As not only a trusted resource and clean-tech industry expert but also a well-regarded figure in financing industry, Rani Jarkas sees a genuine bright spot: Clean technologies are booming although the world is facing numerous energy problems – much of the world’s population has too little energy to meet basic human needs; the monetary costs of energy are rising nearly everywhere; the environmental impacts of energy supply are growing and already dominant contributors to local, regional, and global environmental problems; and the sociopolitical risks of energy supply are growing too.
Rani Jarkas believes commercializing clean technologies is a profitable enterprise and the next engine of economic growth. He expects many leading companies of the future to come from this industry as invention and innovation combine to solve the world’s increasing demand for energy and, in particular, clean power and green energy. Under his direct leadership, his firm has become a well-known boutique investment firm in action.
“To really get into the fundamentals of clean technology investments, it is important to look beyond the politicized issues and focus on the finances.” says Rani Jarkas. The fact that advancing the use of clean technologies will be good for the environment is not debatable and when it makes our current systems more efficient and cost effective, we all win.
The heat around cleantech has been stoking and an intense race to win industry leadership is well underway in the private and public sectors. The aim of funding renewable energy and energy efficiency projects is to enhance energy security, support clean and efficient energy sources and to increase private sector involvement in clean technology investments and financings. For example, China’s current five-year economic plan is well concentrated on clean energy, with a $640 billion renewable energy commitment. The plan calls for an increase in the overall percentage of power developed from renewable, especially solar and wind power. The end goal is to raise environmental standards with the understanding that if economic growth is to be sustained, a reduced dependency on fossil fuels needs to be achieved and maintained.
Despite the clamor of the global clean energy and cleantech race, many sovereign nations are struggling under increased debt and therefore available resources to support R&D are diminishing. However, partnerships with other institutions such as universities are becoming more common, picking up this slack and the industry has continued its exponential growth. Clean Edge Research has reported that combined 2010 global revenue for solar photovoltaic, wind power, and biofuels surged 30.2 percent over the prior year growing from $144.5 billion to $188.1 billion. A separate report by Analytica Advisors, the 2011 Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report, states, “global market demand for clean technology is estimated to grow to $3 trillion by 2020 based on 11% CAGR. The industry projected to rise to be the third largest global industrial sector by 2020 after electronics manufacturing and automotive”.
It looks like this macro-industry is one to keep a serious eye on as it covers so many facets of energy generation, consumption and storage.
The opportunities and uncertainties will make the coming decade a critical period for clean technology. Much like the Internet revolution, there will be winners and losers, and more than a little carnage among companies and entrepreneurs competing for a slice of the clean-tech pie. However, there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that clean technology will engender a more sustainable and highly profitable era — for business, the planet, and all of its residents.