Solar energy, wind power, fuel cell technology and biofuels are part of a growing interest in 'clean technology' that has been described by a venture capitalist as the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century. High energy and commodity prices are boosting VC interest in a sector where returns are said to be in the 20%+ range.
Investment in solar energy is growing fast, though not all alternative energy businesses are suitable for VC backing: biomass energy requires more capital-intensive facilities, while some wind projects do not have high enough risk/return prospects.
It is estimated that 10% of all North American VC investment will be in clean technology by 2009, as the industry attracts a better track record for returns.The end of oil?
Venture capital firms raise the profile of alternative energy,
Knowledge@Wharton, 26 April 2006.
Reviewed by Steve Lodge