Investors in Clean Energy: A Different Breed

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Here’s a report of macro-trends observed by venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins. To me, the most noteworthy thing about it is the concept that Kleiner managing partner Ray Lane explained in a conversation he and I had in his office last year: investment in clean energy is capital intensive and requires patience; investment in software (mobile Internet apps) has the potential for far greater and quicker returns.

Yes, therein lies the rub. Investors in clean energy are a different breed, and certainly patience is part of that characterization. But I would add “vision” in there too. After all, how likely is it that we’ll still be burning coal and driving Hummers a few decades hence? If we still have a civilization here, it will be precisely because we found a way (or ways) to put an end to unsustainable practices like these.

I predict that investors with vision will begin to line up behind the truly good ideas that call out to them.

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About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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