Betting Big On Clean Energy

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Venture capitalists have been pouring billions of dollars into "clean-energy" start-ups -- producers of solar panels, biodiesel fuel and even eco-friendly drywall.

While it is too early for most investors to see a big payoff from these deals, some early winners and losers have begun to emerge, creating a possible road map for future green investments.

To date, few clean-energy investments have resulted in blockbuster initial public offerings or multibillion-dollar acquisitions, which is how venture capitalists make their money. That's because many of these companies are capital-intensive long-term bets: It could take years for them to build the manufacturing plants and perfect the technology required to produce their products, so any profits are years away.

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