November 3, 2008
Your recent article asks whether investment in the EU’s clean technology companies will decline on the back of the recent dip in oil and carbon prices. (Dip in oil and carbon prices to hamper clean tech drive?).
It is overly pessimistic to imply that “firms in the low-carbon sector could go under” simply because the bottom has gone out of credit and commodity booms. This underestimates Europe’s highly skilled workforce, the political vision of its leaders and the locked-in successes the low-carbon sector has already secured.
Capital will inevitably become available again for financial activity that hedges portfolios and chases returns by anticipating price fluctuations in commodities such as oil, gas, power and carbon permits. There will then be a willingness to take riskier punts by backing new companies whose technology carbon savings credentials remain unproven or who plan to enter markets that are already well-supplied by mature clean technologies. Alternatively, large carbon emitters will rationally choose to buy cheap permits now rather than invest in technology to clean their operations, at least in the short term.
Our clean technology company recently joined up with a large European manufacturer and in September this year opened a production facility in Spain, creating several all-important “green jobs”. It will produce thousands of low-carbon domestic heating boilers that simultaneously produce clean electricity using a revolutionary technology known as microCHP. We anticipate that the potential European market for this type of low-carbon product alone could eventually be several million units a year, with millions of tons of carbon saved as a result.
We would like to think that our success story, like countless others, is not the result of anomalous commodity and credit booms but came about because we offer quick, practical, cost-effective solutions to climate change.
In the end, the EU is too politically and economically strong to let credit and commodity rollercoasters stand in the way of developing a world-leading clean tech sector.
General Manager Europe