FORTUNE -- A new breed of energy-focused private equity funds is beginning to emerge, focused on capital-efficient companies rather than the fortune-burning manufacturing plays of yesteryear. In other words, no more solar panel or biofuel investments that look more like project finance than traditional venture capital.
The latest one I've heard about is being formed by Doug Kirkpatrick, who has spent the past three years as a partner with VantagePoint Venture Partners. His new platform is called InnerProduct Partners, and currently is seeking commitments for its debut fund.
Kirkpatrick spent eight years as a chief scientist with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) before joining VantagePoint, and is being joined on InnerProduct by a number of former colleagues. Among them is Pete Haaland, a former DARPA project manager who later was an office director with Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).
Kirkpatrick did not respond to requests for comment.
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It's been nearly two years since Jonathan Silver stepped down as head of the U.S. Department of Energy's loan program. Now he's talking about it.
FORTUNE -- Jonathan Silver was hired in November 2009 to run the U.S. Department of Energy's $34 billion loan guarantee program, which was started under President Bush but super-charged under President Obama as part of the economic stimulus.
This was the program whose best-known success story to MOREDan Primack - Jun 3, 2013 3:02 PM ET
Electric car network runs out of gas.
FORTUNE -- Electric car company Better Place is planning to file for bankruptcy within the next several days, Fortune has learned.
The move will come seven months after the ouster of charismatic founder Shai Agassi, and five months after his successor -- Evan Thornley, CEO of Better Place Australia -- also departed.
Agassi also was a significant shareholder in the company, which had raised more than $700 MOREDan Primack - May 24, 2013 2:36 PM ET
Bloom privately reports $32 million Q3 loss.
FORTUNE -- For years, the knock on fuel cell maker Bloom Energy Corp. has been that its boxes cost more to make than they cost to buy. Not exactly the sort of dynamic that would help Bloom make it up on volume.
But perhaps things are finally about to change, after 10 years and nearly $1 billion in venture capital funding.
Fortune recently obtained confidential documents MOREDan Primack - Nov 14, 2012 8:01 AM ET
Gingrich hasn't always mocked algae-based energy.
Newt Gingrich this week opened up a new line of attack on President Obama's energy policy, mocking Obama's recent comment that fuels are being developed from algae. From a speech Gingrich gave to supporters in Tennessee on Monday night:
The President said we have to be practical. Drilling won't solve it. And then he offered his practical solution. Anybody here remember what it was? Algae. Algae. MOREDan Primack - Mar 15, 2012 12:13 PM ET
Biofuel startup Qteros has laid off CEO John McCarthy and most of its other Boston-area employees, Fortune has learned.
The Marlborough, Mass.-based company was founded in 1996 as SunEthanol, with a focus developing and commercializing cellulosic ethanol. It raised over $35 million in venture capital funding, from such firms as Battery Ventures, Venrock, Long River Ventures, BP (BP) and Valero Energy (VLO). There also was a Dow Jones report in July MOREDan Primack - Nov 17, 2011 2:45 PM ET
Obama critics think they've found another solar scandal. They're wrong.
Matt Drudge seems to think he has found the next solar scandal to chip away at President Obama's poll numbers:
The link is to a blog post in The Weekly Standard, about a recent loan $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy to a solar energy company called SolarReserve. More specifically, the post insinuates that DoE approved the loan MOREDan Primack - Sep 29, 2011 3:26 PM ET
Solyndra did what it said it would do with taxpayer money. But should it have been asked to do more?
A lot of Solyndra coverage has focused on the Department of Energy loan restructuring and resulting repayment priority, and we've certainly done our share. But I'm also interested in the original $535 million loan itself, which was designed to finance the construction of a large new manufacturing facility (which was, in MOREDan Primack - Sep 23, 2011 2:59 PM ET
Bloom Energy powers up with big new funding round.
Fuel cell maker Bloom Energy has not received any Department of Energy grants, but it sure does keep raking in the private financing. Fortune has learned that the Silicon Valley-based company recently raised $150 million in new venture capital at a $2.7 billion pre-money valuation.
Impressive for a company that receives eye rolls from virtually every cleantech VC who hasn't yet invested in it. MOREDan Primack - Sep 15, 2011 1:05 PM ET
To understand the future of cleantech, we must analyze the past.
By Matthew Nordan, contributor
I entered the venture capital business two years ago, focusing on cleantech start-ups. It's kind of like picking a future NBA draft by watching eighth graders play basketball: There are many years worth of development to go, and the subjects will look a lot different once they're all grown up. The key is excellent pattern recognition – MORESep 14, 2011 12:41 PM ET
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