Friday, 30 November 2007

Clean Sweep 24

A round-up of recent news in clean technology and cleantech investment.

Fuel cell tech developer Bac2 has raised £2m from private investor network London Business Angels. The deal is the largest to date for the 25-year-old network, part of the GLE group.
The investment will help Southampton-based Bac2 commercialise its 'ElectroPhen' conductive polymer. When used in a composite, the polymer promises to be a lightweight and cost-effective bi-polar plates for use in fuel cells. The firm is preparing to launch its first standard product, and is also looking at other applications in electronic components and circuits.
Bac2 previously secured a £250,000 grant from the DTI and, in May 2006, raised £500,000 seed investment from London Seed Capital, another GLE subsidiary.

Swedish thermoelectric firm Nanofreeze Technologies has raised SKr7.4m (£565,000) from Scandinavian tech specialists Northzone Ventures and TeknoSeed.
A spin-out from Lund University, Technofreeze is developing highly efficient thermoelectric elements that generate both energy and heat. Potential applications include personal electronic devices, replacing energy-hungry fridge compressors, and powering automobile electronics from the engine.

In an otherwise quiet week across the pond, the big news is the announcement from the omnipotent Google that the search engine giant is now aiming to develop renewable energy cheaper than coal. "Tens of millions on research and development and related investments in renewable energy" are promised for 2008.
The US blogs have provided ample coverage. VentureBeat covers the conference call; Greentech Media canvasses industry opinion; and Earth2Tech digs into Google's favoured start-ups, eSolar and stealthy wind firm Makani Power.
Expect to hear a lot more from this one.

Further reading
The US NVCA reports record cleantech investment in the first three quarters of the year - $2.6bn from 168 deals, well ahead of the total for all of 2006. The top investors are familiar names - Khosla Ventures (14 deals, net value $68.4m), Draper Fisher Jurvetson (14, $38.5m) and KPCB (11, $76.8m). More details here (pdf).

150 corporate leaders (led, curiously, by Prince Charles) issue a communique ahead of the UN climate change conference in Bali, demanding a legally-binding UN framework to tackle emissions. They note:
The shift to a low-carbon economy will create significant business opportunities. New markets for low carbon technologies and products, worth billions of dollars, will be created if the world acts on the scale required
In summary, we believe that tackling climate change is the pro-growth strategy. Ignoring it will ultimately undermine economic growth.

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