10 Greentech Companies to Watch in 2011

Will 2011 bring recovery or retrenchment for the greentech industry? Keep an eye on the following 10 companies to find out.

Over at GigaOm Pro (subscription required), I’ve compiled a list of companies that are both leaders and up-and-comers in the solar power, smart grid, biofuel, green vehicle and energy efficiency sectors, as well as one utility and one international energy conglomerate. These companies help illustrate the role that the old-school energy industries are going to play in the greentech evolution.

While broader economic issues will play the critical role in determining the course that greentech industries take across sectors and countries next year, several companies should serve as a pretty good gauge for their industries as a whole. For solar we have our low price leader, First Solar, and potential solar thermal IPO candidate BrightSource Energy. In the smart grid sector, there’s another rumored IPO hopeful, Silver Spring Networks, and would-be rival Grid Net. And in the home energy management sphere chameleon-like company People Power helps us keep up with the twists and turns of that overcrowded market.

Electric vehicle charging, meanwhile, brings up Better Place, and also leads us to NRG Energy, a power generation giant taking innovative steps into for-profit car charging as well as solar and wind power production and marketing. And with venture financing playing an increasingly important role in the greentech industry, General Electric is worth keeping an eye on in the next year.

To read more about what these companies hold in store for the coming months, read my full post.

We’re curious to hear which companies you think don’t belong on the list, and which ones you feel should be added — and happy new year.

Image courtesy of flickr user Kim Scarborough.

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