CleanTech OC Weekly

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What Can Geothermal Energy Offer The United States?
Geothermal power is slowly gaining ground in the United States, and according to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, “Geothermal is one of the main renewable energy sources used to generate U.S. electricity, even though its growth has not been as strong as wind and solar over the last three years during a big push to increase generation from renewables. Geothermal energy’s greatest growth potential is in the western states.” Furthermore, a bill to promote U.S. geothermal energy development is now before the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources could prove to be a game changer for any efforts to restructure the U.S. power industry.

The Westly Group, a fund managed by former California controller Steve Westly, announced today that its closed on a $160 million fund that it will invest in cleantech companies. The Westly Group has been working on raising this current fund since mid-2011 and was originally targeted at $175 million. With this fund, The Westly Group joins Khosla Ventures, Lux Capital and Braemar Energy Ventures as the few VCs who continue to make new cleantech investments.

Despite low cleantech VC funding and a slew of negative advertising, renewables are the most trusted in the energy sector. In data from the Edelman Trust Barometer survey, 68% of respondents trust the “renewables” business to do the right thing and boast a 10 point lead over its nearest energy competitor.

On the heels of layoffs affecting 39 percent of its workforce, ClearEdge has just announced a $36 million equity raise. Since its inception in 2006, ClearEdge has raised more than $136 million in VC funding from Kohlberg Ventures, Applied Ventures, Big Basin Partners, and Southern California Gas Company. The investors from this most recent round were not disclosed.

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