If the carbon price was designed to light a fuse under the listed clean-tech market in Australia, then it has failed miserably.
The ACT Australian Cleantech Index, the leading local indice for listed cleantech investments with 70 companies and a combined market capitalization of more than $6 billion, hit a record low on June 29, the last trading day before the introduction of the $23/tonne carbon price.
The index lost 30.3 per cent in the 2011/12 financial year, and its 20 best stocks lost a combined 29.2 per cent. This compares to a 9.6 per cent loss in the financial year for the benchmark S&P200 index.
“The irony of this happening on the day that the Carbon Price becomes effective will presumably be amusing in hindsight,” suggested John O’Brien, the CEO of Australian Cleantech.
But, presumably, not amusing now. The index has fallen 56 per cent in the last tree years, and has tumbled from a peak value of $16.3 billion in July 2007.
In the past year, the best performers (with a gain of more than 50 per cent), were EnviroMission, Sterling Biofuels, CleanTeQ, Pro-Pac Packaging and Traffic Technologies. The worst performers included Dyesol, Solco, CBD Energy, SWW Energy, Dolomatrix, Carbon Polymers, Eco Quest, Eden Energy, RedFlow, Carnegie Wave Energy, Green Rock, KUTh Energy, BioProspect and Soil Sub Technologies.