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The Wired feature from earlier this year on the cleantech wipeout is proving prescient.

Here's some grim news from just this week's headlines:

"In a sharply worded analysis that will cause fear and trembling in the U.S. cleantech industry,a group of three research and policy organizations have produced a report saying that a cleantech collapse is imminent in this country unless subsidies, incentives, and federal policies are extended and reformed."
http://www.forbes.com/sites/pikeresearch/2012/04/20/can-america-avoid-a-cleantech-collapse/

Brightsource IPO fails: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20382648/brightsource-shelves-ipo-walks-away-from-public-markets

First Solar shares "in full scale collapse and are never going to recover":
http://www.businessinsider.com/whitney-tilson-these-three-companies-are-in-full-scale-collapse-2012-4

A123: "the next Solyndra"?
http://nlpc.org/stories/2012/04/19/a123-systems-next-solyndra
Stock in delisting territory:
http://www.google.com/finance?q=a123
Wired explores how high hopes, false promises and brutal economics shattered the clean-tech industry.
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Kenny Gee's profile photoChris Anderson's profile photoBret Carpenter's profile photoMargaret Leber's profile photo
13 comments
 
always seemed a bit too good to be true
 
Enough with the links in the replies... just give us the gist of whatever point your trying to get across. Cmon now, if you want to get your opinion across THAT BADLY, then YOU do the work and type it out....
 
This is unfortunate given the magnitude of the long term energy problem. Hopefully, the downturn is just a temporary lull in the clean tech hype cycle
 
+Kenny Gee, the gist of my point is that TBL (+Tim Berners-Lee) doesn't appear to agree with +Chris Anderson's semi-famous argument/insight that "the Web is not the culmination of the digital revolution" because he thinks "web apps" will give "native apps" a run for their money (@ 1:30min in the first audio link).

I link to +Versus because I'd like to see a +Versus hangout of the two of them discussing the issue, particularly if they in fact strongly disagree about where things are heading, and where they ought to head.

Incidentally, you're right these comments have nothing to do with "why the clean tech boom went bust" and I just posted it here to get Chris Anderson's attention so they might actually do a +WIRED hangout with industry luminaries on these fundamental questions at some point in the future.

Here's some background info in, I apologize, the form of more links:

+Sergey Brin's recent comments about the open web, Facebook, and Apple: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116895045036565909686/posts/Uwg19W49kf1 (with link to +Jonathan Zittrain's "future of the internet and how to stop it" argument)

+Chris Anderson's semi-famous "the web is dead" thesis (which also discusses Zittrain):

You wake up and check your email on your bedside iPad — that’s one app. During breakfast you browse Facebook, Twitter, and The New York Times — three more apps. On the way to the office, you listen to a podcast on your smartphone. Another app. At work, you scroll through RSS feeds in a reader and have Skype and IM conversations. More apps. At the end of the day, you come home, make dinner while listening to Pandora, play some games on Xbox Live, and watch a movie on Netflix’s streaming service.


You’ve spent the day on the Internet — but not on the Web. And you are not alone.

This is not a trivial distinction. Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts in the digital world has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display. It’s driven primarily by the rise of the iPhone model of mobile computing, and it’s a world Google can’t crawl, one where HTML doesn’t rule. And it’s the world that consumers are increasingly choosing, not because they’re rejecting the idea of the Web but because these dedicated platforms often just work better or fit better into their lives (the screen comes to them, they don’t have to go to the screen). The fact that it’s easier for companies to make money on these platforms only cements the trend. Producers and consumers agree: The Web is not the culmination of the digital revolution . . ."http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/08/ff_webrip/all/1
 
Amazing text! It's very clarifying with the perfect balance between information and critical review.
 
"Subsidies, incentives, and federal policies" is exactly what the problem is. Institutionalized corruption...
 
Wind farms are actually advancing more than we know. And the older units are actually donated to start up wind farms. Before, windspeeds had to be beyond 20 mph. Now, In San Louis Obispo, we have units on our property that work at 5 mph winds producing 3 times the power per unit. It may be a slow process, but it is gaining in advancements exponentially
 
+Curtis Olson I think for infrastructure programs, where the initial costs are high but so are the social benefits, the history of government intervention is pretty good. So too for the history of government basic science funding. It's when government tries to back specific technologies and companies that things start to go wrong. I suspect that the DOE greentech loan program, of which Solyndra, Fisker, A123 and others were a part of, will be seen as a mistake, and something that should have been left to the market instead.
 
My thinking is that the market can not benefit therefore the obvious demise....
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