Greentech Innovation Network (GIN) Conference, BERKELEY, Calif., December 8, 2006 – Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB) today announced the inaugural winner of its “KPCB Prize for Greentech Innovation,” Dr. Eli Gal for his breakthrough process for capturing CO2. The $100,000 KPCB Greentech prize was established to encourage innovation by recognizing entrepreneurs like Dr. Gal for substantial advancements in Greentech – technologies for clean water, clean power or clean transportation.
Dr. Gal’s son David submitted the winning entry for his father’s innovative technology for capturing CO2 emissions from coalburning power plants, a significant contributor to global warming. Dr. Gal’s unique, chilled ammoniabased process is dramatically cheaper and more efficient than alternative and conventional CO2 capture technologies. The new process delivers CO2 capture rates in excess of 90%, lowers the cost of scrubbing emissions from $40 per ton of CO2 to $20 per ton, and requires as little as half the power needs that other scrubbing technologies require.
On behalf of KPCB, partner John Doerr said, “This technology has tremendous potential for one of our gnarliest problems—CO2 from coal. Through this innovation, Dr. Gal has made the remaining coal on this planet greener for our next 150 years.”
A team of four independent judges and Greentech Innovation Network members selected Dr. Gal. The judges were Dr. Steve Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics; Bob Epstein, cofounder of Environmental Entrepreneurs and Sybase; Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund and Amory Lovins, Founder and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. They looked for a winning technology based on its ability to inspire innovators, likelihood to work and ability to benefit from the prize money.
Epstein lauded Dr. Gal’s entry for both the scope of the problem addressed and the potential impact of the solution. He voted for Gal’s innovation because it “challenges conventional wisdom. If this could be made to work, it is a huge step forward as it could apply to existing power generation worldwide.”
Dr. Gal’s technology for the CO2 capture process further demonstrates high probability for successful commercialization with radical cost and efficiency advantages over other technologies. His entry was selected from 100 submissions from around the world that addressed topics in clean power, transportation and water.
The “KPCB Prize for Greentech Innovation” is one of several efforts undertaken by the firm to foster Greentech innovation. KPCB has also established the “KPCB Prize for Greentech Policy Innovators” to recognize and award $50,000 to outstanding policy entrepreneurs, which was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2006. The winner of the policy award will be announced in Spring 2007.
KPCB also recently formed the Greentech Innovation Network with 50 of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, scientists, policymakers and greenminded F100 business leaders. The goal of the network is to forge new partnerships and to build a strategic map for evaluating needs and encouraging innovation. The network played a key role in supporting the passage of AB32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act.