DOE JGI Sequences, Releases Genome of Symbiotic Tree Fungus
11 States to Receive IC’s New Hybrid School Buses

CalCEF Invests in Electric Car and Biodiesel Companies

The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a $30-million public benefit investment fund created via the PG&E bankruptcy settlement to spur investment and innovation in California’s clean energy economy, announced a summary of its Fund 1 Portfolio.

Among the investments in the portfolio are Tesla Motors (earlier post), makers of an all-electric high-performance sports car, and Imperium Renewables (earlier post), a biodiesel producer.

The CalCEF Fund l portfolio is co-managed by three investment managers who, together, bring more than $5 billion in market power: Nth Power, DFJ Element, and VantagePoint Venture Partners.

The California Energy Action Plan establishes a loading order to guide the state in meeting future energy needs:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewable energy
  • Clean fossil-fired DG
  • Clean large-scale generation
  • Clean transportation

California’s clean transportation agenda includes the following components:

  • A revitalized Zero Emissions Vehicle program, including advanced electric-drive technologies;
  • A new biofuels initiative; and
  • Investments in fuel-cell technologies.

The positions in Tesla and Imperium represent the fund’s first investments for the transportation agenda.

Other Fund 1 investments include:

  • Energy Efficiency and Demand Response

    • SpectraSensors, Inc. Manufactures sensors that track and control harmful emissions, including carbon dioxide;
    • Miartech. Designs advanced communications components for remote energy management and efficiency, including smart utility meters;
    • Synapsense. Provides software applications for wireless sensor networks that enable optimal efficient energy usage in homes and businesses.
  • Distribution and Central-Station Renewables

    • Superprotonic. Develops technologies to improve the real-world performance of hydrogen fuel cells;
    • Fat Spaniel. Provides assessment and control systems software to improve the performance of distributed generation, such as solar photovoltaics;
    • Solarcentury. Provides building-integrated solar photovoltaic solutions, enabling easier installation and improving aesthetics.
  • Clean Fossil Distributed Generation

    • Advanced Battery Company (Official Name Not Released). Develops high-power lithium ion batteries.
  • Clean Central-Station Fossil Generation

    • CoalTek. Converts low rank, mine-run coals into high-rank, clean coal alternative fuels, increasing efficiency in burning and potentially contributing to carbon sequestration.


allen Z

Nice, but fix the energy supply first. Their high voltage electric grid is straining under the enormous electrical load. Add more efficiency to the fossil energy fired plants as well. As for biodiesel, use the shores of the Salton Sea (and nitro/mineral rich agricultural water runoff/seepage) for a pilot algae oil/biomass production program. As for drying the algae, use waste heat from power plants. Add a syngas/synfuel plant (with power generating capability) and road/rail tanker link nearby.
___Private, federal, State, and local funds will be needed. Undergraduate/graduate/post-graduate students from nearby, and worldwide, will be needed to help in R&D. Companies will provide for many functions as well.


So this CalCEF fund is managed, apparently on my behalf as a taxpayer and ratepayer, by these investment managers, one of whom is VantagePoint Venture Partners. And one of their major investments is in Tesla Motors. At we read that Tesla board member Jim Marver is co-founder and managing partner of VantagePoint Venture Partners! So this VC firm is taking California ratepayer dollars and funneling them into a private company that it is investing in and helping to manage. They are increasing the value of their own holdings and enriching themselves at taxpayer/ratepayer expense.

This is just the beginning. If California Proposition 87 passes this fall ( ) there won't be just millions, but billions of dollars being managed in just this way. According to the Sacramento Bee ( ) the funding for Yes on 87 comes from VC firms and managers who are already invested in the same companies and technologies that will see a windfall if this proposition passes. You can bet those are the same people who will be on the board to disburse up to 4 billion dollars, and they'll send it directly to the companies they are involved in, just as we are seeing here with this PG&E fund.


Same exact way the military budgets and contracts are managed, except there's trillions of dollars flowing from those coffers. The US is very much a state capitalist system where a large portion of the GDP is directly linked to government spending and contracts, not unlike China. The sooner people wake up to that fact, the sooner it can be corrected, but until then it's a big party for those corporations.


Just wait and see how carbon tax will be managed...


Somehow, I would like to see more electric cars and fewer B2 bombers. If a $30m fund can attract $300m in capital, go for it. The Pentagon spends more than $400B a year and some of it can not be accounted for. No secret programs, they just don't know where it goes. They have not passed an accounting audit in more than 10 years. This was a story on 60 minutes, with a retired GAO officer.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)