Cleantech continues to show slow but positive signs after a 2012 that saw a third drop in venture investing. Home energy management (HEM) is turning into a very competitive market as startups pursue differing strategies, ranging from software only solutions geared at HVAC efficiency savings to extensive demand response trials with utilities that rely on hardware and software. Tesla, the massive success from the DOE’s loan guarantee program, has seen its valuation grow in ways that even the most optimistic supporters of the company would have struggled to predict last year.
Much of cleantech remains regulatory dependent and ride sharing startups Uber, Lyft and Sidecar scored an important victory in California that will allow their business models to mature. On the national stage, the Obama Administration attempts to further shape the energy economy by pushing emissions limits on coal power plants, further propelling a move to natural gas fueled power.
This report will examine the following events and their implications for the near term:
- The home energy management (HEM) sector is splintering between those companies that want to work with utilities and those which just want to give homeowners control over energy management in the home.
- The share economy has scored a major victory as the state of California has effectively legitimized ride sharing, which is disrupting the taxi services industry.
- As the Obama Administration realizes it can’t do much to support cleantech investment and climate policy, it looks to the EPA to force a phase out of coal power plants as it tries to take small steps toward improving electricity transmission, which would aids renewable energy development.
- Tesla’s share price is on an incredible tear, pushing a valuation that is 100X 2014 earnings estimates. The company focuses on expanding its charging network in preparation of a future mid-market EV.