Internet companies spend a lot of money lobbying governments to try and get what they want — and nowhere is the picture more complex than Europe. Here’s a quick look at who pulls the strings at federal and national levels.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair once said, “we have a four week election, and you [the U.S.] have an election that’s, well, four years.” So with elections over a year away, the lobbying for political support for cleantech began on the national stage last weekend where Republican presidential candidates in Iowa strolled up to a wind turbine blade and signed it (wind power accounts for almost 20 percent of power in Iowa). But there are reasons for concern. The Breakthrough Institute’s Jesse Jenkins has gone as far as previewing a “coming clean tech crash.” Clean tech is an industry largely reliant on subsidies to make its products price competitive and it will see 70 percent of those subsidies expire in the next three years. Energy policy and incentives matter to green IT because, in the end, you can get a data center as energy efficient as possible, but getting electricity from a renewable source will always be the other side of that equation.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to join the board of biofuel startup KiOr in July. Not coincidentally, the news comes the week that KiOr is reportedly planning to official price its IPO, which could raise up to $241 million on the Nasdaq.
Vinod Khosla’s high profile greentech venture firm Khosla Ventures announced this morning that it will sign on former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair as a Senior Advisor. Blair, through his organization Tony Blair Associates, will provide advice and connections for Khosla Venture’s portfolio companies.