In the last decade, cleantech venture capital was about reinventing the electric generator.
It's time to reinvent the utility.
Utilities, as currently structured, exist for one reason: wires. Wires connecting consumers to generators are a natural monopoly, so rather than expecting a competitive market, the market is heavily regulated and overseen by PUCs representing the public's interest. It's true in electricity, just as it's true in wireline communications. Yes, that skews the market, but there's no good alternative in the face of a natural monopoly.
But wires are less important, as distributed generation (so far primarily in the form of rooftop solar, but in the future...