The Week in Cleantech (Sep. 21 to Sep. 27) – More Casulaties In The Wake Of Global Warming Concerns

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On Monday, Maria Surma Manka at Green Options told us how Kansas killed coal plants. This is an interesting precedent, and it certainly buttresses the argument that coal will increasingly mean uncertainty and risk in the US power gen industry. On a related note, on Tuesday, David Ehrlich at reported on NY’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade plans. This is the first of the RGGI states to flesh out its plan in some detail. On Tuesday, Jim Fraser at The Energy Blog discussed the timeline for solar power parity with fossil fuels. Does this mean that there is more to the rich valuations we have seen in solar stocks over the past year than mere irrational exuberance? I certainly believe so. On Tuesday, Katie Fehrenbacher at Earth2Tech provided an update on GE’s cleantech activities. Large companies’ cleantech initiatives are of interest to cleantech investors for three main reasons: (a) for the risk-averse, purchasing a blue-chip stock with some exposure to cleantech is a safer way to play this space than buying smaller-cap pure-plays; (b) companies like GE bring scale to the game (e.g. wind) and force prices down, which results in a better and more efficient industry overall; (c) large companies will be at the fore of strategic M&A activity in the sector, and watching their maneuvering closely can help identify potential acquisition plays. On Thursday, Jeff Vail at Energy Intelligence discussed 2015 NYMEX oil futures. He makes an interesting argument but limits it to fossil-fuel alternatives to conventional oil. In areas such as renewable energy and clean cars, there are projects to be shown. And while this is in large part due to various forms of state support, the fact that the market is getting comfortable with relatively high long-run oil prices certainly plays a part. On Thursday, Environmental Finance informed us that Q3 saw record US clean-tech VC investment. The cleantech VC space has seen several quarters of healthy growth now. Where is that sector headed next? Rob Day at Cleantech Investing wonders the same. As I’ve said before, public market investors should try to keep a close eye on what’s hot on the VC side. 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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