Energy Business

Al Gore Goes Deeper Into Green VC, As Alternative Energy Stocks Tank (PBW, GEX, FTEK, FSLR, SPWR)

24/7 Wall St. does not normally cover venture capital news, particularly when it doesn’t pertain to a pre-IPO company.  But when we see news that Al Gore is joining a top VC-firm like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner for green investing it sure makes one wonder just how much deeper the green investing trend will get.  Interestingly enough, shares in alternative energy stocks are seeing severe profit taking today (see below).

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Generation Investment Management have announced a global collaboration to find, fund and accelerate green business, technology and policy solutions with the greatest potential to help solve the current climate crisis. This partnership will provide funding and global business-building expertise to a range of businesses, both public and private, and to entrepreneurs. As a result of the collaboration, the chairman and co-founder of Generation, former Vice President of the United States Al Gore, will join KPCB as a Partner.  KPCB has already committed $200 million to green tech ventures.

This doesn’t mean green tech companies can ramp up indefinitely and without logic, but this is one more piece to the green-tech investing strategies that have generated huge gains in 2007.  These have pulled back some and may pull back further.  In fact, as oil prices fall (and if it continues) then you are likely to see quite a correction in the green-tech sector.  Corrections come and go, but with 2008 being a regime change election year it’s hard not to believe that there won’t be deeper pushes into environmental pledges from both sides of the aisle.

What is so interesting here is the argument between the believers and the doubters of global warming or climate change.  Whether you believe in it or not, it’s actually silly to not recognize a major trend here.  Green technologies (or more eco-friendly operations) are becoming mainstream and represent a major business opportunity here, regardless of politics.

Jim Cramer recently covered some of his favorite stocks he feels will win from these trends, even if these have recently come off highs.  Not all of these are green-tech, but they will benefit from the trends already set in place.

Big green-tech stocks are taking it on the chin….

  • PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (AMEX:PBW) is down nearly 6% at $22.98, and the Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (NYSE:GEX) is down 4.5% at $54.40….proof that it is quite widespread selling in the alternative energy sector;
  • Fuel-Tech Inc. (NASDAQ:FTEK) is down 11% at $25.50;
  • First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) is down 12% at $182.00;
  • SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWR) is also down 12% at $113.00.

Here is a sample of our last “The Business Day In Global Warming” where we cover the business and financial side of green investing.

Jon C. Ogg
November 12, 2007

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.