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Attn Founders: How to Negotiate a Series A Term Sheet

Founders who get their first term sheet proposal are sometimes mystified by the various terms and conditions proposed by their prospective investor. This article assumes a general familiarity with the type of transaction involved and will put attention on the various provisions contained in the typical term sheet. Some provisions are more negotiable, or more easily argued for, than others. We will highlight these points, using the very useful open source legal document model term sheet prepared at the direction of the National Venture Capital Association.

N.I.M.B.Y. – To an Extreme

The problem with REMs and why they are so “rare” is that mining and refining for them is incredibly damaging to the environment. Extraction requires a huge amount of ore (making it highly energy-consuming) and toxic acids that eat into the soil and persist for decades. To make matters worse, REMs are often found with even heavier elements, such as uranium, making the mine tailings radioactive.

“Cost Causer Pays” or Where is the Incentive for T&D Grid Upgrade?

Obviously, “cost causer pays” is not going to get the job done. We need a national energy policy with a strong transmission and distribution grid upgrade component. The task is complicated by overlapping and sometimes competing federal and state objectives, but failing to act is simply not an option. Both financial and policy incentives must be made clear for stakeholders so that the greenpower superhighway that many envision can become a reality.

Will Cleantech Open to Open Source?

Although it initially came as a shock, and was actually intended to subvert the accepted order of things, open source software has arrived at a place of respectability in the software industry. The idea is bizarre on first blush and even today non-software oriented business people profess not to understand how it works – or how it could work. These are only a couple of ideas that emerge when thinking about open source cleantech.

Power Flow Control Devices: Hardware for the Smart Grid

Software is not the only Smart Grid play. Developments in Power Flow Control – hardware wedded to power electronics – promise to increase the capacity of the existing electric transmission grid, thereby allowing the system to operate more efficiently for lower infrastructure costs. Controlling the flow of electrons in order to improve the existing system can and is being done. As the Smart Grid is built out, watch for companies that design and build the hardware that all the software is being designed to control.

The “Smart Grid”: An Overview

The Age of the Smart Grid is upon us. Huge amounts of capital are being and will be deployed over the next decade and beyond in upgrading the nation’s power grid. Both the political and financial will appears to be behind Smart Grid deployment. Fortunes will be made in this arena, and our lives will all be changed for the better through the intelligent delivery of more efficient and cleaner energy. By David Niebauer, www.davidniebauer.com

California Tradable RECs – Will They Ever Materialize?

California has led the nation in solar development on many fronts for a number of years, but there is one area where California has lagged significantly – the implementation of tradable renewable energy certificates (or TRECs). Whatever system gets developed in California will be followed by other states, especially those in the WREGIS System, so a region-wide system must be supported by the final CPUC decision. By David Niebauer, www.davidniebauer.com

State of the California Feed-in Tariff

Feed-in tariffs have been employed around the world for a number of years as a policy mechanism designed to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources. The feed-in tariff is an innovative incentive program that is designed to provide a level playing field for renewable energy project development. By David Niebauer, www.davidniebauer.com

Momentum Building for REDD+ Global Market for Forest Carbon

Destruction of the world’s tropical rainforests accounts for a huge proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions. REDD+ is an international, public/private initiative that is attempting to assist in the preservation and conservation of the remaining rainforests of the world. The JGI-Tanzania project appears to be a model for successful REDD development. By David Niebauer, www.davidniebauer.com

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