Venture capital investments in "green technology" hit a record level in 2005, at a whopping $1.6 Billion, 35% higher than in 2004, with that figure almost certainly set to grow again this year. This may or may not be a bubble, depending on the quality of the deals, though either way it could end up well for consumers and the economy if new energy solutions are commercialized. But will it mean profits for VC backers? It's not enough to predict that clean energy will grow in the future, to make a profit one has to exploit unappreciated opportunities. With oil still over $60/barrel, and a Republican president talking about weaning the US off of the stuff, the industry isn't really showing foresight. There are probably still ways to profit from the energy crunch, like technologies that reduce moving parts or the need to travel, but the obvious investments in energy technology may not provide the big returns VCs expect.
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