The Week in Cleantech (Oct. 14 to Oct. 20) – High Energy Prices: More Support Ahead For Alt Energy?

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On Sunday, Rob Day at Cleantech Investing (now part of Greentech Media) reflected on CEO turnover in the cleantech industry for us. This is an interesting piece and a good reminder for public market investors that the management team is a key success factor for any company. The ability to execute effectively on a business plan is more than half of the equation – a good idea or technology alone won’t get you very far. On Monday, Mike Millikin at the Green Car Congress us told us about a new web-based resource for carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS is sure to get an increasing degree of attention over the next few years, and this website could provide a great source of information for anyone interested in how regulation is shaping up around this issue. One caveat: the site is still under construction. On Tuesday, Carl T. Delfeld at Seeking Alpha wondered whether China’s environmental mess represented an investment opportunity. I’m not sure that this piece is entirely factually accurate, but the broader thesis is certainly valid. I would go one step further than the author: if you really want to play China’s environmental mess – and there is a play here – look for individual firms with strong exposure to China. Two examples that come to mind are: Fuel Tech (NASDAQ:FTEK) and American Superconductor (NASDAQ:AMSC). On Tuesday, Rafael Coven at The Cleantech Group discussed the ups (mostly) and downs of cleantech in Q3 2007. An interesting look at the cleantech space and why it can be expected to perform well even in times of market uncertainty. On Tuesday, Mark Gongloff at the WSJ’s Energy Roundup informed us that the White House was very concerned about high energy prices. Can the alternative energy industry expect another big boost from US legislators soon? Going back to the article discussed immediately above, unwavering government support is, in my view, one the most fundamental pieces of the equation with regards to why cleantech stocks will do well over the coming years. Government is a dirty word in many business and financial circles, but the cleantech investor who ignores this critical factor is missing a huge chunk of the picture. On Wednesday, Peter Fairley at Technology Review told us how to fix the power grid. Some of the investments that have worked out the best for me so far have been in seemingly “unsexy” areas that nonetheless showed strong potential. Large-scale electricity storage is undoubtedly one of these areas and definitely worth keeping an eye on. The Week in Cleantech is a weekly roundup of our favorite cleantech and alt energy blog posts and stories from across the web. If you know of a good piece that you think should be included here, don’t hesitate to let us know!


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