File - Employees carry solar panels at a solar power plant in Aksu, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region May 18, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
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Observers might be forgiven for thinking that so-called clean technology's moment in the sun has passed.Over the last 12 years, for example, the average real construction cost of an oil well has doubled, and in recent years new mining discoveries have been few, despite the industry's best (and often expensive) efforts.One pivotal question for the future of clean tech has been whether it needs regulatory support to thrive. Globally, the solar power industry has grown at an average annual rate of 57 percent since 2006 .As industries mature, the case for policy support weakens.Nonetheless, concerns about the future of clean tech have made new projects more difficult to finance.As clean-tech businesses continue to scale up, there will be additional opportunities to improve.The shakeout in the clean-tech industry has been tough; but it has also been typical of emerging technologies, and, by weeding out the weaker players, it has made the sector more robust. This is a global segment meeting a growing global need. There is little room for doubt that the clean-tech industry can expect plenty of sunny days ahead.
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