I’m not sure how much of a surprise this will be for people, but news is 45% of cleantech investments in April ($330 million) were investments in solar power startups. The other cleantech categories receiving large investments included:
- LED Lighting — $61.5 million
- Wind Power — $44.8 million
- Fuel cells & energy storage — $38.4 million
- Smart Grid — $25.3 million
- Biofuels — $15 million
- Power conversion & efficiency — $12.2 million
- Tidal power — $6 million
- Clean fossil fuel burning — $2 million
- Transportation — $700,000
Now, while I think it’s great news that investment in solar energy (as well as these other cleantech sectors) is continuing strong, I don’t want to detract from the fact that we don’t, technically, need any scientific breakthroughs anymore to address climate change (and haven’t for awhile). While I generally take this as a given, it has hit me recently that many people not so involved in this arena might think that we do. A few recent posts on Climate Progress recently brought this potential public and political confusion to the forefront for me. So, more than usual, I’m going to try to emphasize that while R&D and significant technological breakthroughs are great(!) and could go a long way in helping us address critical environmental issues (most notably, global climate change), we are not waiting on any breakthroughs to make truly clean, renewable energy a legitimate solution that can be implemented NOW.
OK, enough with the tangent?
In total, venture capital investments in cleantech companies came to $2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2011. The $330 million invested through 26 deals in April was a bit lower than the average this year, but projections are that investments will pick up again and 2011 will be a big year for cleantech. And solar is expected to remain a big investment sector.
- International Solar PV Nearly Doubled, PV Growth Doubled in 2010
- U.S. Poised for Wind and Solar Power Boom
- Solar Power Almost as Cheap as Natural Gas in Six States
- Lowe’s Bringing Solar Power to More People (with Help of Sungevity)
- Cleantech Investment Sees Huge Increase, Creams Record in 2010
Image via VentureBeat