Monday, 30 June 2008

Clean Sweep 40

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

Welsh solar tech developer G24i has secured a $20m investment from Morgan Stanley Principal Investments. The bank is acting as lead investor in the G24i's ongoing fundraising.
The Cardiff firm is developing dye-sensitised thin-film solar cells, based on the same titanium dioxide technology as Konarka - Konarka is backed by some heavyweight VCs including 3i, Good Energies and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and is itself a shareholder in G24i. The Welsh company has the European manufacturing rights to the tech, and is planning 'significant expansion' of its 187,000 sq ft roll-to-roll manufacturing facilities.

Dutch waste-to-energy tech developer Ensartech has raised an undisclosed development round from Icos Capital and Capricorn Cleantech Fund. Ensartech is preparing to roll out a waste smelting technology that promises 100% waste-to-energy conversion. Technical details are scarce, but the firm says that its first plant is under construction in the Netherlands, with five to ten facilities planned over the next few years.

Swedish power electronics firm TranSIC has raised a SKr24m second round from Industrifonden, Volvo Technology Transfer, and Midroc New Technology, in what's been generally promoted as a cleantech deal. The firm produces high-efficiency bipolar junction transistors, with applications including hybrid electric vehicles and solar power conversion.

Biggest deal in the US was the $50m investment in solar cell producer SpectraWatt, a spin-out from IT giant Intel. Intel Capital led the round, along with Goldman Sachs subsidiary Cogentrix Energy, PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund, and German solar developer Solon.
SpectraWatt will manufacture crystalline silicon PV cells from a new 60MW facility in Oregon. Neal Dikeman at Cleantech Blog has a brief interview with CEO Andrew Wilson.

In an interesting deal, rubber recycler Lehigh Technologies announced it had closed a $34.5m round from KPCB, Index Ventures and others. The money mostly goes towards the Florida firm's second recycling plant. Rubber prices have gone up 30% in the past year - the firm's chiefs say each plant can provide some $40m revenues a year.

Further reading
PM Gordon Brown unveiled proposals to meet the UK's renewables targets, with much fanfare but little that was new. Producing 15% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020 will require some £100bn investment from the private sector, with government support to be detailed following the Renewable Energy Strategy Consultation.
The proposals aim to have more than 30% of electricity generation, 14% of heat and 10% of transport fuels sourced from renewables. Issues under consideration include a feed-in tariff for small-scale generation, more waste-to-energy, and a streamlined grid connection process.
For more details, see Environmental Finance, the Guardian, and elsewhere.

Finally, something that really shouldn't happen to a newly installed wind turbine.

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