I've written before about how the much-buzzed fields of alternative and renewable energy, a.k.a. "cleantech," might represent the "biggest economic opportunity of this century." But I've also warned that the field could be close to experiencing a bubble. That fear has led me to concentrate on companies that invest in alternative energy, but don't pin their entire fortunes on it, including GE
This venture capital firm and Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick makes early-stage investments in private nanotechnology-related start-ups. At present, only five of the 31 companies in its portfolio can be considered legitimate cleantech plays:
- Bridgelux, developing light-emitting diodes for use in solid-state lighting.
- Innovalight, an early-stage company developing thin-film solar modules.
- Nanosys, seeking to apply nanotech-based applications to fuel-cell and solar-cell technology.
- Nextreme Thermal Solutions, a creator of thermoelectric components.
- Solazyme, a biotechnology company tapping the "applied evolution" of algae to manufacture environmentally friendly biofuels.
All of these firms face considerable competition. For example, Bridgelux is going against the likes of Cree
To be sure, there are more strategic methods of investing in cleantech, including specialized ETFs like PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio
Interested in cleantech-related foolishness? Check out these articles
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- Cleantech Rocks, But It's Still Just a Bill
- Houston, We Have an Opportunity
Harris & Harris and PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio are both Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Discover all the cutting-edge picks from David Gardner and his team with a free 30-day trial subscription.