Money flowing into investments on route distant from Wall Street

One Silicon Valley venture capital firm announced they'll put a quarter-billion dollars into green tech. Runs counter to the frenzied state of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve where they think a bunch of bankers missing their annual bonuses is somehow a really important economic problem.

One Silicon Valley venture capital firm announced they'll put a quarter-billion dollars into green tech. Runs counter to the frenzied state of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve where they think a bunch of bankers missing their annual bonuses is somehow a really important economic problem. Meanwhile, energy prices continue to rise and that reinforces my impression that Foundation Capital's quarter-billion for green tech really makes long-term sense. It should pay off.

Guess what? Foundation is not working on some nifty way to turn corn, or sugar or potatoes into biofuel. Here's what their message said, "Foundation is taking a different approach – they believe the best business models and the biggest environmental impact can be achieved by reducing the demand for energy through more efficient power grids, greener building materials, and alternative methods for water/food purification and safety."

That sounds dangerously like conservation of resources. Don't they know that runs counter to the bigger is always bigger syndrome that grips much of mainstream economic thinking? If people start using LESS energy what'll happen to the huge quarterly earnings jumps for Exxon or Peabody?

Specifically where's Foundation aiming to invest? Let's look at their record since they began cleantech investing in 2003: Foundation's "investment in the demand response and energy management company, EnerNOC... resulted in one of the cleantech industry’s first initial public offerings (IPO) in May 2007. EnerNOC and another Foundation investment, Silver Spring Networks, which delivers SmartGrid technology to utility providers, were recognized by the World Economic Forum as Technology Pioneers in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Most recently, Foundation was selected as an Inaugural Partner of the Department of Energy’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program, working closely with the Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help sponsored entrepreneurs bring the most promising of the Lab's energy technologies to the private sector."

Long-term their investments in water purification should pay off big-time. I've blogged here before on how little fresh drinking water is available on earth and recycling used water is going to become ever more necessary and profitable.

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