Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Investing in Cleantech

Small world! I thought this article about clean tech investing was interesting but it wasn't until I looked at it for the second time that I noticed it's written by Jack Uldrich, former board member of my employer, Fresh Energy, former member of Governor Ventura's Administration, energy visionary, and all-around nice guy.

Although yesterday I noted that some clean energy sectors are down, investors are also watching moguls like Bill Gates and Richard Branson putting significant amounts of money into clean energy. What gives? Like J. Peter Lynch, Uldrich recommends investors proceed with caution.

The energy pie is growing, but it's hard to predict how big the pieces of wind, solar, biofuels, hydrogen, coal, etc will be. Also, consider the politics of the pie server - will tax policies favor the coal customer instead of the wind one? Or will carbon regulation give most of the pie to renewable energy technologies, leaving fossil fuels to wither away? It may be wise to diversify your energy holdings to increase your chance of walking away from the table full.

On just a wow-this-is-cool note, Uldrich explains that the world will need to produce 10-30 terawatts of energy in the next 25 years. That's the same as adding 100 new ExxonMobil-sized companies to the economy. Wow.

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