Skip to content

Energy Productivity is Key to Profits and Growth


Energy Productivity is Key to Profits and Growth

“If energy efficiency improved by 2% a year, the entire global population at the turn of this century could live at the American standard of living with less energy than we use today.”  Dr. Richard Muller, speaking at WAVE event “GENIUS: Ideas and People that Move Us,” makes no apologies for being a capitalist, one who believes that “a solution which is not profitable is not sustainable.”  The key to profitable investing, he believes, is efficiency in the use of energy and resources.  Or, as he is more likely to say, energy and resource productivity.

At WAVE, we recently hosted Dr. Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist and a leading authority on climate science.  An acclaimed author of ten books including “Energy for Future Presidents,” and a researcher whose projects have led to two Nobel Prizes, he initially earned (dis)repute for pointing out inconsistencies and inaccuracies in climate research.  Later, he designed and led the most comprehensive research on global warming, concluding that many solutions embraced by environmentalists, such as the electric cars and solar thermal energy, are futile.
The media’s focus on government’s missteps does not cloud the fact that we are at the beginning of a massive shift in industrial and energy technologies.  Energy and resource productivity are unfamiliar terms to many of us.  The economists and the newspapers talk more about labor productivity which has grown phenomenally over the last twenty years, thanks to the IT and telecom revolution.  But that revolution is reaching its limits, and marginal gains in employee productivity now show up more often in layoffs than in economic growth.

On the other hand, energy and resource productivity have been synonymous with progress for a very long time.  We have always understood that progress means growing more food with less water and land, producing more steel with less material and energy, and traveling farther with less effort and fuel.  It is not a surprising observation, therefore, that during the 30 years from 1950 to 1980, energy efficiency grew annually at 1.4% and the US GDP grew by 2.25% per year.  During the next 30 years, however, growth in energy efficiency fell by two-thirds and, simultaneously, GDP growth slowed down to 1.7% per year.  A report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) postulates that if our energy efficiency had continued to grow at 1.4% after 1980, the US GDP would be $2.3 trillion higher today.

Efficiency lies at the root of our economic competitiveness and prosperity, as well as a cleaner and more sustainable future.  This is good news for us, as our portfolio companies are commercializing efficient, transformational, and profitable technologies to solve some of our most urgent problems related to waste disposal and food/drug security.  We come across a large number of highly innovative companies that are pushing the efficiency frontier in food, energy, water and resource markets, but are continually mystified with investors’ fascination with electric cars than with the more immediate and practical solutions that are pushing the efficiency frontier.



WindESCo is a provider of wind turbine optimization systems intended to ensure that every wind turbine is optimized for maximum energy. The company’s systems maximize assets’ performance, energy production, and reliability to ultimately discover the hidden value of renewable energy plants, enabling clients to increase revenue by increasing annual energy production.


In a world where energy demand escalates alongside digital growth, QiO Technologies offers a beacon of innovation. Their DC+ software, powered by advanced machine learning, intelligently fine-tunes power management in data centers at the granular level of CPU operations. QiO technology is a testament to their capability to significantly enhance energy savings while ensuring peak performance.


Novolyze is a developer of a tech-enabled system designed to empower food and beverage companies to enhance food safety and quality performance. Their surrogate microorganisms technology specializes in food safety microbiology. It offers monitoring of steam pasteurizers, sterilizers, dryers, roasters, extruders, and ovens, enabling food companies to produce and provide clean food products to customers.

Micatu, Inc.

MICATU is a provider of next-generation optical sensing solutions for the measurement of voltage, current, vibration, and temperature for next generation grid intelligence solutions. Its solutions provide enhanced data fidelity, accuracy, precision, and the ability to sense harmonic disturbances in the grid before they become a problem for grid operators.

MayMaan Research Inc.

MayMaan is at the vanguard of addressing the 21st century’s critical global energy challenges. Their commitment to creating alternative energy solutions led them to develop an innovative engine/fuel combination. Their award-winning technology, running on a mix of 70% water and 30% ethanol, is set to replace traditional Internal Combustion Engines with a commercially viable, energetically superior, and less polluting alternative.

Living Greens Farm

Living Greens Farm has developed and commercialized an efficient semi‑automated system for indoor farming of leafy crops such as lettuce, spinach, kale and other crops. Like other indoor farms, LGF uses 98% less land, 95% less water than traditional farms, and eliminates pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals. In addition, it has been able to grow superior, robust, full sized plants at low cost.


Intellihot is a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency water heating systems for commercial and industrial markets. Their on-demand gas/propane-fired heaters operate at 95% efficiency, surpassing traditional products. Intellihot’s reliable and space-saving solutions reduce operating expenses by 30-60%, cut capital expenditures by 50%, and contribute to a sustainable future. 

Intelligent Fluids

Based in Leipzig, with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Leuna, Intelligent Fluids employs and partners with top notch researchers to conduct cutting edge research and launch groundbreaking innovation. They have pioneered green impact chemistry for cleaning. A new era of professional cleaning materials for industrial applications that combine the highest performance with sustainability.


Gradiant is a water recycling company with broadly patented processes to purify and recycle toxic water with a global customer base in multiple industries, including desalination, power generation, textiles, oil and gas, leather tanning, and mining. After spinning out of MIT in 2013, the Company has quickly established a diverse business footprint while significantly impacting the world’s water supply.

Factorial Inc.

Factorial is a manufacturer of nano-engineered batteries designed for electric vehicles, homes, and critical applications. The company’s batteries increase energy density and improve capacity, have an extended life, and recharge faster than any other existing material, enabling battery manufacturers to use more environmentally friendly, safer, and less expensive materials.

CHASM Advanced Materials

CHASM produces a range of advanced materials, including carbon nanotubes, transparent conductive films, and nanometal inks, which are used in various applications, such as cement production, EV batteries, antennas, heaters, and flexible electronics. In addition to their advanced materials, CHASM also offers development and manufacturing services to help their customers bring their products to market quickly & efficiently.

Carbon Clean Solutions

Carbon Clean is a developer of carbon capture technology designed to help industries decarbonize and leverage the growing value of captured carbon. The company’s technology offers an energy-efficient process that provides improved capture rates and delivers industrial-quality carbon dioxide for reuse or sequestration, enabling clients to have easy, affordable, and scalable carbon capture.

AeroSafe Global

AeroSafe is a leading provider of ‘Cold Chain as a Service’ (CCaaS) to ensure safe, sustainable delivery and effective use of pharmaceuticals. Its reuse program includes high-tech reusable thermal packaging, outsourced supply chain services, and a temperature monitoring control tower, reducing carbon usage and landfill by 65% and 90%, respectively, compared to traditional Styrofoam containers.

Let us get to know a little bit about you

Please provide your pertinent details and we will send you a download link.

Subscribe to the
WAVE Newsletter

Keep in touch & stay up-to-date on the latest
news & insights from WAVE.