cleantech insights

GridMobility’s New Spin on Demand Response


After attending the Cleantech Open two weeks ago and seeing the company’s pitch to a panel of judges, I was anxious to find out more about GridMobility. The company has a new demand response (DR) service offering that could be key to integrating renewable resources on a smarter grid. This morning, I chatted on phone with Jim Holbery, the company’s President.

Unlike other DR service providers, which allow utilities and grid operators to curtail flexible loads when supply is constrained, GridMobility aims to dispatch flexible loads when electricity generated by renewable sources is present on the grid. In effect, the company’s technology is balancing demand with an intermittent supply of electricity from wind farms and solar arrays, a service for which balancing authorities and ISOs are beginning to pay rewards.

GridMobility’s technology is a kernel, not a new platform. At first glance this would seem like an impediment, since deployment of the company’s technology would depend on existing demand response infrastructure being in place. But Dr. Holbery (He holds a Ph.D./MS in Materials Science) points out that the kernel can also be deployed through other gateways, including building management systems (the company has relationships with the likes of Grubb


Weekly Investment Highlights (Nov 25, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 56 investments, 16 M&As, 80 relationships and 11 other news items. Below are some of the highlights. The complete version of the weekly roundup can be found here.

New Investments

New Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Eurotec WTT was acquired by RWL Water Groupfor an Undisclosed Amount. RWL’s purchase is part of a growth strategy to expand waste-to-energy offerings & provide full-service solutions to middle market customers.
  • Solar Power Partners was acquired by NRG Energyfor an Undisclosed Amount. Solar Power Partners will become a part of NRG Solar and add

Water: Week in Review


Two interesting partnerships were announced this week – Oakmall & Doosan and Enzen & Ciel et Terre.  Both partnerships seek to explore the use of solar technologies in water treatment projects.  Read more on these stories and others below:

M&A/ Partnerships

Weekly Investment Highlights (Nov 18, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 95 investments, 10 M&As, 141 relationships and nine other news items. Below are some of the highlights. The complete version of the weekly roundup can be found here.

New Investments

New Mergers & Acquisitions

When life hands you trash, make oil: a roundup of the Cleantech Open

Amanda Faulkner

As part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Cleantech Open hosted its annual Global Forum in San Jose to showcase promising cleantech startups and provide seed funding and support to the winners. The competition began earlier in the year with regional contests for 120 semifinalists and wrapped up with 21 finalists presenting at the Global Forum this past week. Over the course of two days the companies delivered 15 minute pitches to the judges, as well as 3 minute tech demos, 1 minute elevator pitches and expo booths.

Atmosphere Recovery took home the National Grand Prize of $250,000, besting other category winners; Indow Windows, PK Clean, Whole Trees Structure and GridMobility. Atmosphere Recovery impressed the judges with its laser-based gas analyzer system that improves the efficiency of manufacturing processes. The company already has a solid list of customers and boasts impressive savings, with claims to enhance heat treating facilities’ bottom line profits by 25% or more. Indow Windows, a manufacturer of energy saving window inserts, took home the National Sustainability prize and Biofiltro, a Chilean developer of a wastewater treatment process using microorganisms and worms, won the Global Ideas prize.

After hearing all the pitches, …

Water: Week in Review


Israel was flooded with water activity this week with Mekorot partnering with GE and Desalitech to build a membrane-based municipal wastewater treatment system, Amiad launching 8 new products, and Atlantium working with the government to develop a new way to sustain reverse osmosis membrane performance at desalination plants.  These and other stories can be found below:

M&A/ Partnerships

Weekly Investment Highlights (Nov 11, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 83 investments, 19 M&As, 210 relationships and 15 other news items. Below are some of the highlights. The complete version of the weekly roundup can be found here.

New Investments

New Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Agilewaves was acquired by Serious Energy for an Undisclosed Amount. The deal will bring Serious a new level of granular building energy data from Agilewaves’ detailed building monitoring system.
  • Rochem merged with APTwater for an Undisclosed Amount. APT & Rochem’s merger will allow the companies to deliver reliable, clean water from some of the most challenging resources in the industry.

Finding (EV) Religion in Israel: 4 Reasons to Believe in Better Place

Greg Neichin

Like many American Jews visiting Israel, I found religion today.   It was not religion of the spiritual kind however, it was religion of the electric variety.  Today, I stand amongst the converted.   Converted to Better Place’s view of the world and the potential for the company to be a transformative force in the electric vehicle market.

I am a most unlikely convert.  I don’t own a car, let alone an electric one, and I’m quite content to not own one.  From a policy perspective, I would prefer to see governments focus on subsidizing better forms of public transportation before promoting more personal vehicle ownership.  More pointedly, I’ve been known to utter skeptical thoughts out loud in front of journalists about the electric vehicle market.  Apparently, last month I told a group of reporters that “electric vehicles are a bet that could turn out to be wrong”.  The point that I was attempting to make was that I believe some of the adoption forecasts in the market were too aggressive.  That nuance doesn’t make for a good headline.

Assuming that electric vehicles are indeed a bet though, there is no one with more chips on the table than …

An In-Depth Conversation with NRG Energy CEO David Crane

Hannah Gustafson

This morning, Cleantech Group’s CEO, Sheeraz Haji, participated in the opening keynote at Opportunity Green in Los Angeles. In an interview with NRG Energy’s CEO, David Crane, Sheeraz focused on the power that partnerships have in driving the sector forward. Sheeraz and David made sure to give attendees clear take always on what it means to partner, what to look for in these collaborations, and provided examples of successful partnerships between private cleantech companies and large corporations.

This important topic is one we at Cleantech Group have been thinking a lot about lately. In fact, our upcoming Cleantech Forum San Francisco in March is focused on this very theme and will explore how strategic relationships are playing an ever more important role in the future of clean technology.

“At Cleantech Forum San Francisco, we will bring the CEOs of select leading cleantech companies and their corporate counterparts together on stage to discuss the significance of their relationship,” says Sheeraz.  “Through these discussions, we intend to highlight the power of partnerships and how the collaboration of ideas, research and funding can propel innovation forward much further and faster than cleantech startups or corporations could ever hope to alone.”

Registration is

Cleantech’s Early Stage Companies Look to Buck the Trend (Part 1)

Kate McArdle

Cleantech venture investments in the last few quarters have not been very friendly to early stage companies. While over 70 early-stage companies received investments in 3Q11, this was the first time that happened since 4Q10:


This trend can certainly be discouraging to cleantech companies looking for their first institutional round of funding, but events like this week’s NREL’s Investor Growth Forum and next week’s Cleantech Open Global Forum can be valuable tools for young companies to get in front of investors inclined toward early-stage deals. I spent the last few days in Denver with NREL, watching a handful of early-stage company pitches. Below are highlights of two of the companies that most impressed me. Visit i3 (subscription required) for more information on these and the 28 other companies that presented in Denver, and stay tuned next week for coverage on the Cleantech Open’s finalists.

And if you’re a later-stage company wondering where your opportunity is to reach hundreds of cleantech investors and partners with a single pitch, look no further than Cleantech Group’s own Cleantech Forums. Our next one is the flagship Cleantech Forum San Francisco, and we are currently accepting applications for the Entrepreneur Showcase – a …