cleantech

Recent Research: Lessons from the first cleantech bubble and the role of venture capital and governments in clean energy

From 2005 to 2008, the clean technology industry experienced a venture capital boom where the share of total VC investments in clean energy technologies tripled before falling dramatically. Many studies have concluded that the boom and bust in cleantech as an equity investment focus was because clean energy does not fit the venture capital “model.” A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research explores other possible reasons for the failure of venture capital to remain interested in clean energy.

New DOE clean energy office to oversee $20B in investments, new tech developments

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the establishment of a new Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations that will support projects in areas including clean hydrogen, carbon capture, grid-scale energy storage, small modular reactors, and more. The recently-signed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $21.5 billion in funding for the office’s administration and projects through 2026.

Bipartisan infrastructure act includes billions for regional innovation

Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure framework, formally, the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign it the week of Nov. 15. While small as a percentage of the trillion-dollar total, there are a number of proposed items that can support regional innovation economies, with broadband being the highest funded. Other proposals of interest include funding that will stimulate demand for clean energy innovations, further cybersecurity development and reauthorizing the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

DOE seeking manufacturing productivity proposals, feedback on barriers to funding

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking public feedback on the current barriers and actions needed to make its funding opportunities and innovation and entrepreneurship activities more inclusive, just and equitable, and, in a separate effort, it is seeking input on improving productivity and efficiency of the manufacturing sector through a $4.8 million request for proposals.

House committee creates plan for net zero emissions

The majority staff of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a “roadmap” this week for the U.S. to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and net negative emissions through the rest of the century. The plan says these climate goals can be achieved while growing the economy and improving public health. In the area of climate and manufacturing, the committee proposes supporting the building or retrofitting of facilities, creating domestic markets for low-emissions goods, and developing new supply chains in cleantech industries. For innovation, the committee’s proposals include facilitating technology transfer through regional partnerships and a Department of Energy foundation, financing decarbonization technologies, and engaging environmental justice groups in R&D priorities.

States take the lead on climate change

When Gov. Janet Mills addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, it was the first time a sitting governor of Maine has been asked to address the body. She had been invited as part of her participation in the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, and has made tackling climate change and embracing renewable energy key priorities of her administration. She is not the only governor stepping into the role where the federal government has backed out. Twenty five states are now part of the United States Climate Alliance; a collection of states that have committed to taking action that addresses the climate challenge and implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreements, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Mills, along with governors from Illinois, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, all joined this year. They are part of the increasing action seen across the states in clean energy, climate change and carbon reduction. This story takes a look at some of the 2019 developments in the states.

Recent Research: Public-sector partnerships help fuel cleantech innovation

As the technology behind renewable energy continues to advance, recent research finds that the public sector plays an important role in catalyzing innovation. This can be seen in three main ways: by funding basic research on renewable energy in all 50 states; by partnering with cleantech startups; and by supporting cleantech clusters through networks, commercialization assistance, and access to capital. Taken together, this recent research suggests that public-sector partnerships can complement industry’s role in growing the green economy at the federal, state and local levels.

ITIF: Leverage cleantech to accelerate economic growth

There are numerous opportunities for policymakers and elected officials at the state and local levels to encourage clean energy, and doing so could spur economic development, according to a new report by David Hart, a senior fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and a professor of public policy at George Mason University.  As state and local leaders pursue these strategies, Hart focuses on five non-exclusive tracks to pursue: offering incentives to clean energy manufacturers and other investors; nurturing technology-based start-up companies; deepening existing clusters of related industries; substituting indigenous for imported energy resources; and, stimulating market demand for clean-energy products and services.

Moving the needle in a positive direction in the innovation economy

Bringing the innovation community together and examining how it has advanced — or how it hasn’t — is one of the driving goals of SSTI’s annual conferences. This year we brought together thought-provoking leaders to help reflect on whether stakeholders in the innovation economy are moving the needle in the right direction. From considering the workforce of the future and whether we are “robot ready,” to challenging our current practices of capital development and investment, while also challenging the entire ecosystem to be more genuinely and authentically inclusive in building the economy, this year’s thought leaders explored the current and future disruption of the economy.

MA authorizes more than $1 billion in new economic development activities

The Massachusetts legislature ended its 2018 session with a slate of bills related to tech-based economic development. Legislation for general economic development, life sciences industry, and green communities created new authorizations and provided for more than $1 billion in bond funding authority, with a substantial portion allocation to innovation-related activities. From broadband access to SBIR support to workforce development, the bills created a host of new opportunities for TBED in the Bay State.

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