Not a week can go by without a declaration of the growth of cleantech investing. Here’s the latest from today: The Cleantech Network says venture capitalists in North America invested close to $1.3 billion in cleantech startups in the third quarter, a 50 percent increase over the second quarter and a 36 percent rise over the third quarter of 2006.
By comparison, the report says VCs in Europe invested $472 million in cleantech, representing a 206 percent surge over the second quarter but a 13 percent decrease from the third quarter of 2006. Together, Europe and North American VCs invested a record of $1.74 billion in the third quarter, bringing the year-to-date investment in cleantech to $3.64 billion, 13 percent higher than the same period in 2006.
What sectors were hot? I think we all know the answer to that one. Energy generation, particularly solar and biofuels, topped the list, with $1.2 billion invested in the third quarter. Solar brought in $410 million in North America and $246 million in Europe. Biofuels companies took in $215 million in North America and $16 million in Europe.