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Greentech: Still Growing as an Opportunity for Exporters?

Published: 20 May 2015 01:05:39 PST

With last week's disappointing earnings announcement for Tesla Motors, it seems like an appropriate time to review how companies are faring in the broader green technology world.

If you haven't already come across it, read this excellent article at Huffington Post by Stuart Holliday. As he notes, enthusiasm for the sector seems to have waned over the last several years, but green technology still provides almost boundless opportunities for entrepreneurship and job creation by SMEs. (Not to mention that it employs an estimated 1.7 million Americans.) Also worth a look is the 2013 Gartner Hype Cycle for specific emerging technologies.

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Tariff battles between the U.S. and China in this area are well-known; the last few years have seen growing escalation of trade barriers between not just the U.S. and China, but also exports from China to the European Union. A recent meeting of top scientists urged a de-escalation of protectionism in interest of broader adoption of the technologies.

In the midst of the conflict, last year saw the launch of a joint EPA-ITA initiative for clean exports under President Obama's National Export Initiative that acknowledges both the complexities and opportunities for exporters in this sector. As part of the initiative, a new portal was created as part of, providing guidance for small businesses working on exporting environmental technology products & services.  

 It's due this particular trend - government initiatives for both SMEs and the auto industry, perhaps driven by a "clean car boom", that the forecast for clean technology remains strong, despite some visible setbacks such as Tesla's (who nonetheless paid back their DOE loan a full 9 years before it was due).


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