Business: Coming Clean

Venture Capital Cleantech Investment

By Helen Kaiao Chang

Chart by Jameson Simpson

The country might be going through a recession, but the clean technology industry seems unlikely to feel it in the same way. Venture capital investments in clean companies boomed by nearly 40 percent in 2007 over the previous year, reaching nearly $4 billion. Where is all that green for green going? Energy-related companies—including fuel cells and power transmission—took up the lion’s share of dollars. Water-related companies had the greatest growth rate—up a startling 397 percent—because of new arrivals in this sector. Meanwhile, energy infrastructure dropped 46 percent in 2007, not because of a loss of investor interest, but due to a $130 million round of funding secured by electric grid solutions company Current that spiked the numbers in 2006.

If US gas prices keep rising and global economies continue to expand, clean energy companies are likely to attract more venture money in 2008. A look at how the money broke down in 2007 helps predict some of the investment trends to watch this year.

Issue 25

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