The Week In Cleantech (Oct. 5 to Oct. 11) – Move Away From Pure-plays And Into Conglomerates

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In General Industry News, The Wall Street Journal’s Environmental Capital told us about the Green Meltdown. There is no doubt that alternative energy stocks have a rough ride ahead of them. On the one hand, revenue-less companies whose business model is heavily leveraged to technological innovation may not be able to access sufficient funding to go on for an extensive period of time. On the other hand, business models that rely on cheap credit and large amounts of debt, like large wind and solar parks, will get squeezed by credit tightness. In Environmental Markets, McKinsey discussed how climate change could affect corporate valuations. In Ocean Power, Greentech Media let us know of a new report on ocean power firms. The authors argue that that ocean power will grow from a 10 MW affair today to 1,000 MW and $500 in revenue million annually within six years. The one challenge the authors probably couldn’t get into their report is the lack of financing. Many of the small firms working on Ocean power technologies don’t have especially solid balance sheets, and such firms could become casualties in the current crisis. In Ethanol, Auto Blog Green reported on the Platts Cellulosic Ethanol Conference. Interesting updates from three leaders in the field, including SunOpta (STKL) whose stock price never recovered from inventory problems at their food distribution operations a few months ago. In Batteries, Environmental Leaders informed us that hybrid vehicles were going to drive demand for batteries and smart grid applications. Some interesting statistics here, and another area where certain diversified firms like Johnson Controls (JCI) are currently doing work that could pay off soon. In Solar, Barron’s Tech Trader Daily informed us that Goldman was turning cautious on solar, fearing oversupply and the impacts of the credit crisis. Actually, looks like a number of them are turning negative on solar.


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