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Clean technology going mainstream?

Rachel Kyte's picture

Despite the collapse of the European Carbon market at the end of last month (something to keep the corridors buzzing, we hope not moaning, at the Carbon Expo), investors minds are being concentrated on the real possibilities of abrupt climate change, and the potential of the clean tech market. What’s concentrating those minds: oil prices, the stirring of the body politic and some big players leading the way?

To start: where will you be on May 24? If you will be in the US then at the movie theater we hope. An Inconvenient Truth (see the trailer), Al Gore’s documentary on the real and present dangers of abrupt climate change opens that day. It will play at Cannes this year (head south from the Expo).

This is no partisan political pitch. Just a few weeks earlier, Gore's pal John Doerr announced that his venture capital vehicle, Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers, would invest $100mn of their next $600mn in cleaner energy, transportation, air and water. This is the venture capital world warming up to the possibilities of the growing market for clean technology. The Cleantech Venture Network shows the growing interest for investors. Clean Edge Inc, estimates that the global market for clean energy sources is now at $40bn and growing.

Investors can hopefully see what we can - better technologies and more mature entrants into the market with a greater potential to surmount the regulatory obstacles and other disincentives to clean tech. We will be discussing whether this is a global proposition (beyond Europe and the US) at IFC headquarters in the Emerging Market Private Equity conference.

Peter Drucker said: “Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth”. To unleash this in emerging markets how can the Bank help governments identify and remove the impediments to clean tech investment?


Submitted by Rob on
Some real innovations in clean tech are coming from entrepreneurs, especially those based in low-income countries. A challenge (one of many) to these firms' success is access to capital...maybe the Emerging Markets Private Equity conference will tackle that. If not, or if you're curious, New Ventures has been incubating green SMEs in Latin America and Asia for years.

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