It's Not Just New Energy Sources, It's Smarter Use of Existing Energy

We often hear that the best and easiest thing we could do to slow down CO2 pollution is to get much more energy efficient. Tons of the CO2 stuff are blown skyward simply because it takes twice as much to keep a leaky house warm than a snug one.

It appears that some Venture Capitalists — those guys with the indispensible start up money — are beginning to see that, too. Instead of investing in say, new solar technology, they are looking at smart switches for existing power grids. All good.

Venture capital is starting to move away from its infatuation with alternative energy and returning to one of its traditional strengths: applying information technology to improve the efficiency of energy consumption.

Many investors say developing new forms of energy can consume hundreds of millions of dollars over many years before showing any return. Mr. Grosser’s firm, however, is looking for technologies that reduce demand for energy. “We need to move markets with small amounts of money,” he said.

… Sequoia invested in SynapSense, for example, which makes sensors that help data centers use less energy. MDV, an early investor in clean tech, backed Nanosolar, a thin-film solar cell company that has already raised $500 million. Now, MDV is focusing more on saving money. It invested in Gordon Murray Design, a company that will design eco-friendly cars but not build them

… Silver Spring, which was started in Milwaukee. It equips electric meters with networking cards so utilities can see power failures before customers call. In addition, customers can see which of their appliances use the most electricity and at which times of day they need to conserve.

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