Meet an energetic energy investor! (part 1)

Erik Straser leads the cleantech investment of Mohr Davidow Ventures. It’s his job to seek out promising start-ups in solar energy, biofuels, energy storage, industrial biotech and clean coal. My students asked this energetic PhD about his research into companies, his investment strategies, his current projects, and his general views on the cleantech industry and existing energy policies.

Stanford’s Green Dorm

A few facts: in the U.S., residential and commercial space accounts for 40 percent of our primary energy consumption and 38 percent of CO2 emissions are from operating buildings. Why, then, is so little attention paid to building energy efficient offices and residences? Prof. Gil Masters from Stanford University wants to change that. His dream to build a student dorm that is green and clean is being realized: the Green Dorm project at Stanford is under way.

Are Carbon Credits Just a Clever Scheme to Make Money? Part II

We continue our discussion on carbon credits with Tom Arnold, chief environmental officer of Terrapass.

Are Carbon Credits Just a Clever Scheme to Make Money?

Meet Tom Arnold, chief environmental officer of Terrapass. The company sells TerraPasses. Buy one and sponsor renewable energy projects such as wind farms, thereby partly or fully counterbalancing your own carbon emissions. How does Terrapass guarantee that their passes indeed lead to carbon emission reductions? Who buys these passes? Is buying a TerraPass an effective way to help reduce global climate change and/or a way to buy off guilt about emitting carbons and a clever ploy to make some money?

Silicon Valley: the epicenter of solar power and clean technologies?

On June 1, Silicon Valley profiled itself as the future epicenter of solar power, energy efficiency and clean technologies at the Energy Summit 2007. Jacob and Desirae, two of my students at Stanford, attended to see with Silicon Valley’s leaders were up to. They report on the conference in this video, so in case you missed it, this is a chance to catch up and listen to what’s cooking and what’s not in the Bay Area.