The 2008 Greentech Market Taxonomy
Back at the end of November, Greentechmedia provided a pictorial and accompanying article (see The 2008 Greentech Market Taxonomy, November 30th) that segmented and explained the growing clean tech, or in their words "greentech", market. I had quickly looked at the diagram (I've copied it above, but a more legible view can be accessed here) a couple of times but never taken the time to read the accompanying article until recently.
Now that I have, it strikes me as a very good starting point for anyone trying to understand the explosion of new technologies relating to sustainable energy and the firms that are pursuing them.
The taxonomy divides the greentech/cleantech market into eight sectors, including Power Generation, Green (largely energy) Services, Transportation, Energy Infrastructure, Energy Storage, Materials, Recycling & Waste and Water. Five of these sectors are completely or primarily about energy. The sectors are then further divided into a total of 34 segments.
The authors point out that their approach was to try and make greentech understandable in an intuitive way. To do so, they organized the taxonomy to reflect how an end user might interact with the range of technologies, processes, appplications and services flowing into the market.
There is a lot of information packed into a relatively short article. For each of the 34 market segments, the authors have provided a brief description and often opinions as well, together with examples of both well established and newer companies ("well established" is a relative term, with few of the companies having been around for very long at all).
Taxonomies must be the flavour of the season. It was only a month earlier that Wired Magazine introduced their "Wired Flowchart", that provided a pictorial of the emerging clean tech industry, mapping the connections between the entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, tech companies and green companies. Wired didn't try to explain their flowchart very much, but in some ways, Greentechmedia's taxonomy and accompanying article help to fill that gap.
Greentechmedia says that they are seeking an interaction with their readers that will allow the taxonomy to evolve to reflect their readership's knowledge. If you are interested in sorting out the different strands to the clean/green energy market I suggest you take a look at this and perhaps take them at their word by providing some comments back.