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Giving Compass' Take:
• Katie Fehrenbacher highlights climate tech entrepreneurs and how the tech journalists who focus on Silicon Valley have started noting the new climate tech investing class.
• How are you staying up to date on climate change issues? How can donors help expand tech opportunities for climate change action?
• Read about how to teach kids about climate change.
I have the sad claim to fame of being one of the journalists most associated with the bubble and bust of Silicon Valley's tortured love affair with cleantech. It perhaps wasn't the most advantageous career move, but it was an interesting ride to follow, and I'm betting the ride ain't over yet.
A decade and a half after the first wave of cleantech kicked off, Elon Musk has clawed his way through the valley of death, but the vast, vast majority of startups and investors did not and entire investing sectors (CIGS solar cells, solar thermal, cellulosic biofuels) were entirely wiped out between 2006 and 2014.
With this background, I've long wondered, if/when cleantech comes back into vogue in Silicon Valley, what will it look like? The underlying trends — a world of constrained resources for 9 billion people by 2050 — continue to chug along, as solar panels and wind turbines grow, and electric vehicles begin to make a dent. So, will we dust off the term cleantech and try again or will it look like something else?
Well, after talking to startups and investors alike who consider themselves part of the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem, it's beginning to sound like "climate tech" is gaining some real traction. There are a variety of other terms, including the more general "sustainability" or "low carbon" tech, but a growing group of investors and entrepreneurs are classifying their companies or some of their portfolios as climate tech.
Similar to cleantech, climate tech is a sufficiently broad enough term to incorporate a large amount of technologies and industries, but it also encapsulates the growing sense of urgency and youth movement around the "climate crisis."
Read the full article about climate tech and new cleantech by Katie Fehrenbacher at GreenBiz.