Cleantech companies have the potential to challenge incumbent giants in the world's largest integrated energy, information and water systems.
From start-ups to large corporations and national governments, organizations worldwide are embracing cleantech as a means of growth, efficiency and competitive advantage.
As resource constraints continue to challenge the global economy, the cleantech industry has the opportunity to transform markets dramatically in the next five years.
Already, major businesses are transitioning to adopt clean energy strategies and make major long-term capital investments to alter and diversify their energy mix. However, the cleantech story is not only one of continuous growth. Expansion and contraction have led companies to make significant structural decisions on capital allocation, competitive alignments and sales channels.
Maturing cleantech companies must also address new financial, political and regulatory challenges. To explore the most important business issues for cleantech companies and their CEOs, Ernst & Young LLP and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) convened the first annual Cleantech Growth Journey retreat in Napa, California, in September 2011.
Cleantech is often viewed from a vertical perspective, focusing only on the issues of a single sector, such as wind or solar energy. But this retreat focused on the issues that are relevant to all cleantech companies at the CEO and operating executive level — capital, partnerships, policy, selling to large corporations and growing beyond borders.
Nearly 50 CEOs attended and another 20 industry, finance and policy thought leaders contributed to the dialogue, sharing their lessons learned, challenges overcome and best practices. Our report highlights the key perspectives arising from this dynamic discussion.
It identifies important cleantech business challenges and provides strategic insights and a view of emerging trends. We hope that its findings will prove to be a valuable contribution to the ongoing conversation among cleantech stakeholders on how to achieve the next stage of industry growth.