Cleantech investment opportunities to grow (just not where you might think)


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: It may feel as if the cleantech bubble has burst. That would be a mistake, warns Frost & Sullivan, a research consultancy. Yes, renewables are in retreat thanks to bankruptcies and the expiration of tax credits and incentives. But at least three other sectors are waiting in the wings, as you will read below. We agree that all three are poised at the threshold. - By Jesse Berst


Despite a recent downturn in demand and challenging project financing conditions, Frost & Sullivan is forecasting that the outlook long-term for the cleantech market is "positive."


Research consultant firm Frost & Sullivan said that while new investment in renewables grew by 30% in 2010, it was followed in 2011 and early this year by dismal news including bankruptcies, employee layoffs and profit warnings - and that global cleantech indices were slipping downward.


"We witnessed important solar manufacturers going bankrupt, tariff cuts being accelerated, even retroactive cuts in feed-in tariffs for already operating PV projects," said Alina Bakhareva, manager for Frost & Sullivan's Renewable Energy Program. "This situation affected investors' confidence, and the current scenario does not look promising."


But, as the company explained, renewables aren't the only game in cleantech. Bakhareva commented "We believe that the cleantech industry holds the answer to a few looming global problems in the energy, food and water industries. A new wind of cleantech innovation will bring the answer and this will have a positive impact on the overall market."