With all the talk about going green in the tech industry, the elephant in the room is still how to make money from it.
Investors have made some money investing in certain publicly traded "green tech" companies, including First Solar (FSLR) and SunPower (SPWRA), but for the most part, the industry is still struggling with how to convince investors that they can get their money back from touchy-feely green tech.
That will, at least in theory, come to an end today, with the longwindedly named Clean Technology & Industrial Growth Management Access Conference. Held in San Francisco, the conference has an agenda more easily summed up than its moniker: If there's a way to make money in green tech today, we'll find it.
Hordes of green-loving venture capitalists, meeting face-to-face with CEOs and other investors, trying to hammer out a way to make companies like, say, SolarCity, more than cool. They want to figure out how to make them cash machines that spew green dollars sa well as green energy.
Green tech has been lauded as the next boom for a while now The Bay Area wants this to be the next big bubble so badly you can almost feel it. And lots of people seem ready to go along for the ride.
Look at the growth in hybrid cars, and even solar panels on rooftops. Like the dotcom boom, people want to invest in what they love, but so far, the industry hasn't quite held up its end of the deal.
Today's conference is being thrown by Wedbush Securities in the swanky W Hotel. Clearly, a large investment company can benefit from increased investor excitement, and the strategy seems to be, throw the executives and money people together, and see what they can come up with.
For potential green tech investors, this should be one to watch. We'll let you know (tonight on the 6 o'clock news) if it stirs up excitement, and leads to a good investment plan for you.
Are you ready to invest in green tech? Let Scott know on Twitter: @scottbudman