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Green Companies Get the Green

19 June 2008 No Comment

By Helen Kaiao Chang

This story originally appeared in Plenty Magazine.

Maybe the country is going through a recession, but the clean technology industry sure isn’t feeling it. Venture capital investments in clean companies boomed by nearly 30 percent in 2007 over the previous year, reaching a whopping $4 billion last year.

Venture capitalists invest money into companies in exchange for a slice of ownership, which they hope to sell for huge profits when the company goes for a public stock-exchange listing or is bought by a larger company. Energy-related companies – including biofuels, wind, solar, fuel cells and transmission — took up the lion’s share of dollars. Water-related companies had the greatest growth rate – up 80 percent – because of more companies in this sector. Meanwhile, energy infrastructure dropped 85 percent in 2007, not because of loss of investor interest, but due to a single huge deal which spiked the numbers in 2006.

If U.S. gas prices rise more and global economies keep expanding, clean energy companies are sure to attract more venture money this year.

Venture Capital Investments in Clean Technology Companies (North America):

2007                            Growth over 2006        % of Total

Energy Generation                 $    2,143,490,951              33%                      54%

Energy Storage                        $       376,765,000               7%                       10%

Transportation                        $       350,705,000             54%                         9%

Energy Efficiency                   $       254,445,000             11%                         6%

Recycling & Waste                  $       209,952,000             30%                         5%

Energy Infrastructure          $       151,120,000            -85%                        4%

Materials                                    $       140,260,000             20%                         4%

Agriculture                               $       118,350,000             35%                         3%

Water & Wastewater              $       114,700,000             80%                         3%

Air & Environment                $         71,670,000              54%                        2%

Manufacturing                         $         21,600,000               5%                         1%

TOTAL                                         $    3,952,527,951              28%                      100%

Source: Cleantech Group, www.cleantech.com

Helen Kaiao Chang is a ghostwriter, editor and journalist. She can be reached at www.ghostwriter-needed.com.

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenChang

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