Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Green Technology Wish List for 2011

2010 was a good year for the green energy industry, but what lies in store for the industry in 2011? Fortune recently put together a list of things they'd like so see happen in green technology, as well as a list of what might actually happen. Check out a portion of their article below.

    Things We'd Like to See Happen in green technology:

    The U.S. establishes long-term energy policies. Investors, utilities, manufacturers, landlords and consumers all need long-term guidance. A national policy, ideally, would include carbon regulations, but tax credits and renewable power standards would be a tremendous help.

    Time-of-use pricing begins to spread. Demand for power soars in the afternoon, but the price for most consumers stays the same. Time-of-use pricing would create a market-based incentive to conserve. Utilities could finally justify their smart meter investments too.

    Coal peaks. Rising demand, particularly from China, could mean the end of cheap coal. Sustained hikes could change the renewable debate from "how much?" to "how quickly?"

    Greentech Stops being a dirty word. In 2010, Mississippi gave $169 million in loans and grants to three green startups to build plants in the state. Indiana is recruiting electric car companies. Even in red states, green will become a job machine.

    The Holy Grail in storage appears. Investors are prowling for a breakthrough technology—solid state batteries, ammonia fuel cells—that will make energy as cheap and easy to store as gravel. It's the Google opportunity.

    Investors gravitate toward water, food, and recycling. The "little three" of green technology. (Transportation, power and efficiency make up the "big three.") Notable startups: Ostara, Lehigh Technologies, Bioplastech, iGPS, NanoH20.

    Things we think will happen in 2011:

    Solar expands. Solar companies will ship 18 gigawatts of panels in 2011 (compared to 170 megawatts in 2000) while growing number of companies will saunter under the magic $1 per watt mark in manufacturing.

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