The Solyndra bankruptcy debate is highlighting a key political weakness in energy innovation policy. Policymakers are unwilling to allow government to be at its best and act like a limited venture capitalist by making a broad number of risky investments in breakthrough clean technologies. These targeted public investments are vital to developing affordable, high performance clean technologies that the private sector is unwilling to support. More so, policymakers should be OK with some of these risky bets failing, as any venture capitalist would come to expect from time to time.
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September 10, 2014