In last week's State of the Union address, President Obama pointedly announced his commitment to a greener America, calling for 80% of our energy to be "clean" by 2035, and nothing short of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Commendable goals, to be sure -- but is the Commander-in-Chief biting off more than he can chew?

Industry officials, for their part, are skeptical.

John Cheney, chief executive of solar project developer Silverado Power, says that while Obama's green ambitions are theoretically possible, "the issue is whether we have the political will and ability to pull together and actually do it."

With clean tech companies facing stiff competition from their Chinese competition even as they continue their long climb out of the recession, there's concern that lofty long-term goals will only distract from the more pressing near-term projects.

And the administration's aspirations don't come cheaply -- so companies are going to need to be secure in their financing before they'll undertake any major clean-energy efforts.

With interest rates for capital investors hovering around the 14% mark, it's become quite difficult for companies to secure funds.

Obama's response? Give the subsidies normally set aside for oil companies to green initiatives. But no one expects the fossil fuel industry to swallow that bitter pill without a fight.

And with Republicans unlikely to show bipartisan support, Obama may very well find it's not easy being green.

Then again, if the government can reduce market barriers for electric vehicles, Obama's 2015 goal may not be so farfetched after all, according to Brian Wynne, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association. And if oil prices continue to spike on political unrest in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East, we may see greater incentive to save money at the pump and move away from gas guzzlers.

So, which clean energy executives are feeling optimistic about the future of their technologies? To find out, we looked to see which stocks were being snapped up by company management.

Our rationale? These insider executives know more about their business than anyone else -- so if they're buying, we're paying attention. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

Here's a list of five clean energy stocks with insider buying. Insider data sourced from Fidelity. The list has been sorted alphabetically.

Company

Industry

Average Insider Activity Per Year Over the Last 2 Years

American Superconductor (Nasdaq: AMSC)

Diversified Electronics: The company is a leader in renewable energy, providing proven, megawatt-scale wind turbine designs and electrical control systems.

Purchased an average of 938,416 shares per year

FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL)

Industrial Electrical Equipment: FuelCell Energy manufactures Ultra-Clean stationary fuel cell power plants that generate electricity with up to twice the efficiency of conventional fossil fuel plants – and with virtually no air pollution.

Purchased an average of 470,000 shares per year

Republic Services (NYSE: RSG)

Waste Management: Republic Services is a leading provider of solid waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services.

Purchased an average of 6,218,880 shares per year

MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR)

Semiconductor Industry: Manufacturer and seller of wafers used for solar power

Purchased an average of 60,286 shares per year

Westport Innovations (Nasdaq: WPRT)

Pollution & Treatment Controls: Westport has developed technologies to allow high-performance, fuel-efficient internal combustion engines and fuel systems to run on gaseous fuels such as natural gas, biomethane, and hydrogen.

Purchased an average of 1,453,579 shares per year

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the forward P/E ratio, if available.


Kapitall's Eben Esterhuizen and Alicia Sellitti do not own shares of any companies mentioned.

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