Saturday, May 07, 2011

MIT Tech Rev on Khosla and biofuels

ANTONIO REGALADO at MIT Technology Review has a post titled Khosla Biofuel IPO Draws Doubters which questions whether some biofuels companies should be going public.
Within the article is a reference to actions by Vinod Khosla, then with Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, which damaged prospects at Nanosys, with the implication that the bad things Khosla said about Nanosys in 2004 could be applied to Khosla in 2011. Regalado quoted Khosla, vintage 2004 on Nanosys:

"Personally, I think it is the wrong model for a company, and I think it is a shame that they are going public, because I do not think they are in a position to be predictable enough. And whether they are doing it knowingly or unknowingly, there is a reasonable likelihood that they will defraud the public market."

**As to the MIT Technology Review on biofuels, see the IPBiz post
Technology Review speaks of 20,000 gal/(acre year) biofuel production

**Remember what the MIT Technology Review said of Jan-Hendrik Schon: But it won’t be a surprise if Schön helps transform microelectronics. Schon's work was, of course, fraudulent, and yes, it would be a surprise if it transformed anything. Of course, Regalado doesn't mention the MIT Tech Rev foul-up on Schon. When LBE was interviewed on the Schon affair by Japanese television, the Japanese were very concerned by a fraud on the public market by Lucent/Bell Labs, the employers of Schon.

Note also Despite IPOs, Next-Gen Biofuels Still Creeping Forward in 2011 , which includes the text:

In March, Solazyme announced a large non-biofuel deal to produce up to 60 million gallons of algae-based insulation fluid for transformers for Dow Chemical. Solazyme has also long said that it won’t be commercializing its biofuel until the 2012/2013 time frame or later.

But biofuels in volumes to rival oil for transportation? Not so much — from any companies. The Environmental Protection Agency scaled back its estimates for how much cellulosic ethanol could be produced in 2010 (originally it was 100 million, but basically it turned out to be zero), and projected that for 2011, five companies will be able to produce about 6 million cellulosic ethanol-equivalent gallons. Those companies include Range Fuels, DuPont Danisco, Fiberight, KL Energy, and KiOR.

Will the EPA even be able to make that 6 million forecast for cellulosic ethanol production in 2011? Well, one company on that list seemed to struggle as soon as the calendar flipped over to 2011. Range Fuels reportedly plans to shut down its plant in Georgia after making just one batch of cellulosic ethanol, laid off a bunch of workers and is trying to raise money.

And, Oil Company Total Makes Big Move on Solar: Total SA, the world's fifth largest international oil company with annual sales of over $193 billion, announced it will launch a "friendly tender" offer for up to 60 percent of San Jose-based solar solutions company SunPower. The acquisition is valued at $1.38 billion, at a price of $23.25 per share. SunPower's stock rose dramatically by $5.62, or 36 percent, to $21.40 per share on 6 May 2011.

In a different green technology area, note Cree and Takion Add to Surge of LED Patent Litigation


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