Friday, 30 April 2010

EcoSearch "State of the Nation" Update - April/May 2010

It seems we have a lift!

The big question is “for how long?”. I’m sensing an underlying nervousness, what will happen post summer, post election, post Greece?

Green Ideas

For a whistle-stop tour of what else I’m seeing;

Finance & Investment in general: -
  • Early stage Innovation businesses in cleantech are still suffering from lack of finance although there’s some Creative fund ideas are emerging but these are pre-fund raising and still some months away
  • There is still a lack of quality investments – with all investors sticking to traditional post revenue models
  • Large scale asset based projects based on “known technologies” are more appealing to investors although a switch to investing in “IP” is being detected for some areas

CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment):
  • Public sector – enquiries are up across the board but delivery is problematical
  • FM – large companies gearing up internally to tackle CRC opportunity but clients showing frustration with over-layered FM business models
  • Government Knowledge & Advice on procuring these products and services is sadly lacking and will affect the placement of orders

  • Consumer & Business Demand is growing for product – however manufacturing problems in small wind, supply problems for inverters & Solar PV are issues
  • Installer capacity to deliver projects and scale-ability will be an issue in the near term
  • Renewables purchasers are frustrated with a fragmented market, product comparison is hard to action, corporate “slickness” is lacking in delivery
  • The present MCS accreditation framework appears to be preventing the industry from reaching “sales” maturity
  • The present sales & distribution models are problematical – especially in small wind

Business Models:
  • The SME Services & Product Sector for Renewables & cleantech is suffering casualties, further casualties are expected from cash flow burn-out crisis
  • Specialist & experienced installers will perhaps be prime for acquisition but managing integration will be key for any acquirer
  • The Corporate & Utility sector is struggling to internally ratify traditional operating models with highly adaptive, flexible & fast moving emerging markets
  • Innovation in the Corporate arena is constrained due to cash flow/focus on core business, smaller workforces & lost internal entrepreneurial ability

Disruption Technologies & Conspiracy Theories?
  • … suffered from professional anti-blogging attacks? Well interestingly – now the furore of East Anglia has died down we uncover a rise in this type of activity. So who are the organisations having sufficient funds who have a vested anti-lobbying interest to procure the services of these anti blogging rings.
  • And is it wrong to believe that some of those same industries are also buying up IP to shelve “disruption technologies” …
  • UK Manufacturing – over-engineered & over-priced? KISS for the future – the Chinese are coming!

These are personal views. I welcome comment, debate and discussion –

Debby Lloyd,
Managing Director, EcoSearch

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