Venture capitalists that poured money into solar technology, including bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra, are moving on to electric grid technology after their solar investments proved less than profitable.
Renewable energy has been a major target for investors, but investment in those companies is dropping as venture capitalists switch to more lucrative technology, according to Bloomberg.
“Venture capital and private-equity financing for renewables dropped to its lowest in at least six years in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg,” the business news outlet reported today.
Solar companies have a poor record in the U.S., even with both government and venture capital backing. Solyndra, which went bankrupt after receiving a $535 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, also got more than $1.2 billion in venture capital funding before it went under.
A123 Systems, an electric battery maker, also went bankrupt and was sold to a Chinese company after receiving at least $278 in venture capital backing.
Some private investors are also pouring money into grid technology because they hope to help keep smart-grid development in the U.S.
Alan Salzman, chief executive officer of VantagePoint Capital Partners, told Bloomberg smart-grid deployments have “shifted overseas right now, away from the U.S., because of our regulatory environment.”