The Week in Cleantech (Nov. 4 to Nov. 10) - Cellulosic Is Here!
On Monday, Richard Stuebi at Cleantech Blog highlighted the extent to which NBC is in the dark about energy efficiency. I couldn't agree more with Stuebi here - this idea is so painfully bad that it's a bit of a mystery why anyone in their right minds would agree to it. In the space of a few minutes, GE likely managed to undermine over two years of flashy press events and other publicity stunts aimed at convincing investors and the populace that "green is green." If Alt Energy Stocks awarded a prize for misplay of the week, this would certainly be it.
On Monday, James Kanter at The Business of Green wondered why oil majors were so keen on renewable energy. I'm not sure I agree with the thesis put forth in this article. It seems to me that, ceteris paribus (especially with regards to forex), scarcer oil means higher prices (at least in the short term), and that, given the inelasticity of demand for oil, this should drive up top line growth and share prices (and, by extension, option values). Regardless of the answer, the question is worth posing: do oil majors invest in alternative energy because they see a business case or are they doing it for reputational reasons. The jury is out.
On Wednesday, Tyler Hamilton at Clean Break argued that geothermal was flourishing under the shadow of solar. A few months ago, I had a chat with an investment banker who worked on a number of alternative energy deals, and he too was of the opinion that geothermal was a fundamentally great alternative energy play. Here's a list of geothermal stocks I recently came across.
On Wednesday, Scott Miller at BIOConversion Blog told us about the groundbreaking of the country's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility. This indeed should eventually usher in a new biofuel era for North America. Don't hold your breath, however, because cellulosic will continue to account for a small percentage of total ethanol production over the next couple of years. Nevertheless, this is where you want to be looking long-term, especially given cellulosic's new appeal with policy-makers. Al Gore, among others, also seems to like cellulosic ethanol.
On Friday, Xavier Navarro at Autoblog Green green discussed China's recent mission to the European Parliament to study CO2 regulations. China is already the single largest market for CDM carbon credits (PDF document), and there is no doubt it soon will be a major cleantech and alternative energy market. This should be good news for close China watchers.
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!