cleantech insights

What matters in cleantech corporate relationships

Josh Gould

One of our major research focuses here at Cleantech Group is corporate-to-corporate relationships.  We track them in i3 for our research subscribers.  We also capture them in our market map (see the picture above).  We spend so much time on relationships because we believe they have an outsized influence on cleantech relative to other industries. 

Why?  That is worthy of a post in itself but a few quick reasons include market share (in lighting, for instance, just 3 players have a combined 50% share of the market), importance of customer and channel access (e.g., governmental and utility clients whom are difficult for startups to reach),  influence with regulators, and the mutually dependent relationship between  large, slower-growing company balance sheets and the often superior ability of smaller companies to innovate.

So let’s say you agree with our thesis that corporate relationships matter in cleantech.  But what really matters in these relationships?  That is also a topic worthy of a much longer post but here’s a few initial thoughts:

  1. Number: The number of relationships a company is a (albeit imperfect) proxy for the influence a company wields.  A few examples of relationship numbers representing influence include GE and Schneider Electric

India loses 45% of the electricity it produces, expect surge in energy efficiency investment

Stephen Marcus

India faces a formidable challenge in meeting the growing energy demands of its vast population and in providing clean energy at competitive prices.

India Energy Consumption Levels

Source: BP Statistical Review 2010

It therefore doesn’t help that India suffers huge electricity losses during transmission and distribution of between 30-45%. India consequently had an energy generation deficit of approximately 10% in 2009–2010 and a respective peak load deficit of 13.3%. The electricity shortages often cause halts in valuable economic output with an estimated cost of 5-6% of GDP every year.

What can be done about such a problem?
Much of the high rate of electricity loss is attributed to India’s focus on building new energy generation capacity at the expense of investment in grid improvements and advanced metering and monitoring solutions. This needs to change. It is clear to me that the best way to do it is to make more efficient use of the energy that is already produced rather than continuing to add more capacity.

Improving the way electricity is transmitted and distributed is likely to play a vital role in reducing base load power demands and will remove the cost of building additional power generation plants. This will …

Cleantech Focus Boston: Investing in the Opportunity

Dave Ewart

To borrow a quote from Woody Allen, “80% of success is showing up”. If you are considering investing in the China or India cleantech markets or seeking exposure to clean technology analysts, investors and ideas, attending the recent cleantech focus event in Boston, sure felt like Woody Allen was right. Attending an event gives you insight that even today’s always on technology and media can’t replicate, and that equates to success that can be achieved by personally investing in the opportunity and just showing up.

Envirofit ramps clean-cooking line for India

Emma Ritch

The demand for clean cooking in India has prompted Fort Collins, Colo.-based Envirofit International to increase its 2009 production of biomass stoves.

The ‘cookstoves’ reduce toxic emissions by as much as 80 percent, use 50 percent less fuel and reduce cooking cycle time by 40 percent, according to Envirofit, a 501(c)3 nonprofit backed by the Shell Foundation, a charity established by the Shell Group in 2000.

The stoves sell for Rs. 500 to Rs. 2,000 ($10 to $40 USD). Since the line launched in May, Envirofit has sold 15,000 stoves and expects to reach 25,000 before the end of the year, according to co-founder and Vice President of Operations Tim Bauer.

Next year, Envirofit plans to sell 300,000, Bauer told the Cleantech Group.

“The reduced air pollution is resonating with the villagers in India,” Bauer said. “They don’t want to have dirty houses, and they want to have clean air inside their homes.”

Envirofit’s cookstoves are tackling a major problem facing developing nations.

According to the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution from solid-fuel use is responsible for more than 1.6 million annual deaths, including 800,000 children younger than five.

Almost half the world’s population cooks daily meals indoors with …