The Week in Cleantech (Nov. 25 to Dec. 1) – Don’t Mess With Texas!

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Many of our readers may know about this already, but earlier this week I came across The Energy Challenge, a series of articles by New York Times writers on energy and environment issues. This is a great resource for alt energy investors and aficionados. On Monday, David Biello at Scientific American discussed the state of the science for us. This is likely nothing new for many of our readers but serves as a good reminder of why I believe the cleantech space will be so strong in the next few decades. On Wednesday, Rebecca Smith and Kevin J. Delaney at the WSJ described Google’s electricity initiative for us. Most MBA students will probably tell you that this sounds a lot like unrelated diversification for Google, and that they wouldn’t favor it from a shareholder’s standpoint given the value-destruction history of such endeavors. On the plus side for alt energy investors, this means there is a new strategic investor out there with deep pockets and the desire to do deals. I’m certainly going to keep an eye on their next few moves. On Wednesday, Graham Jesmer at Renewable Energy Access argued that wind power was helping Texas move past oil. While California, with its plethora of dot-com-venture-capitalists-reborn-as-green-warriors (YouTube clip), tends to be the darling of cleantech enthusiasts, Texas I would argue is at the fore of where the real action is. Jurisdictions like Texas will do more than Vinod Khosla ever will to actually bring down the cost of clean power gen through fostering industry scale. In fact, Texas could be the place that tips the economics of power gen in favor of wind sans subsidies…mind you, China might be able to help with that. On Friday, Daniel Englander at Greentech Media unveiled the 2008 Greentech Market Taxonomy for us. This is a neat way of thinking about opportunities in that very broad space (i.e. cleantech or greentech…I have no preference), and the author hopes folks can build on his model to push the analysis further. For public market investors, there are probably many ways to augment this framework. For example, a table of where most of the financing is coming from (i.e. public Vs. private) for each sector would be a good starting point. For power gen, a comparison of costs of production on a per MW basis. And you could go 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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