For years I’ve been looking for one book to recommend to people who want to get up to speed on what’s happening in clean technology. I have finally found it: The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity, by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder.

It is the only book I’ve seen that covers the whole gamut of the latest in clean energy — including such cutting-edge areas as concentrating solar power and microalgae — and isn’t swept up in fads like hydrogen cars.

I was a bit worried when the index didn’t have an entry for either “hybrids” or “plug-in hybrids,” but that is only because the index is quite lame. In fact, the book “gets” plug-in hybrids, which I consider the acid test of any clean-energy book today.

The book also has a nice chapter on water filtration, so it is more comprehensive than books that just focus on energy. And although it doesn’t tell you to buy specific stocks, it gives ten companies to watch in each clean-tech sector if you are looking for a place to start investment research. If you want to see the companies without actually reading the book, you can go straight to the authors’ blog.

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The book is highly readable, explaining the basics of important technologies and manufacturing issues without getting lost in the technical details. It also contains a nice chapter on “clean-tech marketing,” for those interested in that side of the business. The authors understand “the three most important factors in clean-tech marketing: cost, cost, and cost.” They make the key point repeatedly: “clean tech cannot go mainstream if it’s viewed as a premium item.”

Kudos to Pernick and Wilder for writing this handy, important work.

This post was created for, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

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