Technical Note | HBS Case Collection | March 2014

Venture Capital Investment in the Clean Energy Sector

by Ramana Nanda and Shikhar Ghosh


In this note, we examine the extent to which venture capital is adequately positioned for the rapid commercialization of clean energy technologies in the United States. The need for a revolution in clean energy is driven not just by environmental consequences of energy use, but also by the need for energy security, to address growing concerns about a crisis in the balance of payments, and as a potentially important source of domestic jobs. Our premise in this note is that a key aspect of such widespread change is that these issues cannot be "solved" by a single technology. Rather, technological changes will have to be pervasive and will require a whole range of different products and processes to come to market. Some of the technological progress will come from incremental innovations that do not depend on venture capital.

Keywords: entrepreneurial finance; Entrepreneurship; Finance; Financial Services Industry;


Nanda, Ramana, and Shikhar Ghosh. "Venture Capital Investment in the Clean Energy Sector." Harvard Business School Technical Note 814-052, March 2014.