Weekly Newsflash 12/09-12/18: Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Planning for 1.5 Degrees, Cleantech Investment Trends for 2017

Share your cleantech news with us @GreentownLabs! This week, cleantech is becoming a larger priority among high-profile investors, while multiple states are taking significant strides in grid modernization with improvements in energy storage, batteries, and microgrids.

TechCrunch : Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and 18 Others Commit $1B to New Cleantech Fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Vinod Khosla, Jack Ma, John Doerr and 15 other high-profile investors have formed a new venture firm, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, that will pour at least $1 billion into cleantech companies over the next 20 years. The firm’s goal, according to its own website, will be: “to provide everyone in the world with access to reliable, affordable power, food, goods, transportation, and services without contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.”

GreenBiz : Here’s a Master Plan for 1.5 Degrees

What if the solution to climate change came not from top-down central government mandates but from voluntary decisions by customers, communities, corporations and other institutions to choose clean and affordable energy options?

Greentech Media
Tackling New York’s Rising Power Demand With an Affordable Housing Microgrid

Consolidated Edison has a problem. By the summer of 2018, the utility’s Brownsville substation serving customers Brooklyn and Queens will be overburdened, to the tune of approximately 69 megawatts. But rather than invest $1.2 billion in conventional grid upgrades, Con Ed is investing $200 million in non-wires alternatives to meet its needs — including a new microgrid project.

Investing News : Cleantech Outlook 2017: Water as a Core Commodity

Thomas Schumann, of Thomas Schumann Capital LLC, offers his perspective on three trends in cleantech. Schumann is keen to educate investors that far from water being a basic human right, it will become an asset, profitable and tradeable. In an email to INN, Schumann’s view is that, “technologies which provide water supply, quality and efficiency present the most impactful investment opportunities for decades to come.”


Inside Climate News : These Nations Lead the Renewables Revolution

Renewable energy is a hot topic amongst developed and developing countries across the world, but the accessibility and affordability for the poorest nations remains a significant challenge for ‘green’ power. Recently, at the Climate Vulnerability Forum, representatives from 47 of the least affluent nations targeted powering their economies and homes purely from renewable sources.


Environmental Defense Fund : How Maryland Tackles Grid Modernization Could Have Big Impacts

It’s still too early to gauge how bold Maryland’s foray into this grid modernization inquiry will be; the state’s Commission has made it clear this is a “targeted review” of specific topics – rate design, distributed energy resource valuation, smart meter benefits and costs, protection of low-income customers. But the scope of the topics suggests the state is thinking big. And if last week’s public hearing is any indication, key players are keeping an eye on the grid modernization newcomer.


Enterprise Innovation : World Bank Network Aims to Help Small Businesses Develop Clean Technology
The World Bank Group and partners have launched a network that brings together more than 30 foundations, donors, venture funds, and others to help local businesses in 12 countries develop clean technology and advance climate action. The Climate Business Innovation Network will support developing countries in their transition to clean energy and other climate-smart paths by building local capacity and linking small businesses to global sources of technology, finance, and expertise.