Clean Energy -- Bridging to Commercialization: The Key Potential Role of Large Strategic Industry Partners

49 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2014 Last revised: 7 Apr 2015

See all articles by Lawrence Murphy

Lawrence Murphy

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Ron Ondechek

North Louisiana Angel Fund I LLC

Ricardo Bracho

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

John McKenna

Hamilton Clark & Company

Date Written: November 7, 2014

Abstract

This white paper explores a range of potentially attractive partnerships, including those between established US industry members, the entrepreneurial CE (clean energy) community, and the financial industry. These partnerships, include those that can leverage a wide range of entrepreneurial and industry resources that are needed to promote the development and commercialization of innovative new technologies - partnerships that in turn can lead to accelerated, global utilization of CE, as well as US global leadership for the CE industry. The need for these partnerships is discussed within the context of the growing interest in CE, driven in large part by the anticipated strong, global growth in energy demand, as well as by the need for a spectrum of other long term (e.g. environmental) benefits from CE. The impacts of the rapidly changing investment and the market environment for innovative CE technologies, are also explored.

The strong need for multifaceted enabling partnerships and resources are found to go well beyond those corresponding to financing, and includes for example, expertise on markets and market creation, as well as product development. In addition, deep resource levels are often especially needed in the pursuit of high potential, next generation CE innovative energy supply technologies that require costly technology development. Such is the case for example, where sophisticated manufacturing approaches are needed to exploit promising, and high performance, material combinations along with novel and complex technology based hardware. Further, access to adequate resources for the needed, high cost, technology development is increasingly less likely to be available from traditional partners such as VCs and their limited partners.

Of the key potential partners explored, Strategic Industry Partners (SIPs) are found to be particularly intriguing - they have the most robust range of appropriate resources to potentially benefit from these partnerships while also helping to fill the void in the commercialization food chain for technology development, where VC funding is not available. SIPs also play a broad enabling role for the growth of the entrepreneurial US based, CE industry. Moreover, SIPs also have the required stature and influence to impact global markets as well as to promote global US leadership in CE, while also contributing to the dialogue around public-private partnerships. While SIPs have stringent requirements for partnering, as well as intense competition for their resource investments, successfully pursuing mutually attractive partnerships with SIPs should be well worth the required effort.

Keywords: Clean Energy, Strategic Industry Partners, High Cost Technology Development, Commercialization

JEL Classification: Q42, Q49, G24

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Lawrence and Ondechek, Ron and Bracho, Ricardo and McKenna, John, Clean Energy -- Bridging to Commercialization: The Key Potential Role of Large Strategic Industry Partners (November 7, 2014). FEEM Working Paper No. 092.2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2520343 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2520343

Lawrence Murphy (Contact Author)

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) ( email )

15013 Denver West Parkway
Golden, CO 80401-3393
United States
303-9093187 (Phone)

Ron Ondechek

North Louisiana Angel Fund I LLC ( email )

1505 Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71103
United States

Ricardo Bracho

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) ( email )

15013 Denver West Parkway
Golden, CO 80401-3393
United States

John McKenna

Hamilton Clark & Company ( email )

2025 Banks St.
Houston, TX
United States

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