Thursday, September 01, 2011

CNET: How to save green tech from crashing

A CNET post got into biofuels: Another popular investment target, biofuels have failed to scale beyond pilot stage or meet government mandates. A dismal example is Range Fuels which last year secured $162 million in local, state, and federal subsidies for a plant to make ethanol from locally harvested wood chips. But the plant shut down earlier this year after technical challenges couldn't be overcome.

And yes, "repurposing" is mentioned in the post:

That's exactly what Brad Hines is doing at his new company. Thermata is coupling off-the-shelf solar technology with clever software to help big industrial companies save money they'd otherwise spend on natural gas for steam. He doesn't plan to make the product himself but outsource manufacturing to keep down costs and rely on big corporate partners to help get initial customers.
"We're going after one slice of the market and repurposing a couple of engineering inventions to address that market. And we'll be out in a year and a half," Hines said. "There's still money to be made in boring businesses."


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