Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Atlas Venture dismisses talk of clean tech bubble

The businessGreen blog has an interview with Martin Gibson of Atlas Venture that builds on the comments expressed in the MarketWatch piece, with a British angle.
(We should explain one bit of the MarketWatch piece:" First Solar, for example, just set plans to raise a whopping $1 billion in a stock offering." FSLR filed to sell a total of 9.65mm shares but 5.65mm is from selling shareholders).

"The ideal business does not depend on subsidies but if they are available they can help early stage firms," observes Gibson. "The UK blew its chances with wind energy because the government wouldn’t back it and there are signs we are not going to make that same mistake with wave and tidal power."

...Some critics have argued that relying on government subsides or the prospect of new regulations when making investment decisions represents a dangerous game. There is a feeling in some quarters that too many VC bets are being made on the assumption that governments will deliver an international framework that places a price on carbon and makes low carbon technologies commercially competitive. Based on this analysis the clean tech bubble would burst within hours of the US or Chinese delegations walking out of the next round of Kyoto talks – a prediction that has a concerning ring of plausibility.