- Written by Maria Surma Manka
- Friday, 17 August 2007
I read with interest Marc’s August 13th post “Alternative Energy Sector Heats Up.” I, too, have been hearing whisperings of warnings that the clean energy market may be slowing down. At the same time, Merrill Lynch has announced the creation of an Energy Efficiency Index and the clean energy sector is the fastest-growing sector in Massachusetts. What’s more, the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (NASDAQ:CLNE) Fund PBW was the best performing exchange traded fund (ETF) last week.
Another clean technology on the horizon here in the U.S. is wave power. This technology has caught on faster in Europe, where in a few months Ocean Power Delivery of Scotland will begin powering 1,500 homes in Portugal with a wave farm floating three miles off shore.
But while we’re a bit behind here in the states, interest in wave power is increasing: Federal energy regulators have received almost 40 applications for water-related energy projects. Roger Bedard of the Electric Power Research Institute explained wave advantages: "The natural processes of the ocean produce a denser, more concentrated form of energy than either wind or solar.”
As the technology continues to wow us and the prices fall, government policy will still continue to guide the race of cleantech innovation and business. With almost half of U.S. states requiring a particular portion of energy from renewable sources, demand for clean power should continue to grow. Globally, as the expiration of the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, governments (including the U.S.) have begun negotiations on the next round of cutting carbon dioxide emissions – a major contributor to global warming. Evaluating the progress (or lack thereof) so far, factoring future cuts, and especially determining the role of burgeoning economies like China and India could lead to even more opportunities for clean tech investors.
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