Tech trends and business ideas

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Monday, November 24, 2008

The cleantech myth bashing

Vinod Khosla at his buzzkill best. He is beginning to like “black swan solutions” that cause technology shock as he believes that many of the current concepts of cleantech investing are just "greenwashing" and not a solution to the climate issues. He’ll find a lot of backers from among the puritan VCs.

He finds photovoltaic panels in the booming $20 billion PV market are not scalable and not sustainable without subsidies. The Prius Hybrid cars? Not a solution to the energy or the climate problem nor did they meet the Chindia test - since they don’t seem to compete with the $2,500 Tata Nano. He calls hybrids "an inefficient carbon solution". Biodiesel, Clean Coal and Zero Emission Buildings are not the solutions either. Carbon capture and sequestration also do not serve the purpose as they are not economical. Solar PV, wind and biofuels are “little markets”.
Now wait a minute.... Can they deal with the financial crisis and reduce emissions at the same time? Take the Big Three automakers in Detroit (or its users). Who will expect them to invest in fuel efficient engines as they fast slide into insolvency? Isn’t gas available at $2 a gallon now?
Makes no sense.How about the VCs that have sunk some real big money? Poor fellas’ they get killed often by the publicity they give themselves. They had better learn to swallow some wily pride. At least it’s non fattening!

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