Group IV Semiconductor comes out of stealth mode

One of Vinod Khosla’s first investments under Khosla Ventures has come out of stealth mode. Ottawa-based Group IV Semiconductor, which is supposed to be making some kind of announcement later this week, now has a Web site and is talking more openly about its technology. The company is developing solid-state lighting based on 100 per cent silicon that would ultimately replace the standard incandescent light bulb. It believes it can match the efficiency and run-life of LEDs but with better light quality and at lower cost. Here’s a link to the story I wrote up back in May.

Potentially massive savings from building automation

My Clean Break podcast today is an interview with Terry Mocherniak, founder and CEO of Encelium Technologies, which is a supplier of building automation technology with a special emphasis on lighting. It’s incredible how much electricity is consumed by the lighting in big office and industrial buildings, and even more incredible how much of it is unnecessary. A company like Encelium will go into a building and rig rooms with sensors and lighting fixtures with switches and dimmers that allow them to be remotely controlled, either through a pre-established program or through a Web interface. Savings range from 50 per cent to 70 per cent on electricity bills, and the payback can be as little as three or four years depending on the installation. Looked at this way, you begin to realize that the province would get the biggest payback in terms of conservation if it dumped money into building retrofits, or at the very least provided interest-free loans to retrofit projects that could repay the loan within five years. It’s a no-brainer.

Anyway, the podcast is worth listening to if you’re interested.