Venture Capital Investment in Clean Technology Grows

Clean tech is hot. Research and development of eco-friendly technologies in water purification, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, recycling, air quality, and renewable energy such as solar, wind, and hydrogen is drawing a larger and larger share of venture capital. In 2003, total venture capital spending fell by 14 percent to $18.2 billion, but investment in clean technologies rose by 8 percent to $1.2 billion. Though some investors are wary, recalling trendy-but-fruitless spending on solar and wind technology in the 1980s and hydrogen power in the 1990s, many believe that a perfect storm of disparate forces makes this the time right for clean tech. Many businesses are striving to create a green image to please customers and shareholders; government regulations are making polluting more expensive; global oil prices are rising and fossil fuels are becoming more scarce; economies in China and India are booming and demanding plentiful energy. Let the “green” puns begin!