Achieving economy-wide decarbonization by mid-century is a daunting challenge. It will require technological breakthroughs, the overhaul of long-established and deeply ingrained regulatory and market paradigms, and massive levels of investment across the power sector, transportation, industrial processing, and the built environment.
Analysts estimate the cumulative investment required will amount to almost $200 trillion dollars. On the face of it, it appears that the capital markets have enthusiastically embraced the opportunity presented by decarbonization and have allocated significant resources to tackle the challenge. However, headline figures do not capture the nuances of effective, fit-for-purpose capital deployment.
At the very heart of the issue is the bifurcation of how capital is deployed across today’s energy transition market. At one bookend is “infrastructure” capital. At the other end of the investing risk spectrum is venture financing. While this abundance of venture and infrastructure capital is very welcomed there is also a need for capital focused on supporting companies that have matured out of the venture stage but have not yet scaled and de-risked adequately to access infrastructure-type capital.
This paper examines the fundamental changes that need to happen to close the capital gap, help companies scale through the growth venture stage, and bring the clean energy transition to fruition.
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