At least one person in the cleantech business doesn’t think a game-changing alternative energy boom is right around the corner. Neal Dikeman, a founding partner of Jane Capital Partners (a boutique merchant bank and corporate advisory firm) and chairman of Cleantech.org thinks Al Gore’s dream is currently, well, a dream. Greentech Media:
“People think new energy [technology] is going to be disrupting the whole industry,” he said. “It’s not. … People are lying to themselves if they think their technology is game-changing and it isn’t.”
Dikeman thinks most alternative energy technologies are too pricey, too risky, and not profitable enough:
“Oil companies are making 70 per cent margins and ethanol companies are making nothing,” he said. “If prices fall, ethanol gets shut out first. Wind also is more expensive to produce – five times more expensive than coal. Solar technology is 20 times more expensive than coal. And subsidies are 100 times higher than oil on a per-unit basis.”
Perhaps his best evidence points straight to Big Oil. If alternative energy were truly ready to explode, the energy conglomerates would be investing heavily in it. And they aren’t:
“It’s a no brainer. It’s not that they don’t want to. They would invest in renewables in a heartbeat. They would invest in renewables in a heartbeat. But they take [the idea] to their bosses and they say, ‘Your numbers suck.'”
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