The Week in Cleantech (Nov. 11 to Nov. 17) – Is The Era Of Carbon Capitalism Upon Us?

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The December edition of Bloomberg Markets Magazine is devoted partly to the rise of carbon capitalism. An interesting series of articles on the budding carbon economy. While there are currently few ways for North American investors to play this, I continue to believe that this is an area the environmental investor must keep an eye on. On Monday, Jim Kingsdale at Seeking Alpha discussed ethanol and biodiesel: two very different biofuels. This is an interesting piece with a bullish outlook for two biodiesel stocks. Biodiesel often lingers in the shadow of ethanol in North America, yet it is a very interesting way to play biofuels. On the conventional fuel side, it seems as though diesel has all it takes to make a comeback in North America. On Tuesday, Rachel Oliver at EcoSolutions told us all about CSP. We’ve addressed in the past the fact that concentrating solar power (CSP) already makes economic sense, which cannot be said of PV. This article, however, points to a whole new world of CSP possibilities in a region where many of the basic requirements for successfully concentrating solar power are in place. On Wednesday, Katie Fehrenbacher at earth2tech argued that we could save the planet with genomics. This is a very interesting endeavor, and I for one am a strong believer in the ability of genetic and biological engineering to help surmount many of the problems that currently plague biofuels. On Wednesday, EERE News informed us that the AWEA had boosted wind power projections to 4,000 MW for 2007. The article discusses the fact that the current shortage in turbine components is leading manufacturers to add new capacity. The wind turbine manufacturing industry, led by the likes of Vestas (VWDRY.PK), GE (NYSE:GE), Siemens (NYSE:GI) and others, looks rock solid at the moment. However, look out for that extra capacity to eventually ease out the supply side of that attractive wind equation. In a recent survey of executives, McKinsey found that, of all sociopolitical issues, the environment and climate change were believed to be the ones that would impact shareholder value the most over the next five to ten years (PDF document). Nothing groundbreaking here I suppose, but I take such results as a powerful sign that the current momentum in cleantech has legs. Make no mistake, this sector remains, as acknowledged by some of the main players, heavily depend on policy and regulatory incentives for its viability. Having business on side is therefore critical. 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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