Genentech One of Genentech’s electric commuter buses. This article is adapted from GreenBiz’s weekly newsletter, Transport Weekly, running Tuesdays. Subscribe here . I have the sad claim to fame of being one of the journalists most associated with the bubble and bust of Silicon Valley’s tortured love affair with cleantech. It perhaps wasn’t the most advantageous career move, but it was an interesting ride to follow, and I’m betting the ride ain’t over yet. A decade and a half after the first wave of cleantech kicked off, Elon Musk has clawed his way through the valley of death, but the vast, vast majority of startups and investors did not and entire investing sectors (CIGS solar cells, solar thermal, cellulosic biofuels) were entirely wiped out between 2006 and 2014. With this background, I’ve long wondered, if/when cleantech comes back into vogue in Silicon Valley, what will it look like? The underlying trends — a world of constrained resources for 9 billion people by 2050 — continue to chug along, as solar panels and wind turbines grow, and electric vehicles begin to make a dent. So, will we dust off the term cleantech and try again or will it look like […]


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