Exerpt from The Exchange – A Yahoo! Finance Blog
“The renewable-energy industry has been politicized so much that I don’t think anyone can see the long-term strategy anymore,” says Dean Musser, CEO of Tangent Energy Solutions. “It’s a boom and bust cycle right now.”
The problem, Musser explains, is that government incentives have created a “gold rush” mentality among many in the industry, with providers moving from state to state as credit programs are created, overbuilt and then allowed to expire. It’s a difficult model to sustain, especially for the startups that make up much of the cleantech industry, and it’s a poor fit with the traditionally stable energy sector. At the moment, for example, wind energy firms are facing down the expiration of the federal Production Tax Credit (or PTC) at the end of 2012, while solar manufacturers are waiting for the expiration of their credit in 2016. Whether or not either credit is renewed or retooled by Congress remains to be seen, making it difficult for companies to make strategic and long-term plans in the meantime.
“There is still money out there for projects,” Musser says, “but only for those of the highest quality. You have to make a real impact on your customers’ bills. Talking about a 1 percent savings on their energy bills won’t get anyone’s attention, but 10 percent to 15 percent savings, making real change, that’s how you can get business in this market.”
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