Cleantech continues to be a catalyst for water technologies. While water didn’t make the agenda at the latest Cleantech Forum last week, the panels on “Financing the Distributed Economy” and “A Consumer-Centric Approach to Waste” hit many of the key challenges that water is facing. How are leading CEOs of solar companies and wind companies scaling their companies to mass scale? “To grow a startup, innovation and adaptation is required across the board.” Cleantech Group Europe MD Richard Youngman notes. “Technology is just a part of the challenge; how you go about financing yourself through the early stages is a critical success factor that certainly requires being and thinking differently.”
Scaling smart distributed solar, like water tech, requires financing that is a hybrid between infrastructure financing, equipment financing an real estate finance. Stephan Dolesalek, from VantagePoint, Michael Eckert and Gerd Goette from Siemens Venture Capital see financing solar as a model for green technologies.
The giants in waste management see consumers driving next generation waste management. As capacity for waste disposal shrinks, governments from the London to San Francisco are doing more than just raising the price of waste removal. They are innovating onsite solutions for consumers, such as compost and recycling. Waste Management has brought consumer marketing expertise from Recyclebank. Jean-Marc Boursier of Suez sees significant finance opportunities for established waste disposal services in expanding resource recovery. Water waste is a small proportion of the overall waste picture, but one of the most expensive. Harvesting valuable products from water-based waste offers some of the opportunities that will be decisive.