Amazon goes Green

I spotted a neat “sun jar” in one of Amazon’s always relevant marketing emails promoting Energy Saving week this morning. To my surprise when I clicked through, not only was there an Energy Saving week, but a full-blown Amazon Green initative:

Amazon is now offering green products, green guides, eco-packaging products (Apple features prominitely).

This is twice in one week that I look at Amazon and think “Wow, that’s a great company.”

Good job Amazon. (And thanks for sending C.K. a new Kindle, no questions asked as well. I’m switching to Kindle reader over iBooks because of that gesture alone)

Blackout London

I just picked up on this event listing called Blackout London:

For one day in November (4th November), we are asking everyone who receives this message to think about what they can turn off, switch off and unplug, to show support.

We want the power demand in the United Kingdom to reduce so much that the newspapers are obliged to report it.

We want the lights to go out in London, so that on the evening of 4th November 2006, the dimming effect will be visible from space.

Apparently, the dirty secret of the Hydrogen Economy is that energy conservation will have as much- if not more- of an impact as any switch to renewable energy sources.

If you live in London, switch out the lights this Friday evening.

VC Investment in Clean and Alternative Energy – Q3

The recent data from the Venture Power newsletter shows Fuel Cell investments totaled $243 million YTD, up from $100 million in 2005. This growth figure is misleading though- the investment into Ion America by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Mobius and NEA for $103m skews the growth by a wide margin. However, Fuel Cells investments have still shown a healthy 40% growth rate. There were 14 investments in total, including London Seed Capital’s investment into Fuel Cell company, Bac2. Other sub sectors showed 50%- 100% investment growth, which does look like (irrational?) exuberance…

Our investment into Bac2 was for more than their fuel cell technology though. The company’s electrically conductive polymer is an enabling technology and has applications in aerospace, electronics and the semiconductor industry in addition to Fuel Cells. Bac2 is a great example of the type of investment opportunity that I find very compelling: a binary investment in a company targeting a billion dollar market initially, with secondary applications in large markets where you can still make substantial returns.

Cleantech Investments

Cleantech seems to be getting an extraordinary amount of coverage lately.

Venturewire highlighted the level of renewable energy financing is at an all-time high earlier this week.

Financing for companies attempting to develop new sources of renewable energy, new processes and materials for manufacturing, and new technology for managing energy use, rose to a six-year high of $513 million in the first quarter of 2006, according to data from Cleantech Venture Network LLC. The figure is up from $502 million in the fourth quarter of 2005 and over 50% above the $336 million invested in the first quarter of 2005.

Again, it was new energy investments that led the way. Companies developing new technologies for energy generation raised $357 million in the first quarter, more than the total invested in all clean technology sectors in the first quarter last year, according to data from the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based industry tracker.

Apparently, Sequoia has made their first greentech investment as well.

London Seed Capital has just led a round into a fuel cell technology, Bac2 Composites. This is the second investment we’ve made into the renewable energy space.

And, I’ll be attending the 3 day Cleantech venture forum in London next week as well.