Cleantech venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has been bullish on biofuels to power vehicles, but he called wind wildcatter T. Boone Pickens’ plan to power our cars with natural gas a dead end at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Green and Clean conference on Wednesday. Khosla said natural gas could be an easy way to initially reduce transportation emissions, but because it’s a fossil fuel and emissions reductions are just around 20 percent, it’s still an interim, dead-end solution that we should not pursue.
We’re actually glad to hear that Khosla isn’t basing his opinions on just market size and costs but also on the effects of global warming. Khosla is strong believer in supporting cleantech solutions that can scale quickly and cheaply enough to deliver the solution to massive amounts of users in spots such as China and India. He said to the audience: “If you support everything, you are in fact doing us a disservice. . . . Look at the data. If there is not a high rate of return, it should not be something you support — at least not in the next five years.” Other transportation technologies that he does not support because of cost are fuel-cell-powered cars and hybrid vehicles.