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Why clean energy is still a good bet

Marc Gunther, Senior Writer at Fortune Magazine, logged today’s media article, “Why clean energy is still a good bet.”

Despite falling oil prices and the credit crunch, green technology investors remain bullish.

Here is an excerpt from his excellent article, for the full piece click here.

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(Fortune) — Some people are saying that the clean energy revolution is over, before it has even begun. “Alternative energy suddenly faces headwinds,” declared The New York Times. “Winds shift for renewable energy as oil price sinks, money gets tight,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Will the Economic Crash Take Down Our Hopes for Clean Energy?” asks Alternet.

There’s no doubt that recent developments cast a cloud over the renewable energy business. The capital markets have turned risk-averse, making financing for alternative energy hard to come by. Declining oil prices make it harder for cleaner transportation fuels to compete with gasoline. In a slumping economy, the government will be reluctant to pass climate change legislation that will raise gas and electricity rates.

Never mind – there are compelling reasons, even now, to believe that the U.S. is on the verge of a dramatic shift, away from a economy dependent on cheap fossil fuels and towards cleaner, greener, more efficient ways of doing business.

Recently, I spoke with three leading venture capitalists who focus on clean tech: William E. “Wilber” James of Rockport Capital, Alan Salzman of VantagePoint Venture Partners, and Paul Maeder of Highland Capital Partners. Needless to say, they are biased – they are invested, personally and professionally, in renewable energy and other clean technologies.

But they all see powerful forces driving the U.S. economy towards a more sustainable way of doing business in the long run. Those drivers include the science of climate change, rising global demand for a limited supply of fossil fuels, and growing political support for clean energy.

1 Comment

  1. Dennis Markatos-Soriano on November 16, 2008 at 10:57 am

    I agree that clean energy companies have great medium- to long-term prospects. But 2009 will be a trying time, but the solar and wind companies with lower costs should manage the downturn and come out of it in 2010+ poised for strong growth. The cost inflation for steel, polysilicon, etc. should ease, allowing consumers to purchase clean energy at a lower cost than the last couple of years. A cap-and-trade climate bill is needed so that the marketplace rewards the lower carbon emissions of solar, wind and efficiency so the volatile price swings of oil won’t have to be as much of a concern for renewables consumers and producers.
    I’m psyched that US emissions appear poised to fall 2.5% in 2008 (see http://www.setenergy.org for details – which is a website you are welcome to add to your alt energy blog links).
    Onwards to sustainability,
    Dennis