combination of climate change concern, return on investment and rising
energy costs has led to increased interest in cleantech investment, according to Ernst & Young. The
U.S. in particular has 301 venture-backed cleantech companies involved
in the solar or biofuel industry that have received cumulative
investments of US$7.29 billion. Following a few steps behind are solar
investments in Europe (203 companies), China (25) and Israel (16).
Investment in four solar companies in China amounted to US$56 million.
A study by Ernst & Young found that of the 150 global companies surveyed, 90% were undertaking some form of climate change initiative, with disclosed financial commitments totalling US$276 billion for the next ten years.
A second study found that the cleantech investment market is set to flourish even further, with 35% of corporate venture capital programs planning to increase their investments in cleantech companies next year, and 44% planning an increase over the next five years.
Overall investment in the cleantech industry as a proportion of global venture capital investment as a whole is up from 1.6% of total investment in 2003 to 11% in 2008.
By Síle Mc Mahon