According to Red Herring's
latest Innovation, Capitalization and Commercialization (ICC) Report
, the hottest new business startups will be in the "small power" segment of the energy industry. As alternative energy technology improves and the costs of traditional energy sources remain high, micro fuel cells and solar panels are increasingly attractive. Efficient, clean and portable, these energy systems can be used to power small buildings and vehicles; they are also immune to the type of grid failure that darkened the Northeast U.S. in August 2003. In developing countries, where traditional electric service is unavailable or intermittent, small power devices could play a large role in improving the standard of living. ICC estimates that many of these energy solutions could reach the market by 2008.