From a WSJ article in Friday’s paper on the attraction alternative energy now holds for some venture folks:
Some of the same people who helped to finance Silicon
Valley’s succession of electronics-technology booms see promise in
energy technology. One of the valley’s best-known venture capitalists,
Vinod Khosla — who co-founded Sun Microsystems Inc. in the early 1980s
and is now a partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers — says
he has distanced himself from his firm recently in part to focus more
on alternative energies.
Through a fund called Khosla Ventures, Mr. Khosla says
he has sunk his own money into a half-dozen start-ups over the past
four years involved in “clean fuel” technologies, such as making
ethanol a viable substitute for much of the petroleum now used to fuel
cars. One of those biofuel companies, BC International Corp. of Dedham,
Mass., has been around for more than a decade and is developing an
ethanol plant in Jennings, La., according to its Web site. Mr. Khosla,
who still keeps an office at Kleiner, declines to discuss any of his
investments in detail.
Mr. Khosla says he is particularly enamored with
technologies that help produce ethanol from sources other than the
edible part of corn, the main technique now in use in the U.S. By using
cornstalks, grasses and even woodchips — as President Bush suggested
in his speech — large-scale ethanol production would pose less of a
threat to food supplies, Mr. Khosla says.