Clean tech has passed biotech and IT as the top venture capital (VC) investment category in the world. This is after investments in leading clean tech markets increased by 10% in the third quarter of this year.
Cleantech Group released findings on Wednesday showing that the cleantech sector “accumulated $1.59 billion across 134 companies” and this was 10% more than the $1.2 billion it had accumulated in the second quarter.
Clean Tech’s Tremendous Growth
Clean tech’s share of the VC market rose by leaps and bounds in the last few years. It has increased from 3% of the market at the beginning of 2004 to 27% of the market at the end of this last quarter. After a big drop last winter (with the rest of the world’s economy), clean tech has been steadily climbing again. However, leaders in the field are still cautious.
Trevor Loy, managing partner of New Mexico-based private equity firm Flywheel Ventures and board member of the National Venture Capital Association, says: “It is certainly refreshing to see signs of momentum in the cleantech sector as well as the broader economy. I do not think, however, that the recent momentum represents a broad enough show of strength to truly represent recovery.”
Government Support and VC Investments
Much of the increases in VC investment seems to be due to government’s support for this sector. Dallas Kachan, managing director of the Cleantech Group, says: “Government investments are giving investors the assurance they need to put capital to work in cleantech.”
As the press release reports: “San Carlos, Calif.-based electric car maker Tesla Motors raised $82.5 million in September, three months after the U.S. Department of Energy granted Tesla a $465 million loan guarantee to build factories” and “Fremont, Calif.-based solar cylinder developer Solyndra raised $198 million after the DOE granted $535 million in a loan guarantee for its new manufacturing facility.”
Top Clean Tech Sectors
The leading clean tech sectors last quarter were 1) solar, 2) transportation and 3) green building. Solar brought in $451 million, transportation $383 million, and green building $310 million.
Top Clean Tech World Regions
The survey covered North America, Europe and Israel, India, and China. The top world regions were North America (67%) and Europe/Israel (29%). China took in 3% and India the remaining 1%.
It looks like clean tech is doing well. The future is uncertain, but the present looks great!
Image Credit 1: Wolfgang Staudt via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image Credit 2: afloresm via flickr under a Creative Commons license
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