With the election now behind us and a Democrat-controlled Washington, DC to be installed next year, I thought I'd share some quick non-linear thoughts on what this may mean for cleantech VC.  Just one investor's thoughts, to be taken for whatever they're worth: 1.  Overall, this is probably a very good thing for the U.S. cleantech venture capital industry.  While private equity overall is likely to come under greater scrutiny by policymakers (see below), there seems to be emerging consensus in D.C. that in general cleantech markets, green jobs, and early-stage investors should be supported. With some important caveats (also see below), hard to see many of the likely supportive policies for cleantech being filibustered... 2.  There are cogent arguments to be made on both side in the general debate about divided government vs. unified government.  But since there's been a stalemate on energy policy issues for some time now, and a consensus around policies that are generally supportive of alternative energy, some impetus and lined-up legislators to get ANYTHING done is probably a good thing for our industry in particular, at least in the near-term. 3.  I expect to see an economic stimulus package as one of the very first moves, perhaps even during the lame-duck period before new congress and president are sworn in.  And I expect to see incentives in support of "green collar jobs growth" in there. 4.  I think there's a decent chance that carbon policy is one of the major policy initiatives that could be tackled by Congress and the Obama Administration in 2009.  I admit this thought flies in the face of Conventional Wisdom (CW) right now, which says that such things might be pushed back given current economic crisis and other challenges.  But the new Administration will be looking for early "wins" that can be bi- or at least non-partisan.  Reaching out to McCain to co-lead the drafting of a carbon policy initiative fits the bill for a "purple" issue that cuts across party lines (and is in fact geographically-driven).  Any such 2009 carbon policy I would expect to be pretty toothless and incentive-laden in order to keep southern and midwestern Senators onsides.  For example, it wouldn't be surprising to see a cap-and-trade scheme proposed with aggressive long-term emissions reduction goals, but lacking an auction for the initial allocation of credits, and with a generous allocation for the initial phase (as happened with EU ETS Phase I).  Also, likely generous carve-outs for ways (like energy efficiency as a source of offsets, and a Clean Development Mechanism type way to import inexpensive offsets) that southern utilities could more easily meet their needs.  Such a policy would mean that offsets would be low-value during the initial phase and trading volumes would likely be somewhat light.  But proponents of cap-and-trade would point to putting it in place as accomplishment enough, and regional legislators opposed to "taxing our consumers" would see some of their concerns mitigated.  ...We'll talk more about carbon trading, etc., soon... 5.  Obama has in the past proposed some kind of a government-funded early stage clean energy VC group.  I don't see that happening, but the concept of federal funds going to such activities may be re-purposed toward an enhanced ARPA-E or similar effort. 6.  Also, while Dan Primack and other observers of private equity policy expect to see some changes to the ways private equity returns are taxed, Obama campaign advisors and others have talked about somehow protecting early stage investors, or otherwise providing incentives for investments in startups below a certain size, as part of "small business creation" efforts. 7.  Will we see a national RPS be proposed?  Probably.  When will it be tackled?  No idea.  Probably not right off the bat, for reasons mentioned in #4 above. 8.  I hope we see better incentives for energy efficiency, the oft-neglected but cheapest and cleanest energy source.  I'm not sure this quote (language warning) gives me hope that'll it'll be elevated above green power generation investments, however... 9.  This sea-change in Washington, DC should mean an even greater interest among investors for putting money into cleantech.  It clears up one of the biggest sources of uncertainty that might have left GPs and LPs on the sideline until now.  But here's hoping it also means less volatility in the capital markets overall, so we can start seeing some cleantech exits again! 10.  I can't wait to see who's tapped for DOE and EPA roles...