Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Billionaire Venture Capitalist Vinod Khosla’s Energy Bets Inch Forward

Superstar venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has spent the past six years or so investing in a broad array of clean energy-related companies and technologies. He readily admits that many are science experiments with a high probability of failure. But he may be getting closer to success with a few of them.

Khosla recently told an audience in San Jose, Calif. that portfolio investment EcoMotors, a company that builds automotive engines that are up to 50% more efficient than current models, in early January signed up one of the larger truck makers in the world to adopt EcoMotors’ technology. Khosla didn’t specify which truck maker it was.

He also told the group that one of his lighting companies, Soraa , will introduce a low-cost lightbulb that uses 80% less electricity than current bulbs and enables a payback on investment in one year. Existing LED (light emitting diode) lights from large companies like Philips, Siemens‘ Osram unit and Cree, have yet to be widely adopted because of their still prohibitively-high cost.

Khosla said another of his companies, Caitin, can reduce the amount of energy used in air conditioning by 80%.

Source: Forbes

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