There’s never a big focus on next-generation energy solutions at the annual geekfest South by Southwest — I’ve skipped the show over the past few years. But Spring Ventures founder Sunil Paul braved the rain and the ever-present SoLoMo apps to give a rendition of his presentation on the Cleanweb, or using computing, mobile, and the web to address resource constraints for energy, food and water.
AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher covered Paul’s talk, and shared his presentation (see below). SXSW is really the right crowd to learn about Paul’s own brand of cleantech investing, which looks more like collaborative consumption (car sharing startup Spride), and KickStarter (crowd-sourced solar with SolarMosaic) than the clean energy investing he’s done in the past (thin film solar company Nanosolar) or that some of his peers continue to do. The group also hosts reoccurring Cleanweb Hackathons, encouraging developers to make apps to address resource issues.
Cleanweb is about tapping into the IT infrastructure that already exists. That means it’s a lot more capital efficient than the next-gen energy tech that is looking to build new infrastructure to disrupt cars, gasoline use, the power grid, coal power, and building energy. And over the years the cleantech investors have learned that it’s best, if possible, to avoid opting for the capital intensive route.
Sunil Paul presenting Cleanweb at Green:Net 2011:
Image of Sunil Paul at Green:Net 2011.