It's about Capital Intensity - VC is about low intensity, not high
Score one for big energy
"Cleantech has been the industry of big-money investments in ambitious projects, but that may be changing, judging from a venture capital panel at VentureBeat’s GreenBeat conference today.
The most emphatic speaker on this point was Navin Chaddha, a partner at the Mayfield Fund. Chaddha said he’s more interested in investing “downstream” from energy generation, rather than in generation itself. That’s where entrepreneurs will find more opportunities, and those companies require less funding. As positive examples, Chaddha pointed to SolarCity (one of his portfolio companies) and SunRun, which aren’t trying to build giant solar plants or factories, and are instead trying to change the solar distribution model by bringing it directly to consumers.
On the flip side, he pointed to solar panel maker Solyndra, which has reportedly raised more than $1 billion but just announced that it’s closing one of its factories. $1 billion is more than most individual venture funds, Chaddha noted, and spending that much money on a single company is the “antithesis” of what venture capital is about."