean Energy Trends 2010.

Venture investing in the sector declined, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance and quoted in the report, but as a percentage of overall venture funding the sector share increased from 11.4 percent in 2008 to 12.5 percent in 2009.

Readers of The Green Skeptic will be particularly interested on the report's take on China.

China was just a minor player five years ago and now leads the race for cleantech dominance. However, according to Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, the principal authors of the report, despite the country's surge, it is "too early to declare China the de facto winner."

"No one country or region will lead in all energy sectors," the authors reported on a conference call this morning. "China also faces significant challenges dealing with air and water pollution, and entrepreneurship is difficult there."

This last point contradicts MIT political scientist and China expert Ed Steinfeld's assertion that China is "one of the most entrepreneurial places on earth," which appeared in a Business Week article last Friday. (The article cited China's rate of self-employment far exceeds that in the U.S.—51.2 percent to 7.2 percent.)

Nevertheless, as Pernick said in an interview after today's conference call, "The challenge for China is can you build cleantech on the back of polluted air and waters?"

Their sense is that China is working on this issue simultaneously with the cleantech build-out. "And they are taking the opportunity to leapfrog where they can," Pernick said.

Key findings of the Clean Energy Trends report include:

  • The global production and wholesale pricing of ethanol and biodiesel reached $44.9 billion in 2009 and is projected to grow to $112.5 billion by 2019. In 2009, the biofuel market consisted of more than 23.6 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel production worldwide.
  • Wind power (new installation capital costs) is projected to expand from $63.5 billion in 2009 to $114.5 billion in 2019. Last year’s global wind power installations reached a record 37,500 MW. China, the first-time global leader in new installations, accounted for more than a third of new installations, with 13,000 MW
  • Solar PV will grow from a $30.7 billion industry in 2009 to $98.9 billion by 2019. New installations reached almost 6 GW worldwide in 2009, a nearly sixfold increase from five years earlier. But because of rapidly declining solar PV prices, industry revenue in 2009 fell about 20 percent, from $38.5 billion in 2008.
  • The global solar PV and wind power industries together currently account for a total of more than 830,000 jobs worldwide. By 2019, global industry growth will push the total to more than 3.3 million jobs.

The report also includes an IPO Watch List tracks clean-technology companies that have recently filed for IPOs, including Codexis, Fallbrook Technologies, Solyndra, and Tesla Motors, as well as other likely candidates, such as Silver Spring Networks.

Finally, the authors identify 5 key trends for the coming years:

  • Carbon as a Feedstock (They cite the Khosla-backed Calera and its captured-carbon cement, which may see investment from Peabody Coal)
  • Steep PV Price Drops Redefine the Solar Industry (Companies to watch include FSLR, Sharp, SunPower, Trina Solar, and MEMC Electronic Materials)
  • Biomass Utilities and District Heating (Adage Biopower, District Energy St. Paul, First Energy, Viessman, and Xcel are among their comapnies and projects to watch)
  • Clean-Tech Megaprojects (Masdar City has delayed its construction targets; China has apparently abandoned plans for Dongtan, a new eco-city near Shangai; although hope is on rise for two solar megaprojects in China from FSLR and eSolar);
  • High Speed Rail (China leading the way again; Central Japan Railway has two maglev joint ventures in the US)
Once again, the Clean Edge guys have provided a good overview of the state of cleantech trends. This is valuable information for investors and entrepreneurs in the sector.

For more information about the Clean Energy Trends 2010 report or the other research conducted by Clean Edge, go to http://www.cleanedge.com./

(Disclosure: I hold long positions in FSLR. This post is for informational purposes only and is neither intended to be investment advice nor an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities.)

Best of Green 2010 Awards: Green Skeptic Nominated

Readers who follow The Green Skeptic on Twitter http://twitter.com/greenskeptic have a chance to vote for me in Treehugger's Best of Green 2010 Awards.

I'm nominated in the category Best Twitter Feed for Business & Politics.

I'm up against some pretty stiff competition, including @kate_sheppard, @drgrist, @HuffPostGreen, and @YahooGreen.

If I provide value to your daily Twitterstream, I hope you'll vote for me. You can vote everyday until April 2nd.

Thanks for your support!

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15 March 2010

VerdeStrategy: Announcing My New Venture

Over the past year and a half since leaving Ashoka,  I've learned a lot about what entrepreneurs need to succeed.

I've also learned a lot about the needs of companies struggling with how to be green and sustainable in a time of increased scrutiny and transparency.

Somewhere at the intersection of these two learnings is where my new venture, VerdeStrategy, took root.

And I'm pleased to announce its launch today.

