California Leads in Green Investment — But There’s Not Much Of It


California's political and business leaders have long argued that the state can build a new economic future by becoming a leader in green technologies. A new survey suggests that while California has achieved leadership in attracting investment in such technologies, such leadership may not count for very much.

Call it a case of good news, underwhelming.

The good news: In the survey, California led North America, with 67 percent of the total share of all venture investment in clean technology. And since North America accounted for 72 percent of global venture investment in the sector, California was unmistakably the world leader.

Here's the underwhelming part: The total amount of investment globally was just over $2 billion, with California getting $980 million. That's a drop in the bucket for a state with a GDP of more than $1.5 trillion.

That doesn't mean clean technology isn't a growth business -- it appears to be. But it's not a big business, and it's not clear if it ever will be.

If you're waiting for clean, green technology to transform the state's economic model, you may wait a long time.

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