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Clean Energy Mergers & Acquisitions

 July 29, 2010 03:46 PM

The days of discussing cleantech viability are over.

At this point, we need to start looking at how the industry will mature and grow. The industry is moving so quickly that if we don't start now, we risk getting behind the curve.

And no one makes money behind the curve.

As cleantech costs continue to fall, capacities expand, and the grid gets smarter, an interesting future is emerging — an interesting energy future, yes... but an interesting cleantech business future as well.

Buying a seat at the table

Did you really think the industrial conglomerates of this world were going to stand by and let clean business billions pass them by?

Companies like that — the GE (NYSE: GE), the Siemens (NYSE: SI), the Ciscos (NASDAQ: CSCO), the Dows (NYSE: DOW), the Honeywells (NYSE: HON), the big utilities — haven't gotten where they are by resting on their laurels.

They see how profitable the cleantech future is. And you can be sure they'll get their piece.

The seeds of their plans were planted long ago.

GE launched Ecomagination in 2005. IBM has spent millions over the past few years telling us they're at the forefront of building smart cities.

That was the in-house stage. As new technologies are developed and new, successful companies emerge, we're about to see the acquisition stage.

And it won't be just big fish swallowing little fish.

With financing and credit still extremely tight, the imminent commoditization of solar, and the maturation of the industry in general, the number of strategic mergers is also on the rise.

If you can't beat 'em...

Just this year...

Cisco made an undisclosed equity investment in Grid Net, a company seeking to build broadband networks to connect utilities and their customers. GE and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) have also invested.

Siemens took a 49% stake in A2SEA, an offshore wind farm developer, worth $142.5 million. It also took a 17% stake in Archimede Solar, which makes solar thermal receivers that use molten salt as the transfer fluid.

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