Cleantech  is  officially:  

•  “New technology and related business models that offer competitive returns for investors and customers while providing solutions to global challenges,” via the Cleantech Group. •  13 categories: solar, wind, materials, recycling & waste, water, energy storage, smart grid, biofuels & biomaterials, energy efficiency, air & environment, agriculture & land management, transportation, and other. •  I see it as the ecosystem that will deliver technology innovation for managing constrained resources like energy, water and food. •  Over a decade old as a category.

Cleantech  is  unofficially:  
•  In  major  flux   •  “Cleantech  is  dead!  Long  live  cleantech!”     March  29,  GigaOM   •  Currently  a  dirty  word   •  GigaOM  Pro  analyst:  “Cleantech  is  not  an   industry,  it’s  an  idea.”  

We Are Here

  

Over a dozen solar maker bankruptcies over the past year.

“We  did  not  design  the  Volt   to  become  a  poliLcal   punching  bag  and  that’s  what   it’s  become.”  GM  CEO  

“Worst  thing  to   happen  to  clean   energy  in  2011   was  that  it   became   poliLcized.”  NRG   CEO  David  Crane  

The  boUom  of  the  trough:  
•  “Cleantech  is  dead,”  cleantech  VC.     •  Saul  Griffith,  Otherlabs:  “ The  future  of  energy  needs  to  sound   awesome.  Right  now  you  guys  are  on  the  defensive.”   •  Michael  Liebreich,  CEO  founder  Bloomberg  New  Energy   Finance:  We  have  a  messaging  problem.   •  Cleantech  entrepreneur:  “Why  are  we  working  on  making  a   difference  with  energy  technologies,”  a\er  Instagram   acquisiLon.   •  Bill  Gates:  We  need  to  make  sure  the  rewards  are  there  for  

the  energy  entrepreneurs  &  that  is  very  unclear  right   now.  

How did we get here?

Oil  prices  rise  above  $50  per  barrel  in  2005  

SunPower,  Suntech,  Qcells  IPO  in  2005  

Inconvenient  Truth  debuts  2006,   wins  2  Academy  Awards,  grosses   $49M  

Kleiner’s  John  Doerr  gets   choked  up  in  a  TED  talk   about  greentech  in  2007  

Gartner’s  Hype  Cycle  of  Emerging  Technology  

  

Cleantech  start-­‐up   financing  rose  by   over  50  percent   annually  from  2006   to  2008,  and  exceed   $4.5  billion  in  2008.  

All  the  same  trends  are  sLll  in   place  that  kicked  off  cleantech  

CommodiLzaLon  is  bad  for  the  solar  maker,   good  for  you!  Solar  roofs  are  at  the  cheapest   Lme  in  history.  

Electric  car  is  slow.  But  creeping  forward.  

The  short  term  future:  
•  The  sector  has  been  emerging  and  the  tech  is   new.  So  sLll  working  out  kinks.   •  IT-­‐based  cleantech  will  thrive,  solar  roofs  grow   dramaLcally,  smart  grid  will  get  installed,  EVs   conLnue  to  emerge  as  a  small  &  slowly   growing  market.   •  More  bankruptcies  to  come.   •  SLll  need  to  figure  out  how  to  reward  the   energy  entrepreneur.  

Long  term  future:  
•  China  acquires  and  owns  a  lot  of  cleantech  IP.   •  We  miss  our  climate  change  reducLon  targets   substanLally.  Even  more  extreme  weather  &   disasters  will  eventually  deliver  a  public  turning   point.   •  Solar  roofs  and  electric  cars  will  some  day   become  mainstream.   •  Eventually  there  will  be  a  Google  of  cleantech,  a   game  changer  that  proves  out  wealth  creaLon.    

•  •  •  • 

KaLe  Fehrenbacher,  Senior  Writer,  GigaOM   kaLe@gigaom.com   @kaLefehren   On  instagram,  KaLeFbacher  

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