Headline June 21, 2019/ '' 'CLIMATE TECHNOLOGY CLAMPS' ''



SILICON VALLEY SHRUGS OFF start-ups that want to combat global warming. Burned once, investors are now leery of climate technology.

WITH the money he made selling his last start-up to Google, Matt Rogers has been investing in companies that are trying to fight climate challenge.

Mr. Rogers, one of the founders of the digital thermostat company Nest, has put millions of dollars into start-ups whose goal is to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Carbon-removal technology is something that scientists have said will probably be necessary to avert an extreme increase in global temperatures.

But Mr. Rogers has made a disappointing discovery:  Despite all the money sloshing around Silicon Valley, few venture capitalists have been willing to join him in backing companies trying to address  climate change.

''We don't need another photo-sharing app or another block-chain start-up.'' said Mr. Rogers, who  is   investing his money through Incite Ventures, a fund he created with his wife, Swati Mylavarapu.

''We need to solve the carbon crisis. But a lot of folks are chasing the easy money, rather than taking responsibility for what needs to be done.''

Mr. Rogers knows the arguments : The last time venture capitalists invested heavily in environmentally focused technology, during the clean-tech boom of the 2000s, they lost a lot of money.

Getting one of these companies off the ground can be expensive, as investors learned a decade ago. But he is not swayed by their caution.
''Sitting on your pile of money the oceans are rising may not help you stay dry,'' he said.

It is common wisdom in the tech industry that it is much easier to raise money for a software  company than it is for start-up in biotechnology of energy. The current wave of internet-focused  start-ups going public, and reaping billions of dollars for investors, has hardened the bias against so-called hard technology.

Total funding for clean-tech start-ups fell during most of the past decade, according to data from the research firm Pitchbook. In 2018, $6.6 billion was invested in clean tech, about 15 percent of what went to software start-ups. Carbon-removal start-ups got tiny sliver of that.

The lack of investment in carbon-focused start-ups poses a particular existential problem.

Two major scientific organizations said last fall that even if gas-house emissions were reduced significantly, stopping drastic global warming would require technological breakthroughs that allowed for the removal of billions of tons of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere.

Some promising methods for accomplishing that involved  old-fashioned technologies, like planting trees and changing the ways farmers till their fields. But there are dozens, if not hundreds, of start-ups developing new technologies that address the issue.

At an event in San Francisco last month, several of these start-ups made presentation to a room full of investors. One company, Charm Industrial, burns plant biomass to create Hydrogen, capturing the greenhouse gases that are produced in the process.

Another, 'Ocean-Based Climate Solutions', has created a device that stirs up water in the ocean to promote the growth of phytoplankton, which are algae that can take carbon dioxide out of the air and deliver it to the bottom of the sea in solid form.

Noah Deich, the founder of Carbon180, a nonprofit organization that sponsored the event, said it was encouraging to see investors there. But he said he had not seen the commitment to investing that he believed was necessary to get the technologies working.

''For an Internet company, even if you don't have a real product, you can get money to develop one,'' he said. ''Here, it's the opposite.''

The start-ups face a fundamental challenge : Carbon dioxide is plentiful, but it lacks chemical energy  that makes fossil fuels and other materials useful for generating power.

So far, no one has found an obvious way to turn capturing carbon dioxide into a profitable business.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Technology and Combating Global Warming, continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Nathaniel Popper.

With respectful dedication to the Scientists, Leaders, Venture Capitalists, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World.

See Ya on Facebook : The World Students Society :wssciw.blogspot.com for Great Global Elections, and Twitter- !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Climatic Campuses '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!