"Our economy sure could use the Next Big Thing. ...
Silicon Valley investors are pointing to something called cleantech -- alternative energy, more efficient power distribution and new ways to store electricity, all with minimal impact to the environment -- as a candidate for the next boom.
And while no two booms are exactly alike, some hallmarks are already showing up.
Despite last fall's financial meltdown, public and private investments are pouring in, fueling startups and reinvigorating established companies. The political and social climates are favorable. If it takes off, cleantech could seep into every part of the economy and our lives."