What do you get when you mix Al Gore, global warming, whacky environmentalists, skyrocketing oil prices, lots of venture funding, and irrational exuberance? An alternative-energy bubble.
What, you don't believe that there's an alternative-energy bubble? Then you're just not paying attention. It may not be the biggest bubble in the history of technology--yet. And it may not be ready to burst--yet. But it's a bubble, all right. All the signs are there.
In solar energy alone, hundreds of millions of dollars of venture funds have been poured into the likes of Nanosolar, SoloPower, OptiSolar, HelioVolt, eSolar, SolFocus, Solel, Miasole, GreenVolts, Hydro Green, Infinia, Sopogy, Cyrium, SkyFuel, BrightSource Energy--the list goes on and on.
All the usual suspects are in the game: big-name venture capital firms, investment banks, private-equity firms, energy companies, technology companies, individual investors, a new batch of investment companies focused primarily on energy, and even a hedge fund or two.
There are lots of recognizable names, as well, including Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Microsoft founder Paul Allen, and Sun Microsystems founder and ex-Kleiner Perkins partner Vinod Khosla.… Read more