VerdeStrategy is a consulting and advisory firm focused on the cleantech, energy, and environment sectors. Working with start-ups, corporations and social enterprises, we will help create robust, sustainable businesses that attract investment, improve profitability, and extend market share.

If you're a start-up needing to raise capital to build your prototype, but not sure where to turn or struggling to explain your concept in a simple, compelling way, we can help with that.

If you're a company wrestling with what sustainability means to your company or trying to take the next step in a sustainability journey already begun, we can help with that.

If you're a CEO who needs coaching, a sounding board for management issues, or to polish your presentation skills, we can help with that.

If you're the leader of sustainability or green efforts at your company and need help navigating the confusing sustainable path, we can help with that.

I'm very excited about this new venture and about starting it in Philadelphia, where my involvement with GoodCompany Ventures, Philly Startup Leaders, and the launch of the Cleantech Alliance Mid-Atlantic (formerly REBN, Mid-Atlantic) conspired to inspire this new venture.

Here's a link to our web site: VerdeStrategy.  Let me know how we can help.

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13 March 2010

Thermopower Waves: A New Discovery at MIT

Think of electrons as flotsam on a wave as it moves across the surface of the ocean. That's how scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) describe a previously unknown phenomenon, which they are calling "thermopower waves."

A thermal wave is a moving pulse of heat that travels along microscopic wires known as carbon nanotubes to create an electrical current. (See the video below.)

Michael Strano, MIT's Charles and Hilda Roddey Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, described this discovery at the press briefing for last week's MIT Energy Conference in Boston.

Strano was the senior author of a paper describing the new findings that appeared in Nature Materials earlier this week; the lead author was Wonjoon Choi, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at MIT.

Carbon nanotubes are submicroscopic hollow tubes made of a "chicken-wire-like" lattice of carbon atoms. Nanotechnology is an emerging scientific research area with wide ranging potential applications in medicine, electronics, and energy.

Because this is such a new discovery, Strano said, it's hard to predict exactly what the practical applications will be.

One potential use may be developing new kinds of ultra-small electronic devices, perhaps the size of grains of rice, with sensors or treatment devices that could be injected into the body or "environmental sensors that could be scattered like dust in the air."

Sounds like "Fantastic Voyage," the 1966 sci-fi film that featured nanoscale humans entering the body to treat a patient. But there's more to their theory than meets the eye, well, at least the naked eye anyway, especially for electricity production.

Strano explained that "by using different kinds of reactive materials for the coating on the nanotubes the wave front could oscillate, thus producing an alternating current."

"That would open up a variety of possibilities," Strano said. "Because alternating current is the basis for radio waves such as cell phone transmissions, but present energy-storage systems all produce direct current."

Time will tell if this new breakthrough revolutionizes energy production or battery technology. Meanwhile, Strano's research is ongoing.

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12 March 2010

GoodCompany "Un-Panel" at GreenSpaces NY

Last week's GoodCompany Ventures event at the TriBeCa, NY, offices of Green Spaces brought together some of the top minds in early stage and patient capital investing, including Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, Jacob Gray from Murex Investments, Roger Ehrenberg of IA Venture Strategies, and Jacqueline Novogratz of the Acumen Fund, along with yours truly as the "un-moderator."

A great dialogue on our "un-panel" ranged from balancing long-term impact with maximizing returns to the need for solid metrics for social return.

[Hoping to have a link to video of the panel here next week.]

Four GoodCompanys  from the inaugural class of 2009 presented, including Black Gold Biofuels, Couchange, CalendarFly, and PublicStuff.

Roger Ehrenberg wrote a thoughtful post on his Information Arbitrage blog about the need for a new model for investing in "social" impacts and Jason Keramidas wrote a recap on the GoodCompany blog.

Applications for the 2010 Incubator are being accepted here.

(Disclosure: I am on the Advisory Board of GoodCompany Ventures.)

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08 March 2010

The 16 People You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business

TwitterImage by respres via Flickr

Last week, I was named one of "The 16 People You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business" by Earth and Industry

It's a pretty impressive list and I am honored to be on it. (Although, I'm not sure what "shooting hops" is...have to ask my local brewer.)

From sharing news or quality content, to communicating with friends and communities of interest, the micro-blogging platform Twitter has something for everybody. And there are few communities of interest that have swarmed around Twitter with more fury than the business community. Granted, maybe 'business community' is too large a group to even classify as a community, but 'green business community' isn’t. On that note, we bring you the Earth & Industry 16 must-follows on Twitter.

Read the full article: Earth & Industry

And you can follow me: @greenskeptic

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06 March 2010

While We Consider, China Constructs

When Duke Energy and ENN Group announced their partnership to accelerate development of low-carbon and clean energy technologies at the Clinton Global Initiative last September, Duke CEO Jim Rogers explained that "We must move at 'China speed' to combat global warming."

