The Clean Tech Revolution

"The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity", is a 2007 book by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, who argue that commercializing clean technologies is a profitable enterprise that is moving steadily into mainstream business. As the world economy faces challenges from high energy prices, resource shortages, global environmental problems, and security threats, clean technologies are seen to be the next engine of economic growth.Pernick, Ron and Wilder, Clint (2007). [ The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity] Collins, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0060896232]

Pernick and Wilder highlight eight major clean technology sectors: solar power, wind power, biofuels, green buildings, personal transportation, the smart grid, mobile applications (such as portable fuel cells), and water filtration. [ For investors, a heads-up on clean tech] "The Boston Globe", August 5, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2008.] Very large corporations such as GE, Toyota and Sharp, and investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are making multi-billion dollar investments in clean technology.


Author Ron Pernick is co-founder and principal of Clean Edge, a research and strategy firm in the USA which focuses on the commercialization of renewable energy and other clean technologies. Pernick was named one of "50 most influential men under the age of 42" in the October 2006 issue of "Details" magazine. Clint Wilder is contributing editor at Clean Edge, and a veteran business and technology journalist who won the 2002 American Society of Business Publications Editors award for best feature series. Both authors have been mapping clean technology trends for many years, and identifying business opportunities for prospective investors. [ [ Ron Pernick -- Clean Edge] "Renewable Energy Access", (undated). Retrieved January 7, 2008.]

History of clean tech

Pernick and Wilder explain that, in the 1970s, clean technology was considered “alternative,” the province of back-to-the-land lifestyle advocates, altruistic environmentalists, and lab scientists on research grants. Such technology was in an early stage of development, was too expensive, it did not have widespread political support, and very few large, established companies were embracing the sector. Even at the start of the 21st century, the term "clean tech" was not yet in the financial or business community’s vocabulary. But now, throughout much of the world, in trends large and small, there is "the beginning of a revolution that is changing the places where we live and work, the products we manufacture and purchase, and the development plans of cities, regional governments, and nations around the globe." [Pernick, Ron and Wilder, Clint (2007). [ The Clean Tech Revolution (PDF)] p. 3.]

Clean technology trends

Pernick and Wilder define "clean tech" as "any product, service, or process that delivers value using limited or zero non-renewable resources and/or creates significantly less waste than conventional offerings." They highlight eight major clean technology sectors: solar power, wind power, biofuels, green buildings, personal transportation, the smart grid, mobile applications, and water filtration. The authors explain how investors, entrepreneurs, and individuals can profit from technological innovation in these areas. Pernick and Wilder identify some specific clean technologies, companies, and regions that are leading the way. [Pernick, Ron and Wilder, Clint (2007). [ The Clean Tech Revolution (PDF)] ]

The book also explains that nuclear power and clean coal are not clean technologies. Apart from the risks associated with nuclear power, "multibillion-dollar nuclear plants are simply not cost-effective when compared with other energy sources." [Pernick, Ron and Wilder, Clint (2007). [ The Clean Tech Revolution (PDF)] p. 24.] The authors also believe that "clean coal" is an oxymoron for a myriad of reasons, including the sheer number of coal mine-related deaths and the fact that coal-fired plants, even some cleaner ones, are major contributors to serious illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, and mercury poisoning. [Pernick, Ron and Wilder, Clint (2007). [ The Clean Tech Revolution (PDF)] p. 25.]

Emerging clean tech cities are seen to include Copenhagen, where wind power generates 20 percent of Denmark's electricity, and Chicago, a leader in "green" buildings saving energy, heating and cooling costs.

ix C's

Pernick and Wilder identify six major forces, which they call the six C’s, that are pushing clean technology into the mainstream and driving rapid growth and expansion: costs, capital, competition, China, consumers, and climate. [Pernick, Ron and Wilder, Clint (2007). [ The Clean Tech Revolution (PDF)] pp. 5–16.]

*Costs. "Perhaps the most powerful force driving today’s clean-tech growth is simple economics. As a general trend, clean-energy costs are falling as the costs of fossil fuel energy are going up. The future of clean tech is going to be, in many ways, about scaling up manufacturing and driving down costs."

*Capital. "An unprecedented influx of capital is changing the cleantech landscape, with billions of dollars, euros, yen, and yuan pouring in from a myriad of public and private sector sources."

*Competition. "Governments are competing aggressively in the highstakes race to dominate in the clean-tech sector and build the jobs of the future."

