Unlike in the last climate tech investing boom, the industry is now mature enough to support copious funding. MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES
The last time venture capitalists flocked to climate tech, a lot of them got burned. When solar cell-maker Solyndra collapsed in 2011 and natural gas prices dropped, an estimated $25 billion in venture capital vanished.
But today, we’re experiencing a climate tech investing renaissance, with venture capitalists pouring roughly $50 billion into the area over the past three years—more than double the three years prior. That’s just the tip of the iceberg: Increasingly, corporations and governments are wading into the fray, creating pressure as well as opportunity with ambitious net zero goals and tight timelines.
Things are different this time. Climate tech investors have more capital and more opportunities than ever before. On that backdrop, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) recently convened an expert panel to discuss the past, current and future state of climate technology investments. Ricky Sakai, vice president of new business development at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA), was joined by Cassie Bowe, investment principal at Energy Impact Partners; Wade Bitaraf, founder of the energy and sustainability initiative at the Plug and Play Tech Center; and Robert Schuetzle, CEO of e-fuel producer Infinium, a recent MHI investment.