"China," Rogers explained, "is leading the world in investing in clean energy and we can make greater progress by joining forces and working together."

This was no less evident today at the MIT Energy Conference, where a distinguished panel shed light on what "China Speed" really means.

It means, according to Dr. Ning Li, Dean of the School of Energy Research at Xiamen University, that China's 2020 target of 30GW of wind capacity will be met by midyear -- that's this year. (They set that target in 2007.)

It means that China's new target for 100GW of nuclear power by 2025 will probably be met in record time as well.

The country currently has 26 new nuclear facilities under construction, compared to around the same number "under consideration" in this country, according to Dr. Andrew Kadak, Professor of the Practice of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT.

"Nuclear is now 'Made in China,'" said Dr. Kadak.

While we consider, China constructs.

It means that while we debate about technologies and subsidies and "buy American," the Chinese are "learning and innovating by doing," as Dr. Ning Li titled his remarks on the panel.

It means that a company like Gold Wind can, in just a few short years, go from licensing a German technology to buying the manufacturer to becoming a Top 10 company in its own country.

And it means that when Applied Materials is looking for the best place to site one of its largest R&D facilities, they look to China because of the "synergistic benefits of the largest market for its solar products," as Dr. Hongmei Zhang of ENN Group put it.

Fears of a cleantech race with China are surfacing throughout the US, and some are saying those fears are unfounded.

But, the reality is while we consider, China constructs. They are building the infrastructure of the energy future while we can't seem to get our heads out of the oil sands.

"You should think of China as a stimulating threat rather than a competitive threat," said Dr. Hongmei Zhang, with genuine hope that we might heed her advice.

But, as she also said in her remarks, Americans tend not to listen as well as Chinese.

Indeed, Hongmei noted, "In China, when president Hu says we will do this, we answer, 'yes sir.' In the US, the answer is "says who?"

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Industry Reps at MIT Energy Conference: Give Us a Price on Carbon

The message from industry leaders attending the MIT Energy Conference this weekend is clear: "Give us a clear price on carbon."

John Rowe, CEO of Exelon, has long been a proponent of cap-and-trade.

He reiterated this support this morning in his opening keynote, saying he felt "a bit like Elizabeth Taylor's eighth husband: I know the drill, but I'm not sure how to make it interesting."

Rowe is not so enthusiastic about our ability to reduce emissions through increasing deployment of renewables, at least not at current prices and efficiencies.

"Our work shows you can do some things with renewable energy standards," Rowe told the audience. "But you don't want to bet the farm on your picks."

Rowe secretly prefers a carbon tax, telling the audience, "Every six months I call Rohm Emmanuel and ask him if it's time yet to try a carbon tax." But he knows that it just won't happen.

Still, Rowe asserts, "We need lower carbon energy. We need more secure energy. And we need to harness the market to get it, but a market that is constrained and directed."

These sentiments were echoed by just about every industry representative I've seen at the conference.

"We need a level playing field," Helene Regnell of Maersk Line, the largest container shipper in the world, told the audience gathered for a panel on "Supply Chain Energy Use. "We need standardized, strong international regulation on carbon in order to get where we need to go and how we get there."

Speaking on the same panel, PepsiCo International's David Walker concurred, adding that 80 percent of his company's carbon footprint comes from outside the company itself.

It is hard to operate internationally with cumbersome, often conflicting regulations that differ from country to country.

The answer, at least from industry's perspective, is a clear price on carbon.

"We have to use the market to get to a $20-30 per ton price on carbon," Exelon's Rowe said. "And that means cap-and-trade or a tax. We can do a lot with carbon at $20-30 a ton."

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03 March 2010

Busy Weeks: Good for Business, Bad for Blogging

This is just to say that this has been a busy couple of weeks.

We launched the Cleantech Alliance Mid-Atlantic website last week, we've been planning our 2nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Cleantech Forum, which will be held at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia on March 25th.

And I attended CleanLinks New York, our sister organization in the City and its environs, hosted by SJF Ventures, where one of the companies I've been working with, BlackGold Biofuels had a presence. (BGB's CEO Emily Landsburg is part of the first cohort of SJF Cleantech Mentorship Fellows.)

Next up: I'm leading a panel for GoodCompany Ventures on "Entrepreneruship and Social Change" this coming Thursday at GreenSpaces NY (see my previous post or Fred Wilson's here) and then heading to Boston for the MIT Energy Conference on Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile, my new consulting and advisory venture, VerdeStrategy, is kicking into gear. I'm lining up some very interesting clients. You can read more about what we're offering at VerdeStrategy.com

A busy couple of weeks, leaving precious little time for blogging. But I'll have so much more to blog about after this week is over.

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