"Alternative-energy firms are reporting an influx of inquiries and business from a wide range of companies looking to increase their energy efficiency, especially from those that believe the Obama administration will impose stricter regulations requiring them to conserve energy. President-elect Obama has spoken often of the importance of alternative energy, also known as clean technology, and his federal stimulus package is expected to include plans to beef up alternative-energy infrastructure and improve energy efficiency in government buildings. In a speech last week, he called for the U.S. to double the production of alternative energy in three years.
So start-ups across a variety of areas -- solar power, biofuels and energy conservation among them -- are getting increased financing from venture capitalists and lenders at a time when other small companies are cutting back and being turned away by investors. And many are hiring more staff, boosting marketing efforts and expanding geographically."