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Cleantech Venture Investments Up 13% in 2011 — Solar the Leader

As emerging clean technology companies reach stages of growth that require enormous amounts of deployment capital, investment figures for 2011 reflect that market dynamic.

Last year, global corporate and venture capital investments in cleantech grew 13% over 2010, reaching almost $9 billion, according to preliminary figures released from the Cleantech Group. Most of those investments are going to companies that have already picked up one or more rounds of funding, with 85% of dollars flowing into Series B rounds or later.

The most stunning increase in activity last year was in mergers and acquisitions, which grew by 154% in 2011. Because it’s often more attractive for cleantech companies to merge with a mature corporate parent rather than go public, the amount of exits in M&A have shot up dramatically. […]

Growing Pains for Electric Vehicle Manufacturers

One estimate says more than 600,000 EVs could be on U.S. roads by 2014, but that’s a speck in the rear-view mirror compared to the 140 million passenger cars Americans already drive. And, high vehicle costs combined with range anxiety makes many consumers leery to get off gasoline. So is the EV industry accelerating or running out of juice?

energyNOW! correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan looked at the independent carmakers and big auto companies trying to charge up the transition to EVs and convince American drivers that going electric is really worth it.

U.S. Armed Forces Creating Clean Energy Innovations

The Department of Defense has made headlines for using biofuels to power its’ planes and ships, but clean energy innovations may have a bigger impact by reducing the carbon bootprint of military while saving lives on the battlefield. New technologies are reducing the weight of equipment soldiers carry into battle, powering military bases, and creating a fleet of electric vehicles.