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Renewable Collaboration

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Much work has already been done in developing new renewable technology, but much remains. In this journey there seems to be a virtuous triangle: (1) Pioneering technologies are developed in laboratories; (2) When these technologies show the potential to perform well in one or more applications, they transitions to potential manufacturers, and (3) At some point potential customers work with developers to deploy initial projects using this technology. At this point the cycle begins anew to further refine the technology.

A vital player in this cycle is the start-up developer. Although step (1) above may start out in a government or university lab, if these developments are to be deployed they must be further developed to the point where they can make the transition to step 2. This heavy-lifting is very risky business that is usually performed by start-up developers (a.k.a. startups).

A little less than a year ago, I posted a two-part series on startup support organizations. This paper will continue this theme, but with a focus on the relationship between California and China, why this is vital for the fight to mitigate climate change, and dives deeply into the Energy Internet.

 

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John Benson's picture

Thank John for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 14, 2020 5:57 pm GMT

Great stuff as always, John!

 (1) Pioneering technologies are developed in laboratories; (2) When these technologies show the potential to perform well in one or more applications, they transitions to potential manufacturers, and (3) At some point potential customers work with developers to deploy initial projects using this technology. At this point the cycle begins anew to further refine the technology.

If I were to add a half step here, it would be how after (1) there are headlines and hype that perhaps start to overpromise which risks perceptions of (2) being an underdelivery when in fact they are doing what they should. Too often the industry seems to anoint an innovation as solving a problem when it's only meant to be a piece of the puzzle. 

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Jan 14, 2020 8:28 pm GMT

Thanks for the comment, Matt.

As I pointed out in the intro, the manufacturer(s) gets a major vote on whether the startups get to step 2, and what I didn't say is that VCs get to filter out non-viable startups earlier. Both of these agents are getting better at separating solid potential from fluff (hence the 1 in 100 odds). I've been on both side of this fence, and in order to make it to step 2, and then either cash out (sell your company to the manufacturer) or be integrated into the manufacturer (and thus make it to step 3) is more like a one in 1,000 chance. 

-John

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