In the current economic situation, investors are looking for any edge they can find. Those thinking long-term are starting to think very seriously about green firms.
While clean tech investing is still considered somewhat speculative, green investors are focusing on power and fuel as areas where increasing prices will inevitably reward firms that can innovate to reduce consumption.
“We believe the clean technology trend is unstoppable,” said Rafael Coven, managing partner for the San Francisco-based Cleantech Group in a recent article by Andrew Lackey in the LA Times. “There’s a need for solutions because of the billions of people still coming onto the planet, the rate at which we’re using natural resources, heightened global competition and factors such as drought.”
Investors are thinking more broadly than simply the supply of power through green sources like solar or wind; they are looking at firms that are provide software, systems and consulting services that reduce energy consumption. Innovations are being brought to the market every day that make energy use much “smarter” and therefore more economical.
Part of the play in green energy investing is the potential for acquisitions. Investors are specifically looking at the newer, more innovative companies that are natural targets for purchase by existing energy companies.
For those of us passionate about sustainability, it’s good news. While good intentions help the movement, in the end it will be investor dollars that determine success. And, those dollars seem to be getting greener.