Oct 15, 2019

VC firm Clean Energy Ventures' $110 million fund targets early-stage climate players

The VC firm Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) announced Tuesday the close of a $110 million funding round aimed at backing a wide range of climate-friendly energy startups.

Why it matters: Managing director Daniel Goldman tells Axios that the drop-off in clean energy VC a decade ago hit early-stage investing especially hard.

  • Now, he said, there's a "supply-demand imbalance" thanks to the proliferation of promising young companies.
  • "There’s a lot of growth-stage capital around the market now, but there’s very little early-stage capital," he said in an interview.

The big picture: The Boston-based fund was initially supposed to be $75 million, but investor interest led to the $110 million closing figure, a company representative said.

  • CEV already has 7 companies in its portfolio that Goldman says have already received about 15% of the fund.
  • They include the grid tech company SparkMeter (which also has backing from the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures), and the solar tech firm Leading Edge Crystal Technologies.

What's next: Funding areas of interest "include energy storage, grid connectivity, renewable energy production, clean transportation and the water/energy nexus," the announcement states.

  • Members of the companies strategic advisory board include former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Go deeper

Big oil R&D in clean tech is hard to pin down

Data: BloombergNEF; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

How much research and development big oil companies are putting into cleantech is one of the few concrete metrics to gauge the industry’s varying shifts toward cleaner energy.

Between the lines: Pinning that figure down is tricky because many companies don’t disclose and even those that do use definitions that vary widely for what constitutes cleaner energy or low-carbon.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019

Global energy efficiency gains are slowing

Adapted from IEA's Energy Efficiency 2019 report; Chart: Axios Visuals

New International Energy Agency data out Monday shows just paltry advances in global energy efficiency last year.

What they found: Primary energy intensity — that is, amount of energy needed per unit of GDP — improved by just 1.2% in 2018. That's the third consecutive year of declining gains and the slowest improvement since 2010, the agency said.

Go deeperArrowNov 5, 2019

The mammoth gap between energy trends and climate goals

Climate protestors outside Congress. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images

Existing and announced policies worldwide won't be nearly enough to rein in carbon emissions, despite the strong growth of climate-friendly energy sources, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

Why it matters: The IEA's annual World Energy Outlook reports are among the most prominent attempts to model where energy systems are headed in the decades ahead. These big and data-rich studies (this year's weighs in at 810 pages) are widely cited by policymakers, analysts and other stakeholders.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 13, 2019