In this interview, Susan Preston of California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) updates us on the latest energy ventures. CalCEF is a private venture capital fund that invests in seed stage clean energy companies. They invest in a diverse range of energy related companies from energy efficiency, renewable energy, to smart grid.
The fund portfolio includes a company producing energy efficient lighting, a company developing enzymes to help break down corn stock, grass and woody biomass cellulose to create fuel, a thin film solar company, and a thermoelectric company who is capturing power from waste heat using silicon wires.
Many technologies come through Preston’s office. However, she identifies gaps in the battery and fuel cell areas, and creative financing models to help deploy new energy sources. Payback period for energy projects have reduced from over two years to one year or less today. And creative financing models are always in high demand when it comes to renewable energy. Have a fundable clean energy project? Compete in the Clean Tech Open then seek out Susan Preston.
Connie Kwan is a GreenTech Marketing professional based in Silicon Valley, CA. She is pursuing an MBA in Sustainability at Presidio Graduate School and blogs about sustainability and business at Sustainable Thinking: Applied. Follow her on Twitter @ConnieMKwan.