Learning from Sunrun’s Vivint Acquisition

Late last night, word broke that Sunrun had acquired Vivint in an all-stock deal.

Interestingly, Sunrun was mostly championing the reduction in costs instead of the growth potential of the combined entity in a market with only 3% of penetration.

Am I Being Too Subtle

I’m trying something new with my book notes. Moving forward, I’ll be posting them here since the process is really simple using a combination of Roam and Hugo. The first book I am adding is Sam Zell’s “Am I Being Too Subtle”. Sam is a real estate and investing legend, and his book is full of lessons on dealmaking, culture, and life principles.

Has tragedy become a prerequisite for collective action?

Preface: This week’s deep-dive takes on a deeply personal issue for a lot of people. I’d like to make clear that the purpose of this post is not to compare or rank in any way the severity of the issues before our society. Instead, I want to share an objective framework for progress using the three most pressing issues I think we face today - all three of which I believe we should tackle with the upmost urgency. Thank you for reading.

Considering Venture Capital’s Role in the Energy Transition - Part II

In 1768, New England was the whaling capital of the world. By then, almost 75% of the world’s whale oil passed through American ports before (dimly) lighting up the world. Some 4200 voyages launched from New England in the years of the whaling industry, most funded by terms that look similar to today’s fund structures.

Considering Venture Capital’s Role in the Energy Transition - Part I

We’re sitting in the giant conference room at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where the partners hold their weekly meetings. After loading his plate with Chinese food from a buffet, Gore is firing detailed questions at the management team of Ausra, a Kleiner-backed company in Palo Alto whose technology uses mirrors the width of a flatbed truck that focus the sun’s energy to generate electricity. - CNN MONEY February 12, 2008

What was clear to some then is clear to a growing number of people now - we need a significant mobilization of capital to build, deploy, and scale the solutions required for a full decarbonization effort in the coming decades.

Venture capital can play a role, but as the cleantech boom and bust proved, it is not built to support innovation in technologies like power generation or carbon capture without significant help from the other types of capital allocators. It’s important to address and understand those concerns if we are to deploy innovation at scale.

The Climate Cost of Capital

A small, but growing, subset of investors are increasing the importance of firm-specific ESG behavior in their investment criteria. This year, financial behemoths like Blackrock and Goldman Sachs announced they would be considering sustainability metrics in all of their allocation decisions.

State of the Utility 2020

Each year, Utility Dive publishes a “State of the Utility” report. The report is built mainly on survey response data from executives in the sector and includes investor-owned utilities, co-ops, municipal utilities, and retail energy providers.

Takeaways from ISO-NE's Clean Energy Transition Report

The explosion of distributed resources, renewable energy, and the electrification of everything are positive steps in our fight to curb carbon emissions. These new technologies present unique challenges to our grid and the regulatory structures surrounding it.

The Energy Transition in 3 Acts

One of my favorite phrases regarding venture investing is “my job isn’t to see the future, it’s to see the present as clearly as possible”.

Harnessing Our Values to Accelerate the Energy Transition

Energy tends to bore people until it touches on their values. But, those values are very different and prioritized in completely different ways depending on the participant.

For some, involvement in the energy transition is a moral imperative (i.e. “I want to leave Earth better for future generations”) and sometimes because it’s financially smart to do so (i.e. “We installed solar to save on our energy bill”).