Clean energy is the biggest business opportunity in history.
Let me explain. To put this in perspective, look at the first bar above (1). The creation of the US interstate highway system is often cited as the largest infrastructure project ever. Between 1954 and 1991, the US invested $468 billion to create it (that number is in current dollars).
In fact, the second bar shows an investment that has been even larger (2). Over the last twenty years, all US venture investments totaled about $950 billion – nearly a trillion dollars. It’s hard to overstate the impact these investments have had on our society and our world.
All this is dwarfed, however, by the third bar (3): the upcoming investments in clean energy. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, one of the most respected analysts in the industry, predicts investments in clean energy exceeding $7 trillion in the next few decades.
Electricity is arguably the largest industry on earth. If we can upgrade the century-old grid business model, the clean energy transformation has the potential to create more jobs, more economic development, and more prosperity than anything we have ever done in history.
Note: this graph is from a presentation I gave at a recent event held by the Rocky Mountain Institute. I was honored to give this group my TED talk and was asked to kick it off by explaining why I had decided to shift my career into clean energy.