Al Gore’s commitment to promoting green energy has brought him widespread acclaim, a Nobel Prize and even an Oscar. It’s also brought him more than a pretty penny.
The author of An Inconvenient Truth has swelled his net worth to about $100 million, largely due to his investments in green energy, after being worth less than $2 million during his time as Vice President, The Washington Post reports.
That's big money for the lifelong devotee of environmental responsibility, who in his last year as Vice President only garnered a $181,400 salary. Even the film version of "An Inconvenient Truth," despite being among the top-ten highest grossing documentaries of all time, netted much less than Al Gore earned through investments.
For more on Al Gore's investments in green energy read the full WaPo article..
Gore isn’t the only one who’s betting on green energy. The United States invested $51 billion in renewable energy in 2011 , second only to China in a year where green investments hit a record high.
He also has to thank the Obama administration's 2009 stimulus package. The $80 to $90 billion worth of government investment in green energy has helped to grow many of the companies Gore and his renewable energy-based hedge fund Generation Investment Management have put the majority of their money in. In fact, nine of 11 companies that Gore endorsed during a 2008 presentation on fighting climate change received government investment, WaPo reports.
Few will need reminding, however, that not all investments in green energy turn out to be as sustainable as the technology those dollars hope to bring about. Bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra is one of the primary examples of renewable energy investment gone wrong after the company failed despite a $527 million loan from the U.S. government.
But the success rate of renewable energy companies may be far higher than some, particularly Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, would like to admit. During the first Presidential debate, Romney claimed that over half the green energy companies benefitting from stimulus dollars failed. In fact, just 1.4 percent of the U.S. dollars invested in green energy went to companies that had failed by the end of 2011, CleanTechnica reports.