*China. "Clean tech is being driven by the inexorable demands being placed on the earth not only by mature economies but also by the explosive demand for resources in China, India, and other developing nations. Their expanding energy needs are driving major growth in clean-energy, transportation, building, and water-delivery technologies."

*Consumers. "Savvy consumers are demanding cleaner products and services that use resources efficiently, reduce costs, and embrace quality over quantity."

*Climate. "The debate around climate change has gone from question mark to peer-reviewed certainty, and smart businesses are taking heed."


:"The solar-power market offers perhaps one of the greatest opportunities among its clean-tech peers. Not only is the worldwide solar market growing by 30% to 50% per year, but the same technologies that enabled the semiconductor and computer revolution are now being leveraged in the solar market." (p. 20)

:"Wind energy has been expanding rapidly since the mid-1990s -- right up there with solar. From 1995 to 2006, global cumulative installed wind-power capacity expanded fifteenfold, from less than 5,000 MW to more than 74,000 MW." (p. 21)

:"Today, Brazil gets more than 30% of its automobile fuels from sugar cane-based ethanol. In the United States, ethanol is nearly a 5-billion-gallon-a-year industry, on target to reach 7.5 billion gallons (about 5% of total gasoline consumption) around 2010. One of the greatest opportunities will lie in distilling fuels and creating materials from cellulosic nonfood crops such as switchgrass and jatropha." (p. 21)

:"Today’s green buildings use some 30% less energy than their comparably sized nongreen counterparts (some save much more), and they’re generally brighter, healthier, and more aesthetically pleasing. Often built with little or no additional up-front cost, green offices, for instance, pay back not only in energy savings but also in greater employee retention, attendance, and productivity." (p. 21)

:"Since 2003, hybrid cars have gone from a tiny speck on the automotive landscape to one of the U.S. vehicle market’s fastest growing segments. Toyota doubled its flagship hybrid car’s allocation in North America in 2005, to 100,000, and started building hybrids on U.S. assembly lines in 2006. By the end of 2006 there were some 15 hybrid models on showroom floors, including hybrid models for such popular vehicles as the Honda Civic and Accord and the Toyota Camry." (p. 4)

Release and reception

"The Clean Tech Revolution" was published by Collins as a 320 page hardcover on June 12, 2007, with the ISBN-10 006089623X and ISBN-13 978-0060896232. [ [ The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity] Retrieved January 10, 2008.] An e-book version was published by HarperCollins on June 7, 2007, and is available for free wireless delivery through Amazon Kindle. [ [ The Clean Tech Revolution (Kindle Edition)] "", Retrieved January 7, 2008.]

The physicist and environmentalist, Joseph Romm, has recommended "The Clean Tech Revolution" to people who are looking for one book to help them get up to speed on what's happening in clean technology. He says "The Clean Tech Revolution" is the only book that covers the whole gamut of the latest in clean energy and yet isn't swept up in fads like hydrogen cars. [ [ The best clean-tech book] "Grist", August 6, 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2008.] Denis Du Bois, editor of Energy Priorities Magazine, also commented on the realistic and comprehensive coverage of the book. However, "The Clean Tech Revolution" is not an explanation of the technologies and how they work, nor is it an analysis of energy or environmental policy. Policy is complicated and the authors avoid discussing it in detail. [ Book Review: "The Clean Tech Revolution"] "Energy Priorities", June 11, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2008.]

There is also little discussion that ties the various clean technologies together and the book has been criticised for a "single-minded American focus". For example there is little discussion about the influence of mass transit and urban planning in Europe and other progressive regions. The chapter on water focuses on filtration, and skims over toxins (and the myriad global laws regulating them). This already is an area of considerable opportunity, and it affects even "green" industries, such as photovoltaics manufacturing.

Pernick and Wilder do not recommend specific stocks or securities. They prefer to lay out a blueprint of opportunities, technologies, companies, and trends that may build successful businesses and strengthen economies.

The book has also been criticised for giving "short shrift to nuclear and 'clean coal' technology", as both energy sources are likely to feature in the world's overall energy picture in the foreseeable future. As such, they not only represent compelling investment opportunities themselves, but they could also diminish the market penetration that some of the other clean energy sources might be able to achieve. [ [ Foolish Book Review: "The Clean Tech Revolution"] "The Motley Fool", November 16, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2008.]

