The Slippery Definition of Risk in Cleantech

deathvalleyHere’s how many renewable-energy startups envision their road to success: Raise venture-capital financing, prove their technologies in pilot and demonstration projects, secure project financing to build full-scale plants, build them and then enjoy all the profit rolling in. But even well-funded venture-backed startups are running into a roadblock that their investors may not have seen coming.

Project finance has proven much harder to get than expected, and startups have had to turn to equity investors to fund smaller projects or switch to another less-capital-intensive strategy, such as finding a corporate partner (like Synthetic Genomics).
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