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9 Clean Technology Predictions for 2009

Energy efficiency boom leads 9 clean technology predictions for 2009

SHANGHAI, China, December 4th, 2008 – Continuing an annual tradition, the Cleantech
founders of the cleantech investment category and providers of leading global
market research and financial services for the cleantech ecosystem, today issued nine
predictions for clean technology markets in 2009, forecasting progress in some sectors,
but delays and setbacks in others.

A reflection of undercurrents in the global clean technology category from the company’s
conversations with industry and government leadership worldwide, the nine predictions
include a global focus on energy efficiency as a job creation and economic engine, and an
increase in valuations of global wind companies.

At the same time, challenges are predicted in the year ahead, including a doubling in the
failure rate of cleantech startups, delays in global climate change and U.S. carbon cap
and trade legislation, a decline in clean technology venture investment from an all-time
peak in 2008 and a shakeout in thin film solar.

“This list reflects input from industry and government figures in places like Singapore,
Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Dubai, London, Barcelona, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and
Johannesburg,” said Cleantech Group Executive Chairman Nicholas Parker, introducing the
predictions at a press conference at the company’s Cleantech Forum™ event in Shanghai, an
industry gathering of hundreds of the world’s leading clean technology investors,
entrepreneurs, policy makers and large corporate buyers of clean technologies.

The Cleantech Group’s nine predictions for 2009 are as follows:

1. Energy efficiency infrastructure boom initiated
The Cleantech Group sees a quadruple bottom-line benefit driving a global focus on energy
efficiency in 2009. Energy efficiency drives job creation, boosts secular competiveness,
addresses the need for carbon reduction and reduces the demand for imported energy. And
with a relatively short lead time to enter the market, the company thinks energy
efficiency will be a common denominator around investments in generating green jobs and
renewed clean infrastructure in 2009 and moving forward.

2. Global climate talks bog down – no serious deal until 2011/12
Governments have reiterated their commitments to moving the climate change agenda
forward, but the Cleantech Group forecasts that governments are going to find themselves
distracted, and conversations are going to become more complex than realized. Technology
transfer to India and China, for instance, is expected to be a conflict point. The
company does not see a global deal in 2009, possibly not even in 2010.

3. U.S. passes national RPS, but cap & trade bill only in 2010
U.S. president-elect Barack Obama says he’s committed to a carbon cap and trade bill, but
the Cleantech Group expects it will take the U.S. Congress until 2010 to get it passed,
forecasting slow progress because of the complexity of issues, and political pushing and
shoving. Cleantech Group projects a U.S. national RPS (renewable portfolio standard) to
be passed beforehand in 2009.

4. Wind stocks come back; thin film PV shakeout
Many clean technology stocks are currently under siege on worldwide markets. However, the
Cleantech Group expects wind stocks in particular to surge in 2009, partly driven by a
new national RPS in the U.S., continued growth in China and emerging awareness of wind as
one of the most cost competitive alternative energy asset classes. At the same time, the
company cites over-investment in thin film photovoltaics (PV) in the private capital
markets and inflated valuations in the public capital markets as driving failures and
consolidations in thin film solar in 2009.

5. Clean technology VC stabilizes at $7B globally; PE more active
While a robust amount of capital has entered the clean technology space over the last 6-8
weeks, Cleantech Group sees a slight decline globally in venture capital (VC) investment,
down from a predicted 8 billion in 2008 to 7 billion in 2009, forecasting a possible
decline in venture capital entering the sector for the first time in the history of
cleantech. It also forecasts more private equity (PE) players entering venture capital,
and perhaps a slight retreat for hedge funds.

6. Failure rate of cleantech startups doubles
The Cleantech Group believes clean technology investors, as in other sectors, will focus
in 2009 on the most promising companies in their portfolios, and allow the weaker or
cash-constrained ones to merge, be acquired or fail. It expects the failure rate of earl
stage cleantech companies to potentially double this year, up from the typical 20 percent
to about 40 percent.

7. IT turns to the energy opportunity
While forward-looking IT and telecom companies like IBM, Autodesk, Cisco, Intel and
Applied Materials have been engaged in clean technology for some time, the Cleantech
Group predicts the IT industry will seize energy as a significant 2009 revenue
opportunity. Growth sectors are expected to include integrated energy management systems,
smart grid, carbon content reduction in supply chains, next generation solar materials
and systems, among others.

8. R&D stagnates; corporates acquire green growth assets
With government and large corporation research and development (R&D) spending on energy
and other clean technologies largely flat, the Cleantech Group predicts 2009 will be a
year of acquisitions of green growth assets. For example, a notable deal in late November
was Panasonic’s acquisition of Sanyo in Japan, primarily because of its solar and battery

9. Energy-water-food nexus emerges
There is increased recognition of the relationship between energy and food – as evidenced
this past year regarding the tradeoffs of grain based ethanol. And there is some
understanding of the relationship between energy and water (much energy is used move
water for agricultural purposes.) But there isn’t yet a wide understanding of the
confluence of the three. The Cleantech Group forecasts an increasing awareness of this
nexus in the coming year, and predicts that smart entrepreneurs and investors bringing
solutions to the table will enjoy triple returns if helping to address all three of these
challenges at once.

About the Cleantech Group, LLC
The Cleantech Group pioneered the cleantech investment category in 2002. Today, it
accelerates the development and market adoption of clean technologies globally through
membership in the largest global network of investors and companies representing more
than $3 trillion in assets. Member investors, growth companies/vendors, enterprises,
service providers, and others receive access to capital, investment deal flow, market
leading research and data, insight, sales leads, human capital, and promotional
opportunities. The Cleantech Group also produces the premier Cleantech Forum events
worldwide. Details at

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No Responses to “9 Clean Technology Predictions for 2009”

  1. Diane Scott Says:

    Thanks Linda! Just posted Obama’s latest address to the Nation, and then voila! more information about what’s coming. Hmmm… wondering about our shrinking “portfolio” (if you can call it that) and what moves we should or shouldn’t make in the near future (with maybe some growth built in for a change?!?).

    Diane Scotts last blog post..Review of Smart Blog Commenting for Social Media Marketing Video

  2. Barbara Says:

    Hi Linda,

    At least some of the predictions are on a positive note..I’ll take that! I just hope that the delays and setbacks can be given higher priority!

    Barbaras last blog post..WOW…Another Award!

  3. Linda Says:

    Hi Diane … Obama has sooooo much to do that it will keep us guessing for a while. However, I believe he will get a handle on 1/2 of it right away. So hang tight!

    Hi Barbara … I am going to give him his honeymoon just to see how things shake out. I believe we will have all of the priorities at least touched on.

  4. wilson Says:

    The slower humankind take action, then the bigger chance the global warming will become a big catastrophe that cannot be saved in the future…

    wilsons last blog post..The Alternative Way to Reduce High Cholesterol Level!

  5. Linda Says:

    Hi Wilson … I agree and my hope is that leaders of the world will take action especially after Jan. 20 when the end of an error will be replaced with yes we can!

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