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Annotated article summary from this weekend's Barron's. Receive all our Barron's summaries by signing up here:

Cleaning Up by Mark Veverka

Summary: More than fifty clean tech companies have gone public in the past two years as investors begin to grasp the fiscal upside Clean and Green 15 07 2007of combating global warming and cleaning up the environment. Worldwide, governments are passing tough environmental bills. Says well-respected venture capitalist Vinod Khosla: "The likely trajectory of legislation on global warming is creating a great investment opportunity." ETFs like PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:PBW) are one way for clean investors to go for the green. Barron's cover story singles out five stocks that are poised to rise on the tails of the clean energy movement:

  1. SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWR) -- a majority-owned spin-off of Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY), it is the premier seller of silicon solar cells and panels. Shares are rich at 36x 2008e earnings, but one analyst says: "It's kind of like buying Microsoft in the early '90s. It will just stay rich."
  2. Environmental Power Corp. (EPG) -- its technology cuts the release of carbon-based Greenhouse Effect gases, giving it valuable pollution trading credits. One analyst says: "It has a long way to run."
  3. Fuel-Tech (NASDAQ:FTEK) -- its system breaks down slag build-up inside oil and coal fuel plants, avoiding the need to break down the deposits with explosives and keeping plants running smoother and cheaper. One analyst sees shares climbing 25% in 2008.
  4. PICO Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PICO) -- is buying up water rights in the West, and will then sell fresh water to areas where supply is limited. An analyst sees shares ($44) going up to $58.
  5. Composite Technology (OTC:CPTC) -- will release a new wind turbine (windmill) that should help address a global backlog, going into direct competition with General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE). The $1 stock could hit $2.50.

Barron's was not altogether bullish on clean energy stocks, though. It thinks recent industry darling First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) may get singed. See full summary.

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Source: Barron's Picks Five Clean Tech Stocks for a Greener Future