“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”

Vinod Khosla, of Khosla Ventures and the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, is one of the rock stars of this summit. His presentation, “…mostly convenient truths from a technology optimist,” was sharp and witty and immediately set the summit on a new tact. Khosla has a dogged belief in technology and using bold allocations of venture capitol to reach innovative solutions. Khosla Ventures only invests in a project if he believes that it will be cost competitive with carbon within five to seven years without subsidies.

Although his general purpose was beating the drum of innovation, he did specifically address renewable fuels. He seems to agree with us, at least in the promise of second-generation biofuels. Khosla suggests that corn-based ethanol will not be competitive in five years. Therefore, the recent discussion is irrelevant. However, he believes that, within ten years, everyone will believe that oil will have to rapidly decrease in price to compete with second generation biofuels.