Happy New Year and welcome to the first issue of Quoted Cleantech in 2011. As the performance of cleantech indices shows, 2010 proved a poor year generally for cleantech investors, so we are all looking for a better performance in 2011.
My own view is that further crises in the eurozone will ensure that the path to profits this year is anything but smooth, as governments cut subsidies and incentives for schemes in the solar and wind sectors, while the investment community in general remains cautious. But the strong comeback shown by cleantech shares during December does provide some hope for those looking for overall growth from the sector in the coming year.
Meanwhile, discerning investors can take some confidence from the strong performances shown by particular cleantech sub-sectors and a few individual companies during 2010. Shares in European companies operating in sectors such as biofuels and hydropower did well during 2010, while even in the solar sector (which had a terrible year) shares in companies like Aleo Solar and China Photovoltaic Group achieved very significant growth.
Aleo, in particular, is demonstrative of how cleantech firms can reduce their exposure to one particular market (Germany in Aleo’s case) in order to boost revenues and profitability.
Cleantech IPOs also appear to be gathering pace. In the US, Tesla Motors’ flotation on NASDAQ during the summer presaged a number of further IPOs in New York later in the year. Over in London, we have seen several IPOs of cleantech shares on AIM in recent months, including December’s flotation of Irish LED manufacturer ProPhotonix.
We are pleased to announce that Libertas, which handled the ProPhotonix flotation, has come on board as a sponsor of Quoted Cleantech. Libertas is an AIM nomad (nominated adviser) and broker that has been active in the renewable energy and cleantech markets for many years, so we feel we are in good company.
Another change is that going forward Quoted Cleantech will become a quarterly publication. Therefore the next issue will be published in the spring, when we plan to take a look beyond the European cleantech markets to see what is happening in the US and Asia.
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