Trends in venture capital funding decisions are hindering commercialization of next-wave green energy technologies, according to a new Brookings Institution analysis.

Why it matters: Despite the urgency of climate change, the cleantech VC funding woes—especially for early-stage companies—will get worse if Trump succeeds in gutting Energy Department initiatives, the authors say.

Here are some of the headwinds Brookings identifies . . .

  • VC funding on cleantech companies fell from $7.5 billion in 2011 to $5.2 billion last year, and there were almost 200 fewer deals in 2016.
  • VC cleantech investment is concentrated in a few regions (check out the chart below), leaving other areas "starved for participation."
Expand chart
Data: Brookings analysis of Cleantech group's i3 Connect database; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios
  • Taken in tandem with a prior Brookings analysis on the wide geographic distribution of cleantech patents, report co-author Mark Muro tells Axios that the relatively narrow concentration of VC dollars suggests that promising climate-friendly ideas aren't getting VC money.
  • The vast majority of VC funding goes to more mature companies, while there's a declining slice of the pie over the last decade for riskier, early stage companies trying to create "radically" better climate-friendly tech. That means "fewer novel and potentially game-changing technologies are getting past the early stage."
  • On a related note, a handful of tech areas—efficiency, smart grids, storage, solar, bioenergy, and transportation—received about 80 percent of the funding between 2011-2016, while technologies including advanced nuclear are missing out.

What Brookings recommends: Support for federal programs that Trump wants to ax, like the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and loan guarantees. It also makes the case for programs like the Cyclotron Road incubator at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.At the state level, one suggestion is having existing "green banks" in places like New York and Hawaii expand operations to finance riskier technologies.In the private sector, cleantech money should experiment with new financing models, like greater funding by corporations and corporate VC arms.The good news: There's some reason for optimism for early stage cleantech funding, via developments like the $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund recently launched by Bill Gates and other investors.

Go deeper

Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 21,056,850 — Total deaths: 762,293— Total recoveries: 13,100,902Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m ET: 5,306,215 — Total deaths: 168,334 — Total recoveries: 1,796,309 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health — FDA releases first-ever list of medical supplies in shortage.
  4. States: California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  7. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.