Global investment in clean-tech research and enterprises approached $100 billion in 2007, and much of that money was invested in the United States. Of about $3 billion in "green" venture capital worldwide, half went to enterprises in California, and Massachusetts got about 10 percent. Opportunities for clean tech will only multiply, say analysts, citing mounting pressure to find commercially viable alternatives to fossil fuels.
"Energy transformation represents one of the biggest technology opportunities we will ever witness," says Nick d'Arbeloff, executive director of the New England Clean Energy Council in Cambridge, Mass., a lobbying group for the industry. "We're going to see lots of different technologies come of age, be applied, and generate large companies, many jobs, and lots of wealth.… You can literally leave the green argument at home and argue solely on the basis of economic benefit."
At least half the states have launched initiatives to foster clean-tech industries within their borders. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D) last year created the $100 million Iowa Power Fund to give grants for research and development of renewable-energy technologies. Wisconsin earmarked $150 million beginning this spring for a renewable-energy grant and loan program, and Minnesota's government in 2005 allocated $20 million to the University of Minnesota for renewable-energy research.