According to Steven Milunovich, Merrill Lynch’s cleantech strategist, energy concerns will not disappear despite the falling price of oil, so investors can expect significant long-term opportunities in the cleantech space. That is reassuring for us, but not big news. What is surprising is the commotion on the wire by their announcement.
Mr. Milunovich hypothesizes (like many of our readers I would think) that the sixth technology revolution will be driven by clean technology. He profesizes (is that a word?) a push to renewable resources given the problems of global warming, energy dependence, and scarcity of fossil fuels – yes… all good stuff – but it seems that CleanTech being officially recognized and promoted by a troubled, yet established, Investment Bank is news that deserves wide announcement that gets all over the news wires all of a sudden. David Edwards, formerly at Morgan Stanley now at Vantage Point Venture Partners, and his replacement Nick Allen and his team be been making the same (loud) calls for the last few years. I think it is strange that all the hubbub came out of yesterday’s announcement – I suppose reporters and the public are out searching for any good news and Merrill provided it when they needed it most.
Like Morgan Stanley, Renewable Analytics and Piper Jaffrey, Merrill feels that current pressure on cleantech stocks may continue for now, but the combination of friendlier government policies and economic improvement should lead to investment opportunities in 2010-11. Mr. Milunovich and the rest of the bunch is bullish on cleantech in the long term.
“History shows that technology revolutions occur about every 50 years. We believe cleantech is at the beginning of a high-growth period much like computing was in the early 1970s. The application of technology to resource problems should cause profound changes in the energy, utility, and automotive industries.” said Mr. Milunovich.
A decent thesis, nothing ground breaking; below are the Highlights (read the release here)
Energy Efficiency a Large Opportunity
Cleantech Could Help Decentralize the Energy Economy
The Disruptive Role of Venture Capital
Portfolio Approach the Likely Cleantech Investment Strategy
Image: Courtesy of Merrill Lynch – ml.com