The Wall Street Journal had an interesting story today about the influence of government loans and grants on the clean tech industry — it called the government “a kingmaker in one of technology’s hottest sectors” and says the government has put five times as much money into clean tech this year as venture capitalists.
The story also says the presence of government funds influences how much private capital a company can attract and how easy it is for a company to progress. It cites politics as a factor in government funding, telling how Fisker Automotive — a hybrid electric car maker backed by Kleiner Perkins — got funding from the DOE after it agreed to manufacture cars in Delaware, at a plant that GM was planning to shut down, rather than in Finland.
None of this is new. Battery maker A123 Systems, which got help from politicians in Michigan — where it will locate manufacturing — rather than Delaware, could tell a similar tale, as I wrote