Clean Energy Investment is Booming!

What's Next for Clean Energy Investors?

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted November 28, 2016

This blog post originally published by the Clean Energy Investment Center

According to energy investors and world leaders, business is booming. But more can be done to maximize economic potential. The Department of Energy (DOE) was front and center at COP22 in Marrakesh, discussing the investment challenges and opportunities affecting the global, emerging energy market. The Clean Energy Investment Center (CEIC) hosted its Clean Energy Investors Roundtable on November 15, welcoming nearly 40 energy investors and world leaders to a candid discussion that occurred over 90 minutes and left many in the room excited and eager for the coming years. Participants included energy ministers from Mission Innovation member nations, representatives from the White House, and active energy investors, including venture capitalists, corporate venture capitalists, private equity firms, foundations, and philanthropic organizations.

Energy Secretary Delivers Keynote

U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, chaired the roundtable and provided keynote remarks. The Secretary discussed the current momentum of the global community to address the challenges presented by climate change, and the tremendous business opportunities being created by the resulting clean energy revolution. Secretary Moniz also highlighted an upcoming Report, to be released by the CEIC, which shares investor insights on new ideas to address energy investment challenges and maximize the economic potential of the global energy market. Following Secretary Moniz’s keynote, CEIC Director Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra posed questions and led the roundtable in a free-flowing discussion.

Discussion and Responses

The roundtable centered around five discussion topics: 1) global challenges and opportunities in investment and public-private partnerships one-year removed from the historic Paris Agreement; 2) the importance of global investment in clean energy; 3) new mechanisms for scalable models in clean energy financing; 4) whether existing energy technologies are ready to meet global demands for energy access; and 5) the significance of innovation in clean energy technology for greater adoption. A number of important insights emerged from the discussion of these topics.

Participants agree that clean energy investments are critical to support a world where, over the next decade, one billion people will gain access to energy for the first time. Participants also discussed a number of major challenges that, if addressed, would spur greater investments in new energy technologies. These challenges included lack of follow-on financing for promising but long-term investments, particularly in hardware; lack of access to information about investment-ready technologies; and lack of business savvy from the technologists behind many of the technology breakthroughs.

As noted by Director Malhotra during the roundtable, the CEIC offers a partial response to the question of the role of the public sector in new energy investments. The Clean Energy Investment Center is a one-stop-shop for energy investor needs, offering information on cutting-edge technology through the DOE’s library of fact-based reports and by connecting clean energy technology businesses and energy investors through its Laboratory-Investor Knowledge Series (LINKS). CEIC will soon offer technology information and access to deal flow through its Lab Partnering Service and its Project Data Access Initiative, which provide users an online platform to locate energy technology experts and identify promising clean energy technology companies supported with DOE funding. 

That is all for now CEIC friends and followers. The tides of the energy market are rising and point toward the tremendous economic potential of the international marketplace for new and emerging energy technologies.  And there is tremendous potential to improve global energy access through deployment of existing technologies at scale as well. What does 2017 have in store for the world? Only time will tell.  Until then, stay tuned with the CEIC for the latest news on opportunities to partner with the DOE!

The Clean Energy Investment Center is part of the Office of Technology Transitions, whose mission is to expand the commercial impact of DOE’s portfolio of Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RDD&D) activities over the short, medium and long term.