Guess it was only a matter of time before politicians started squabbling over who is father of the clean-tech investment trend sweeping the state. Will it be Treasurer Phil Angelides, or Controller Steve Westly, or Ahnold? Angelides and Westly, of course, are running for democrat ticket for governor in 2006.
Separately, there’s the pending competition among Bay Area universities to nab a $1 million prize to be the best educator in clean-tech.
Remember, it was Treasurer Phil Angelides who got the ball rolling last year when he announced that $1.5 billion of the state’s pension money would be pumped into environmental technologies, saying it is a good way to profit from a growing market segment and clean up the environment at the same time. We followed it with reporting here and here.
Today comes news that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System — the nation’s third largest public pension fund — has joined VantagePoint Venture Partners in a $30 million investment into New Energy Capital, which itself makes investments into clean energy projects. And — surprise — it was Controller Steven Westly, who sites on the CalSTRS board, who made the announcement at a cleantech conference. LivePowerNews carried the story, and simply said Westly “has been instrumental in its efforts to increase the pension fund’s investments in clean technology.” Hmm, it didn’t mention that Angelides also sits on the CalSTRS board, and likely part of the decision too. Wonder if this was Westly’s spin?
Here’s more from VentureWire on the announcement (subscription required).
Meanwhile, the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a $30 million public fund created from the bankruptcy settlement of PG&E, says it will award a one million dollar grant to establish the worldï¿½s leading university center on energy efficiency. The grant will be awarded to a Northern California university “which aspires to international leadership in the development of energy efficiency technologies and the removal of barriers to their rapid commercialization.” Here’s the announcement (Word document download).