To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the clean tech sector’s demise are much exaggerated. True, it has encountered difficulties, with the bankruptcy of Solyndra often cited as an indicator that the sector represents an artificial bubble, sustainable only with government support. Such a characterization, whether based on Solyndra or the troubles encountered by other recipients of federal loan guarantees, such as the battery maker Ener1, is overly simplistic. Any emerging market will experience growth problems and will have winners and losers. And the losers’ problems do not necessarily indicate the absence of a long-term market. Were that the case, the loss of Palm and Handspring would mean that the smart phone market is not sustainable, which is manifestly not the case.
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