Global research firm Cleantech has revealed that global investment in green technology for Q1 2011 totalled US$2.57 billion, with the solar sector accounting for US$641 million. Investment came from 159 companies in North America, Europe, China and India, and was up 13% on the figure of US$2.28 billion from the same period last year.
In addition to being responsible for one quarter of the total investment figure, the 26 separate rounds of funding secured by solar made it the most popular sector in terms of the total number of deals. Among the leading investment recipients were BrightSource Energy (US$201 million), MiaSole (US$106 million), Alta Devices (US$72 million) and SoloPower (US$13.5 million).
“In the first few months of the new year there have been a rash of large later-stage deals which have propelled 1Q11 to the second highest quarter ever for cleantech VC investment,” Cleantech’s CEO Sheeraz Haji said. “It’s encouraging to see some big private equity firms entering the space and continued strength with M&As.”