Cleantech has been on a roll lately. Venture capital in the sector is up 46% to $965 Million. The US Department of Energy announced $3.4 Billion in grants for smart-grid programs. There are also $2.4 Billion in grants for plug-in electric-vehicle battery manufacturing. One would think that this is absolutely great for green.
A123 Systems and Detroit Edison managed to land $5 Million for battery research. There was quite a jump up in price from $14.97 all the way to $17.49 at its highest.
The Cleantech revolution has left some out in the cold. Evergreen Solar recently got beat down prior to earnings and is going to shut down their manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts. Guess where the new jobs will be located? China. Nevermind the fact that they received $58 million from the state taxpayers, and a portion of that was funded by the bail out–I mean Economic Stimulus Plan.
Green has a different ROI than IT. Some are predicting 15-18 years to get a return, while IT is geared to provide a return in 5-7 years. What we are seeing is a trend to invest in IT driven green initiatives such as the smart grid or to get into other green investments later in the life of the company. Solar manufacturing is suffering right now because of an over supply with low demand. If you’re starting a green energy company the safest place to find funding will be in software that contributes to the green economy.