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What’s Next: Clean Technology

Nobody can argue that computer technology has changed the world. Remember what life was like before ATMs, mobile phones and supermarket scanners? Not much fun.

But you can argue that technology is no longer a hot bed of fast profits. Although tech industry growth surged 18% every year from 1961-2000 since then it’s been a paltry 3% per year. Looks like slow money, if you ask us.

So where’s the next revolution? Perhaps it’s in clean technology.

Whether its long-lasting batteries needed to power electric cars or capturing sunlight to power our homes -- the embryonic clean tech trade could be ready to explode.

But with so much uncertainty in solar and other areas of this newly developing field, it’s easy to get burned. How should you play it?

For the trade we turn to the Street analyst that's paving the way in this sector; Steve Milunovich, Bank of America / Merrill Lynch head of clean technology strategy.

According to Milunovich there are three distinct areas to watch. They are:
Solar: Rising electricity rates to benefit solar names
Storage: Power storage for utilities, batteries for electric cars
Efficiency/Smart Grid: Better use of energy is a no-brainer

It’s pretty clear we have to change the way we use energy and there should be investment opportunities as a result, says Milunovich.

But there's probably no need to rush into the space. However, if you’re looking to put capital to work over the next year or so Milunocih tells Fast Money the companies he likes most are Ener1 , First Solar.

Or you could look at IBM and Cisco , both are also exposed to clean technology.

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Trader disclosure: On Aug 20th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Najarian Owns (BAC) Calls; Najarian Owns (C) Calls; Najarian Owns (HAL) Calls; Najarian Owns (MS) And Is Short (MS) Calls; Najarian Owns (MSFT) And Is Short (MSFT) Calls; Najarian Owns (YHOO) Call Spread; Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (WMT); Finerman's Firm Owns (AXL) And (AXL) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred Shares, Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred Shares And (BAC); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred Shares And Is Short (WFC), Finerman Owns (WFC) Preferred Shares; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (IWM), (SPY), (USO), (MDY); Finerman's Firm Owns (ARO); Seymour Owns (AAPL); Seymour Owns (BAC)
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