You may have missed this tidbit amid all the recent market gloom: Venture investments in cleantech hit a record $2 billion in the second quarter. From solar to biofuels, alternative energy deals are getting cut faster than a reality TV show with no commercial breaks.
Today, I thought I'd bring your attention to two key announcements by public cleantech companies.
While more mundane than some other green technologies, "smart meters" are smokin'. These networked devices allow utilities to remotely monitor electricity usage in real time, predict outages, and modify pricing structures to encourage conservation at times of peak demand. Duke Energy
Itron's smaller competitor, Echelon
Regardless of how the Pickens Plan fares here in the U.S., wind power is taking China by storm. That's led A-Power Energy Generation Systems
Today, A-Power announced a plan to build an 800-megawatt facility in Inner Mongolia, one of the windiest parts of China. Around 2.1 gigawatts' worth of wind farms have been approved in the area surrounding the proposed facility, so A-Power should have no trouble peddling its wares.
I don't get to write about wind too often, given the lack of publicly traded pure plays. American Superconductor
Duke Energy is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection, and Otter Tail is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. Check out either newsletter free for 30 days to get your personal view of stocks that the Fool thinks deserve your money.
Fool contributor Toby Shute wonders why the names of so many grid-related companies end in the suffix "-on." Perhaps to remind themselves to be vigilant against outages and blackouts? Toby doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is always on.