As news about the U.S. economy grows increasingly gloomy, the green tech sector is showing the way out.
North American companies attracted $3.95 billion in venture capital investments in 2007 up a whopping 38%, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. California's Silicon Valley saw the greatest concentration of new investments, according to Cleantech Group.
In Europe, green tech investments were up 34% to $1.23 billion.
All this for an industry that barely existed five years ago. And the potential is huge. With unemployment rising, wages dropping and people struggling to stay in their homes, the chance for green collar jobs to provide an infusion of new life in the economy is real, if government sets the right policies, and the American inventor class embodied by Silicon Valley continues to produce innovations.
The need for revolutions in energy efficiency and alternative energy is now popularly accepted. If it isn't global warming that concerns you, it's the price of oil. When legions of workers are installing next-generation solar panels on every home in America, and home heating bills have been reduced to zero with geothermal innovations, the new economy will have arrived.
It won't come in time to save this downturn, but the private sector investments in clean tech show that it is the way of the future, and that the future is near.
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