The Case for Cleantech: Old Myths and New Realities

Green Chip's Weekend Edition

Written by Green Chip Stocks
Posted April 4, 2010 at 3:03PM

Welcome to the Green Chip Review Weekend Edition — our insights from the week in everything alternative and cleantech, as well as links to our most-read Green Chip Review and sister publication articles.  

I can remember reporting on clean energy myths several years ago, trying to dispel the widespread misinformation being dispersed about a great young industry.

Countless hours were spent researching available data to rebut early dishonest claims like, "There's infinite oil available," or "Clean energy will never be profitable."

I'm glad I did that... Because I'm proven correct, again and again, with each passing day.

Sometimes, it's easy to forget that we're on the correct side of the energy debate. Anyone who still thinks clean energy won't become a main generation asset or that extreme efficiency won't become standard practice is severely misinformed.

The ignorance of that flawed view can only be amplified by using flawed arguments to support it.

Headlines this week brought some of those arguments to the fore...

Then & Now

Old Myth: There's plenty of remaining oil.

New Reality: The UK Task Force on Peak Oil just published a report concluding that "oil shortages, insecurity of supply and price volatility will destabilise economic, political, and social activity potentially by 2015."

The College of Engineering and Petroleum at Kuwait University (an Oil State!) recently found the world's oil reserves to be 2.14 trillion barrels, of which we've already produced 1.16 trillion — so more than half is already gone. It marked non-OPEC peak production in 2006 and forecast OPEC production to peak in 2026.

ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva publicly stated last week that pursuing new oils reserves is no longer a viable business model and that his company will focus instead on natural gas.

Old Myth: Cleantech is too expensive.

New Reality: Traditional solar is already price competitive in many markets. Greentech Media reported this week that those markets include Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and most of Europe. Advanced non-silicon solar is even cheaper.

Wind is competitive where geographically suited.

And efficiency — which the Old Myth crowd never considered — can save consumers energy and money while still generating a profit for the companies pursuing it.

All this without mentioning the hidden costs of fossil fuels: pollution, environmental damage, energy dependence, health. These factors make renewables even more competitive.

New hybrids — included the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius — are priced competitively with their internal combustion counterparts.

Old Myth:
Renewables will never catch on or produce much energy. Coal and natural gas will rule.

New Reality: As you read this, renewable are responsible for more than 10% of U.S. energy. Renewables' contribution to our energy needs is now almost equal that of nuclear, and that total has been growing every year.

Old Myth:
You can't make money with renewables.

New Reality: The wind, solar, and biofuel sectors alone generated $139.1 billion in revenue last year. Major financial institutions have dedicated clean energy departments. There are clean energy stock indices and funds. Hundreds of venture capitalists have successfully exited cleantech start-ups. Cleantech was turned to by global governments as a remedy for recession. The number of cleantech IPOs continues to climb. Thousands of Green Chip premium members have been profiting for years.

Embracing the New Reality

As far back as our cleantech myth-busting days, Green Chip and its readers have been embracing the new energy reality.

We saw past the noise and bitter attacks because we knew the level of prosperity about to be ushered in. We worked hard to spread the new energy truth and to help as many people profit from it as possible; to adapt an old George Jones lyric, we were cleantech when cleantech wasn't cool.

And it's paid off handsomely.

But for all the progress that's been made — for all the policies changed; for all the billions spent; for all the support gained — cleantech is still very much in its infancy.

Imagine what's ahead in adolescence and adulthood.

Some stocks have already gained thousands of percentage points; some investors have already made millions.

And that was all during the preparatory stage. Expanding solar and wind factories, pioneering smart grid devices, launching initial deployment was the hard part!

The real money will be made as we continue the transition from alternative to mainstream; as renewables continue to increase capacity; as the smart grid just becomes the grid. This is the easy part compared to the past decade.

So be encouraged by how far we've come. But know that there's even further to go.

Be aware that you're on the correct side of this equation. Don't be dissuaded by myths and misinformation.

And above all, know that cleantech is synonymous with prosperity.

We'll continue to be here every week, bringing you the best ways to profit from the new energy reality.

Call it like you see it,

Nick Hodge


P.S. As always, you can catch up on the week's news from Green Chip and our sister publications below.

Investments in the Clean Energy Sector: Sifting for Profits in Billion-Dollar Data
Editor Nick Hodge takes a look at past clean energy sector investments in search of profitable future trends.

Obama Announces Offshore Drilling Expansion: The Obama Administration Will Consider New Areas for Drilling in the Mid- and South-Atlantic
Green Chip contributor Hilary Stingley discusses President Obama's announcement concerning plans to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers Talks Energy Independence: Getting American Clean Energy on "China Time"
Editor Sam Hopkins reports from a major panel on how best to capitalize on Obama's offshore drilling announcement through clean energy ETFs.   

Unique Water Investments: The Commodity War About to Commence
Energy and Capital Editor Nick Hodge discusses outside-the-box water investments as related issues continue to surface all over the globe.

"Cop-16 Kickbacks": The Energy Summit Funneling Huge Profits to Energy Companies
Since 1995, one annual meeting has bumped energy stocks — as high as 114%, 123%, even 294%. In this special report, Green Chip informs readers on how they can get in this year for 27,188% gains.

A $30 Mil Market Created Overnight: The Planned Economy that Pays You 
As British Columbia Energy Plan outlines 55 green policy actions to be executed between now and 2016, readers can make massive profits with the planned economy that pays you. Read the latest GC report to learn how you can take cash in on 171% gains.

Nissan Electric Leaf Pricing: Nissan Prices the Electric Leaf
Green Chip's Jeff Siegel reports Nissan Motor Company has priced its latest electric offering, the Leaf.