Planet Gore

Surveying the Renewable-Energy Industry

Take it for what it’s worth, but MarketWatch has this item on a survey of 85 clean-tech professionals and investors, 72 percent of whom (that is, 61 people) support increased use of nuclear power. 
Of course, the same percentage would go on to say that Obama has the better energy policies, which means that a bare minimum of 37 people out of the 85 answered both Yay Obama and Yay Nukes — actually, 40 people, since there’s no way the three people who said Yay Nader also said Yay Nukes. So unless the Yay Obama vote is driven by his previously stated position of auctioning off, rather than giving away, carbon-ration coupons, these folks would seem to believe that The One really is interested in expanding nuclear power in the U.S. (I’m with Max Schulz: I don’t believe him.)

Nuclear energy received a resounding endorsement from renewable energy and clean technology professionals in a recent survey conducted by law firm Cooley Godward Kronish. The survey of 85 New York-area clean tech entrepreneurs, investors and other industry professionals shows that 72 percent of respondents believe nuclear energy should receive more focus as an alternative energy source.
In spite of the global economy’s instability that has many industries vying for prospective investors, 75 percent of survey respondents think venture capital and other private equity investments in clean technology and renewable energy will increase in 2009, while nine percent think it will decrease and 16 percent think it will remain the same.
A majority of the respondents (57 percent) also believe that the clean technology and renewable energy sector will play a “significant” role in job creation over the next five years. Only two percent of respondents said it would have a “minimal” role in job creation.
According to the survey, the energy policies of Democratic party presidential candidate Barack Obama would have a greater positive impact on climate change and U.S. energy independence over the policies of the other 2008 presidential candidates. Seventy percent of respondents think Obama’s energy policies would be more effective, compared to 23 percent for Republican party candidate John McCain and four percent for independent candidate Ralph Nader. Three percent are not sure or are unconvinced any of them would be effective.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents think that increasing incentives to invest in new clean technology companies and technologies should be the next administration’s top policy initiative to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency and job creation in the U.S. clean-tech industry. Twenty-three percent of respondents think passing climate control mandates, including implementing a national “cap-and-trade” program, should be the top policy initiative.
Respondents are also predominantly placing their bets on companies outside the United States to develop the first mass-produced, non-gas powered automobile. Sixty-six percent of respondents think that the first car will come from outside the country, while 24 percent said from Silicon Valley/California and 10 percent said from Detroit.
The survey was conducted at an event last week featuring energy policy representatives from John McCain and Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, hosted by the Renewable Energy Business Network’s (REBN) New York chapter. The chapter was founded earlier this year by Cooley Godward Kronish, Porter Novelli and SJF Ventures.

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