Financing clean tech


With the signing of the Sustainable Development Goals and the and the Paris Agreement, it is important to ensure we have a better understanding of the means of financing clean tech (or clean technologies) in areas such as electric mobility, energy efficiency and the use of new materials. This project therefore aims to take an in-depth look at the conditions and mechanisms for financing clean tech.

​​Project description (ongoing research project)

In order to keep the increase in global temperatures to below 2°C, experts estimate that investments totalling around 12.1 trillion US dollars will be required in the field of clean tech. Given the scale of investments required, it is particularly important to understand the obstacles to financing clean tech companies. This project intends to examine in detail the conditions and mechanisms for financing clean tech.


In Switzerland, the 2010 Swiss Cleantech Masterplan set itself the goal of strengthening the innovative capacities of Swiss companies in the clean tech sector.


Initially, we will analyse the influence of political uncertainty on investments. Clean technologies are heavily dependent on the continuity and stability of public policies. Political uncertainty can curb investment as it casts too great a doubt on the returns on innovation. We will then examine how new financing models (e.g. crowd funding and venture capital) can help attract new investors to the clean tech sector.


To answer these questions, the project is drawing on scientific knowledge from the fields of environmental economics and innovation management. By also involving stakeholders from the economic, financial and political spheres, it will also contribute towards an understanding of how Switzerland can create a context conducive to the development of expertise in the clean tech sector and thus promote a sustainable economy.

Original title

Financing investments in clean technologies

Project leader

Project leaders

  • Dr. Joëlle Noailly, Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement, Genève
  • Prof. Dr. Gaétan de Rassenfosse, EPFL

Project partner

  • Carbon Delta
  • CleanTech Capital
  • CleantechAlps
  • Emerald Technology Ventures
  • Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP)
  • Jadeberg Partners
  • OECD
  • Switzerland Global Enterprise
  • Venture Kick



Further information on this content



Dr. Joëlle Noailly Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement IHEID CIES
Case postale 1672
1211 Genève 1 +41 22 908 62 22

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