The annual cleantech investing numbers are out from the good folks at the Cleantech Group, and gosh darnit they’re just as high as you’d expect. For 2007 cleantech investment in North America and Europe rose to $5.18 billion. Geez — that’s up from $3.6 billion in 2006, $2.5 billion in 2005, and $1.8 billion 2004.
Can that growth be sustained in 2008? (Bubble?) We’ll see, but maybe not if the U.S., and particularly California, are still carrying a significant portion of the investment dollars next year. Even though the U.S. lags behind many European countries when it comes to environmental regulation, North American-based companies received “over 3x the investment of European-based companies,” with $3.95 billion in investment in 2007, and of that companies building energy-generation technology and based in California received $966 million; European companies brought in $1.23 billion in 2007.
The report predicts that cleantech venture dollars will remain strong this year, too. Co-founder and chairman of the Cleantech Group, Nicholas Parker, says: “We foresee continued growth over 2008 as the cleantech market cycle moves from early adoption to mainstream driver of wealth and job creation.” While we don’t doubt “continued growth” in 2008, we’d be surprised to see the same kind of growth from 2006 to 2007 in a maturing market cycle.
What kind of companies are getting the dollars? The report says eight of the top 10 solar financing rounds since 1999 occurred in 2007. And good ol’ Project Better Place, Shai Agassi’s electric vehicle infrastructure company, along with Austin’s thin-film solar startup Heliovolt made it into the top five largest cleantech rounds of 2007. See below:
Five Largest Cleantech Rounds in 2007:
- Isofoton SA, Spain, $205 million
- Brazilian Renewable Energy Co., Brazil, $200 million
- Project Better Place, U.S., $200 million
- Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., China, $118 million
- HelioVolt Corp, U.S., $101 million
Annual Cleantech Venture Funding:
- 2007: $5.18 billion
- 2006: $3.6 billion
- 2005: $2.5 billion
- 2004: $1.8 billion
- 2003: $1.7 billion
- 2002: $899 million
- 2001: $714 million
Top Cleantech IPOs:
- Iberdrola Renovables
- Polypore Intl Inc
- LDK Solar
- Yingli Green Energy Holding Co.
- JA Solar Holdings Co.
Top Cleantech Acquisitions Closed in 2007. The combined value of the M&A transactions was $8.76 billion:
- Horizon Wind Energy LLC (US)
- SULO GmbH (Germany)
- Actaris Metering Systems Ltd (Germany)
- Metal Management Inc. (U.S.)
- Airtricity North America (U.S.)