Recent developments

In a September 2007 article in "Renewable Energy Access" Wilder explains that, while some hurdles remain, the key solar trends mapped out in "The Clean Tech Revolution"—scaling up manufacturing and driving down costs—are coming to pass:

From the Nevada desert to the roofs of Wal-Mart stores to the legendary plains of Spain, solar is entering a bold, bright new era. Each week, solar seems to be winning new enthusiasts like Forbes, new investors of all stripes, and new large-scale business users like Wal-Mart, Macy's and Kohl's. Late last month, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley signed that state's first renewable portfolio standard into law, which includes a solar set-aside. [ A New Bold, Bright Era for Solar] "Renewable Energy Access", September 12, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2008.]

Investment money is pouring in, production lines are humming and expanding, the silicon shortage is being addressed, and the long-fought challenge of bringing solar to scale (the title of a 2002 Clean Edge report) is finally showing real hope. Last month, red-hot Chinese solar wafer supplier LDK Solar (whose second-quarter revenue grew 700%) announced manufacturing expansions that would raise its production capacity above 1,600 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2009. German solar cell producer Ersol Solar Energy just inked a contract for 1 billion euros to supply Germany PV module company Solon AG for 11 years.

Ernst & Young and Dow Jones VentureOne have reported that investments in clean technology companies in the first half of 2007 have reached $1.1 billion. The research found that clean technology investments are poised to increase by more than 35% in 2007 compared with 2006. [ [ Cleantech investments surge] "", September 26, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2008.] Very large corporations such as GE, Toyota and Sharp, and investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are now making multi-billion dollar investments in clean technology.

ee also

*Clean Edge
*Clean Energy Trends
*Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy
*Joel Makower
*List of wind farms
*List of solar thermal power stations
*Photovoltaic power stations
*Plan B 2.0
*Plug-in hybrid
*Reaction Time (book)
*Renewable energy commercialization
*Renewable energy industry
*Renewable energy policy
*State of the World 2008
*Sustainable business
*Winning the Oil Endgame


External links

* [ The Business Benefits of Going Green]
* [ Eco-millionaires see boom times ahead]
* [ Oil Imports and Oil Prices Drive United States to Increase Renewable Energy Capacity]
* [ Giving London the green light]
* [ Investor Confidence in Cleantech Grows]
* [ CleanTech Venture Investments by US Firms Break Record in 2007]
* [ Solar energy 'revolution' brings green power closer]
* [ Green-tech investment topped $5 billion in 2007]
* [ Silicon Valley Rebounds, Led by Green Technology]
* [ Cafe Musings (or How Clean Tech is Becoming Ubiquitous)]
* [ Cleantech venture investments were $2 bln in Q2]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Timeline of the 2011 Egyptian revolution under Hosni Mubarak's rule — This article is about timeline of the 2011 Egyptian revolution before Hosni Mubarak s resignation. For subsequent events, see Timeline of the 2011 Egyptian revolution under Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Main article: Timeline of the 2011… …   Wikipedia

  • Clean Edge — is a leading U.S. research and publishing firm that helps companies, investors, and policymakers understand and profit from clean technologies. Through its market research and reports, conferences and events, online publications, and strategic… …   Wikipedia

  • Clean coal — Historically[1] used to refer to technologies for reducing emissions of ash, sulfur, and heavy metals from coal combustion; the term is now commonly used to refer to carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Clean coal is an umbrella term used …   Wikipedia

  • The Neverhood — Box art of The Neverhood Developer(s) The Neverhood, Inc. Publisher(s) …   Wikipedia

  • The Great Depression and the World Wars in Arizona — In 1912, women in Arizona gained the right to vote, and in 1917, World War I brought an economic boom to Arizona. It recovered from The Great Depression with the New Deal and another economic boom after World War II, leading the cotton, copper,… …   Wikipedia

  • Energy policy of the United States — The energy policy of the United States is determined by federal, state and local public entities in the United States, which address issues of energy production, distribution, and consumption, such as building codes and gas mileage standards.… …   Wikipedia

  • Ethanol fuel in the United States — Current interest in ethanol fuel in the United States mainly lies in bio ethanol, produced from corn, but there has been considerable debate about how useful bio ethanol will be in replacing fossil fuels in vehicles. Concerns relate to the large… …   Wikipedia

  • State of the World 2008 — State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy is a book published by the Worldwatch Institute in January 2008. The focus of State of the World 2008 is on the innovations which will make a sustainable economy possible at the… …   Wikipedia

  • Challenging the Chip —   …   Wikipedia

  • Economy of the People's Republic of China — Economies of Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are administered separately from the rest of People s Republic of China. Therefore, the information below pertains only to mainland China unless specified otherwise. For the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.