The Week in Cleantech (Sep. 16 to Sep. 22) – More Solar Thermal, More Storage, and a Better Grid

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On Tuesday, Andrea Quong at Red Herring told us that investors reaped returns on clean energy. A quick look at returns in the European cleantech VC and PE spaces. On Wednesday, Emily Gertz at World Changing gave us the run-down on the legal climate on climate change. This action by NY’s Attorney General formalizes what many have been saying for a while – certain power gen companies, and the investors that own them, could be exposed to serious regulatory risks related to global warming in the years ahead. Strangely, those companies and their investors often seem to favor the ostrich approach. On Wednesday, Steve Gelsi kept up with T-Boone Pickens for us. Interesting that Pickens decided to go boutique with this IPO. This is a very interesting business model and probably a growth stock worth keeping an eye on. More broadly, it’s always interesting to hear an energy legend talk about where energy is going. On Wednesday, Todd Woody at the Green Wombat wondered whether the sun could power the US. This is article raises some interesting questions about the capacity for alternative energy combined with large-scale storage to provide reliable base-load power. As our regular readers know, Tom is a big fan of solar thermal and we both very much like storage. On Thursday, North American Wind Power informed us that a new consortium was bring formed in California to facilitate the integration of renewable energy into the grid. This is an important piece of news. Transmission is one of the most critical hurdles to alternative energy growth, and proactive measures specifically targeted at renewable energy hotspots could be provide a major lifeline for future expansion. On Friday, Martin LaMonica informed us that a “clean coal” start-up had just raised $100m. This outfit has some significant backers, both in the industry side (Dow, AES, Suncor) and on the VC side (Kleiner Perkins). Its target area of operation, Alberta’s tar sands, is fast becoming the number one North American greenhouse gas emitting region. Investors should keep an eye on Alberta not only because of its oil sands, but also because it is a prime market for rolling out greenhouse gas control technologies. The Week in Cleantech is a weekly roundup of our favorite cleantech and alt energy blog posts and stories from across the web. If you know of a good piece that you think should be included here, don’t hesitate to let us know!

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