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Nick Parker, Executive Chairman of the Cleantech Group offers ten trends in clean teach for 2010:

Here are the group's predictions for 2010:

1. Private capital growth recovers, record fund year. Global cleantech venture capital flows receded to around 2007 level but in the U.S., cleantech pulled ahead as the largest single venture investment theme in 2Q09 and 3Q09.

2. Clean economies become the new space race. There will be changes in which countries and cities are driving global momentum, but greater protectionism surrounding the industry will be a drawback.

3. Electric cars take the back seat to smart mobility. The trend will influence city designs, shipping ports and governments’ tax incentives and budgets.

4. Resource constraints beyond carbon rise to the fore. As the global economy picks up, there could be price spikes that impact clean technology sectors, pushing companies to use resources more efficiently in order to maintain or boost their profitability.

5. Commodity trade-off debates intensify, in particular in the areas of water and energy; land and energy; land and water and carbon and water. The group predicts that more environmentalists will object to wind and solar projects because of how they use up swaths of land and other reasons, slowing down projects’ progress.

6. Energy efficiency eclipses solar. Information and communication technology, along with more policy support, will help create a boom in energy efficiency. The sector could outshine solar, so far a clean tech darling of investors.

7. Marketing suddenly matters. The group predicts that companies will have to distinguish themselves and employ branding as clean technology goes mainstream. Marketing campaigns are likely to target more consumers instead of just businesses.

8. Buffett leads the super rich into cleantech. The group points out how U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffett has made plays in clean tech-related companies, including GE, Goldman Sachs and Chinese electric car battery maker BYD Co Ltd. The group argues that energy efficiency factors partly influenced Buffett’s acquisition of the nation’s largest rail company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (That, of course, is up for debate. Some saw Buffett’s move on the rail company as a bet on coal.)

9. Acquisitions and consolidations accelerate. The group predicts a “bloodbath” in countries with overcapacity like Germany and China and that many Chinese wind and solar companies will be gone by the end of 2010. That will happen, the group argues, even as China’s market for renewable energy grows and despite the government’s investments in high profile companies like solar panel makers Suntech and Yingli. The group’s prediction echoes a forecast for consolidation that BP Solar’s chief executive gave Reuters.

10. The rise of waste-to-energy, geothermal and aquaculture, as part of a shift to more sustainable agriculture and food production.

Here are the details of the report.

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Tags: clean energy, forecast, prediction, venture capital

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