Investors in Clean Energy: A Different Breed

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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