It was only fairly recently – February of 2015 – that the White House announced clean energy investments from the private sector of $2 billion dollars.
Now just a few months later, the Obama administration has claimed that large institutional investors as well as many others have pledged about $4 billion to spur the advancement of clean energy technologies. Some of the largest investors include Goldman Sachs, the Sierra Club Foundation, the Clean Energy Trust, and the CREO Syndicate.
Some of the investments from this initiative will go towards creating a Clean Energy Investment Center at the Department of Energy. This center will help make renewable energy information more accessible to the public and various organizations. Another portion of the funding will be used by the Small Business Administration to help businesses pursue clean energy programs.
The impacts of the $4 billion will be widespread. Goldman Sachs will be investing $500 million in companies that are developing clean energy technologies. Specifically, smart grid infrastructure and advanced battery technologies will be developed. On an even larger scale, the CREO Syndicate will have invested a total of $3.5 billion by 2020 in green companies of all kinds.
The funds will also go towards supporting clean energy startups. A notable organization, the Clean Energy Trust, is a Chicago-based startup accelerator. This organization is striving to eventually raise $100 million to spur the work of clean energy startups.
Energy Excelerator is another startup program benefiting from the new funding. This one is based out of Hawaii. They have so far supported 32 companies doing green work in the varied fields of agriculture, water, transportation, and energy.
All of this new funding should not come as a surprise. Anyone who reads between the lines here will realize that this private capital is showing up because business leaders are seeing the monetary value in green ventures. The money simply would not be as readily available if these investors were not presented with a potential for good return on investment in the short to medium term.
It could be viewed as rather unfortunate that we had to wait until the time that clean tech was cost effective before we started to tackle our environmental challenges. This is, however, the capitalistic world that we live in.
The future does in fact look bright from here. We are still in the very beginning stages of our clean energy revolution. An increasing amount of capital will be invested in solutions like wind and solar power as business leaders see the economic advantages of these old, yet newly tapped sources of energy.