Sunil Paul on Clean Tech

GigaOm; the technology blog started by Om Malik of Business 2.0 has started morphing into a media network of its own sometime back starting with the move to group blogging and then various tech related blogs and even a jobs section.

Now they are moving into the Green sector; “Apparently like everyone else…”.

The Earth2Tech blog will concentrate on the growing Clean tech industry.

So we envisioned our site this way: One part clean tech startup coverage – (a quick look at clean tech venture numbers shows the growing ranks of startups in hot areas like solar and biofuels); One part reviews of tech giant’s eco-initiatives (is Google’s carbon neutral initiative more marketing or responsible plan?); One part a resource page for entrepreneurs and Valley types looking for green tech [tools, rules, tips] – LBS meets ethanol?

One of the first posts is an interview with VC Sunil Paul who compares the Clean Tech industry with the IT/Internet industry.

One thing that has remained the same is that there are huge amounts of capital required for this business, which is very different from the Internet world. Two opposite extremes.

Another thing to realize is that compared to all the IT sectors, cleantech is a very slow moving industry. For example, batteries, which are fundamentally driven by product cycles at the customer level. Customers expect a product with a 25-year lifetime, or a 10-year lifetime – you’re not going to suddenly have a 6-month product life cycle. That is an important lesson.

Another important lesson is that engagement with government is fundamental. For IT or biotech, you didn’t have to think too much about government. But in the energy world that is just not the case. Regulations are changing all the time.

The clean-tech world has been built by environmentalists going to bat for technologists. The environmentalists have carried our water for us. At some point we will have to step up and be more engaged because this is an important battle.

I blogged sometime back on the Energy investments of Vinod Khosla. Clean tech is growing everywhere and this could be one of the exciting new frontiers for the business world.

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One thought on “Sunil Paul on Clean Tech

  1. This writer got “directed” to this blog site from his own blog: http://pvhramani.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/clean-tech-through-total-recycling/ … There seems to be a “bandwagon” and “also-ran” behavior in this so-called “Clean Tech” subject too … and somehow it is felt we are all moving like the “blind being lead by the blind”. To this writer, Clean tech” or “Green Tech” are not Solar/ Wind/ Biofuel or the like … but the genesis is to begin at the lowest village level in the poorest countries, where we have about 3.5 billion people who do not earn even US $1 a day. The UN and World bank tell us they earn about $2 or more. But this writer would differ in that the yardstick is not an “average” but ACTUAL monthly earnings of individuals. Further, this writer would like to point out that unless we reverse “shifting Populations”, which would need that every one of these 3.5 billion gets livelihood jobs with ample monthly emoluments to support oneself “decently”, Greening” is impossible. Global warming and this poverty driven by shifting populations are the main subjects that need to be addressed through Technology and Political will, if we were to GREEN the world. This writer estimates that GREEN Business of POVERTY and Global Warming Mitigation is worth over $4 trillion, paralleling (and independent of) the regular economics/ business. Some aspect of this is presented at: http://www.agro-biogenics.com
    Also here: http://www.adrive.com/public/c27158b285448843cdbaec7e2c14712173e4a32667fc9ba1d007d766ecdf0381.html

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