Venture capital is surging back into the energy sector it abandoned seven years ago, and the money's not all coming from billionaires, oil companies or corporate funds.
China, the world's biggest energy user, spent $44 billion on large international clean energy projects and mergers and acquisitions in 2017, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
Venture capital firms generally focus more on greenbacks than green energy. After a brief spurt of interest about six years ago, many major firms have been avoiding further investments in clean energy and green technology. Here's why.
Quebec's provincial government is set to invest $1.5 billion within three years in programs that encourage clean energy and reduce dependance on oil.
Clean Energy Canada reports the world’s three largest electricity markets were responsible for $348 billion in energy investment in 2016; costs of solar and wind continue to fall as more jobs open up in these fields
Green technologies from rooftop solar to projects that turn waste into electricity are getting a boost from venture capital funds, which raised their investments in clean energy at the fastest pace in nine years in 2016. VC funds funneled $834 million into the clean-energy industry last year, the third consecutive annual increase and the most since Bloomberg New Energy Finance started collecting data in 2004. For a second year, VC for green projects surpassed private equity, which dropped to its lowest level since at least 2004.
The Turnbull government's renewable energy investment arm, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), has contributed nearly half of an $11.5 million series B capital raise into a Melbourne tech startup that's hoping to change the way electricity grids operate.
Every January, Michael Liebreich and Angus McCrone, founder and chief editor of Bloomberg New Energy Finance respectively, look into their crystal ball and predict what is going to happen in clean energy markets in the year ahead. At the end of the year, they come back to their forecasts and look at what they got right and what they got wrong.
Lightyear Capital has completed a $95 million investment in Ygrene Energy Fund, a provider of financing for clean energy projects to residential and commercial clients. The fresh capital comes hot on the heels of a $30 million mezzanine investment from New Energy Capital Partners in November. To date, Ygrene has been approved to provide property-assessed clean energy financing in more than 300 municipalities across California, Florida, Georgia and Missouri.