Customer Reviews: The Clean Tech Revolution: Discover the Top Trends, Technologies, and Companies to Watch
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on May 19, 2009
Interested in "cleantech" and getting a quick overview of the alternative energy industry, I am glad that I began researching this topic with this book. There are so many books on climate change - ranging from the skeptical to the tendentious - that it is refreshing to read a book, which both takes the science seriously - with clear explanations to the layman - and the business of cleantech seriously. A conservative reader may need to close his eyes briefly when reading the some of the potshots against the Bush administration in the opening chapters, but by the end of the book, the reader will recognize the authors' conviction that cleantech energy will only become a reality when it relies less on ideology and more on a business model. In the book's final chapter, the authors provide five lessons on cleantech marketing, which are essential to an understanding of the economic theme of the book. In fact, I remember reading this chapter first, before reading the body of the text, so that these economic arguments will inform the reader as she evaluates each one of the new technologies presented. This book probably could use an update, to keep up with technological advances, but the information provided is still remarkably fresh.
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on October 21, 2008
This book comes along just as Congress and a new President combine to push alternative technologies, loosely situated under the clean tech dome. While there is more than enough examination of green buildings, LEED standards already out there, Pernick and Wilder have provided new and current insights on solar, wind power and water use and conservation technologies that will drive the revolution. They are also reasonably fair in sorting the trends on the future of electric power including nuclear, which are important in any sociopolitical action in Washington and in the states to address climate change and sustainability. Worth reading now as the 111th Congress and California work on government encouragements to business strategies.
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on February 13, 2009
I have read five books on Alternative Energy and the peak of oil this Winter and found this to be a good read, but not as good as "Clean Money" by John Rubino coming from a stock investor's perspective. Although this book is concise and well researched, it gives too much information sometimes and tends to drag.
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on May 21, 2013
This book was written BEFORE the 2008 presidential election. it is full of speculation on companies that don't even exist anymore (e.g. Solyndra) and technologies that have since advanced far beyond Pernick's research. There's a very small amount of useful information in the book anymore. Maybe 5 years ago it would have been, but there's no need to buy it in 2013.
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VINE VOICEon August 20, 2009
If there is one thing I've learned from this book it's that no matter where you live there's clean energy to be found. Here in Northeast Ohio we may not have yearlong sunlight but we have the wind coming off the lake, the currents of the Cuyahoga and an abundance of biomass. When it comes to using alternative energy the big question is can it be more cost effective than traditional fossil fuel energy and is it actually an ecological improvement. The jury may still be out on technologies like biomass.

There is a certain very vocal group of politicians that have expressed the belief that the taxpayers should be spending next to nothing and possibly nothing on America's infrastructure. In the 2008 presidential election John McCain called for a complete five year freeze on federal spending. That is the bad news. The good news is that clean energy may be on the verge of breaking through the biggest barrier of all, the cost barrier. They say that in business the three most important indicators of success are location, location, location. For clean energy the authors write that the three most important indicators are cost, cost, cost. The authors stress that charging a premium for clean energy may appeal to a niche crowd but clean energy will only truly work when the price per watt drops below fossil fuel. Saving money crosses all ideological stripes. If people are attracted to clean energy to satisfy their own self interest rather than out of an altruistic sense of duty that is when clean energy will take off. When your uncle who thinks Barack Obama is leading the country towards socialism starts getting his electricity from a wind farm to save some money on utility costs or buys a hybrid car to reduce the pain at the pump, that is when clean energy will take off. Speaking of wind energy, it's leading the way and the authors predict, "if left to market forces, wind will be price-competitive with fossil fuel in hundreds of regions worldwide by 2010" Solar power is also making huge strides and the authors predict its coming out party will be before 2015.

I'm a big believer that Global Warming is a legitimate threat to the future of the world but the reality is that drill baby drill is a siren song that attracts a lot of adherents. Action needs to be taken now and the little things we can each do to cut down on our carbon footprint just aren't going to cut it. We really do need a revolution and I'm trying to do my part by investing in companies that can launch that revolution and this is where I found the book most helpful in that it pointed out specific companies in each energy sector that might help lead the way to a new energy revolution. The book often borders on cheerleading and readers need to be careful reading too many books like this because it can give an overly rosy view of the future of clean energy. The other problem is that a book like this becomes dated very quickly particularly since it actually lists specific companies to watch. The pace of technology is very fast and a book like this is a dinosaur in a couple of years and this one is already a year old since it was revised. I thought their list of companies to watch was pretty good although I'm not sure how First Solar (FSLR) managed to miss the cut. Even if some of the info is less than up to date the general information on clean energy is good and I would recommend this book to someone who wants to compare and contrast the different clean energy alternatives and get a better sense of the companies with their fingers on the pulse of the future.
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on January 14, 2009
From top trends in clean technology to companies heavily involved in it who bear watching, THE CLEAN TECH REVOLUTION has been newly revised and updated to reflect the latest trends. Business libraries and those featuring social issues pieces will welcome this survey of economics, politics, and major clean-tech sectors in alternative energies and building. A powerful survey helps readers identify which sectors to watch, and which trends are likely for future.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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