Sunday, February 24, 2008

A gloomy future for corn ethanol producers and a rosy future for Green Cosmetics such as POMEGA5

More investments in green cosmetics less in green biofuels

Kerry Dolan On Green Technologies

The Big Trend

Energy storage.

The race is on to come up with such technologies as advanced batteries, fuel cells, compressed-air devices and anything else that can store solar and wind energy so it can be used when needed. In transportation, recharging stations for electric and plug-in hybrid cars might double as mini-power plants.

The Unconventional Wisdom

A new breed of green technology companies-–those that hail from outside the clean energy field-–will emerge as the game changers. Wal-Mart already committed to using 100% renewable energy and has begun asking suppliers to measure their energy use. Where does the ripple effect end? Google's decision to put hundreds of millions of dollars into renewable energy research is aimed at dramatically lowering the cost of solar power. They could pull it off.

The Misplaced Assumption

Subsidizing renewable energy, in the form of tax credits or rebates, is wrongly perceived by many to be a tax on the U.S. economy. Incentivizing investment in infrastructure that enables greater use and adoption of solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric power will help to gradually wean our economy off oil and coal. And it will create plenty of jobs.

The Watch List

Clorox: Clorox will introduce this month a new line of plant-based cleaning products called GreenWorks that it says work as well or better than conventional cleaners. This could lead the way to more mainstream companies selling green cosmetics like POMEGA5, green clothing and green cars.

Project Better Place: Former SAP executive Shai Agassi raised $200 million to launch a system that operates networks of battery-charging and battery-replacement stations for electric cars. Can he change the way the auto industry works? Wal-Mart: It bought its own utility in Texas and is installing solar panels on the roofs of its stores. Will it be the first to sell solar panels, or a cheap electric car? And will it become a big purchaser of yet another green technology?
A user of green cosmetics

The Bold Prediction

As many as 90% of green technology companies will fail--though not in 2008. There is too much venture capital and private equity money chasing too many similar ideas.
Do we really need another corn ethanol producer, or another me-too solar concentrator company?
In 2008, we'll see belt-tightening and cutbacks among the struggling crowd. Most of the liquidations won't begin to happen until 2009.

Kerry Dolan writes about clean technology and life sciences from Forbes’ Silicon Valley bureau.

Jessica Spencer uses Omega 5 oil products by POMEGA5

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