Clean technology venture investment reached record heights in 2008 despite the economic downturn. Figures published in the USA show global investment in this area was €6.3 billion.
According to clean technology investment company CleanTech, even with the impact of the credit crisis and the onset of growing recession, clean technology venture investment reached $8.4 billion (€6.3 billion) globally in 2008. This is a significant increase on the previous year, with the total investment growing by 38% from $6.1 billion (€4.7 billion).
Sectors attracting the most investment were solar, biofuels, transport and wind. Overall, solar technologies accounted for 40% of total clean technology investment in 2008. Biofuels were next, representing 11%. In terms of specific technologies, there were significant investments in thin-film solar, concentrated solar-thermal and solar provider companies. In addition, next generation biofuel gathered serious support, with heavy investment in first-generation ethanol and synthetic biology companies.
Within Europe and Israel, clean technology venture investment totalled €1.4 billion, up 43% from 2007 and 21% of the global total. The traditionally strong energy-generation sector increased its share of total investment to 71%. Solar technologies were the strongest performers in Europe and Israel, attracting €454 million in investments. Energy efficiency received a total of €106 million, or 8%, of the total invested.
Germany had the most growth in clean technology investment, attracting €295 million, an increase of 217% on 2007. In doing so, it overtook the UK as the European country receiving the most venture capital in 2008. This was helped by the fact that the Europe’s largest solar deal of 2008 involved a €103 million investment in Berlin-based solar thin-film manufacturer Sulfurcell Solartechnik.
CleanTech predicts global focus should shift to energy efficiency as the next job-creation and economic engine. It believes energy efficiency will be a common denominator between investments in generating green jobs and renewed clean infrastructure in 2009.
CleanTech Group: http://www.cleantech.com/
A September 2008 International Labour Organisation (ILO) study forecasts that reducing climate change should lead to the creation of millions of jobs worldwide. Specifically, the development of alternative energy should create more than 20 million jobs globally. Equally, investment in improved energy efficiency in buildings could generate an additional 2 million to 3.5 million green jobs in Europe and the USA.
‘Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World’ (ILO report): http://www.ilo.org/global/What_we_do/Publications/Newreleases/lang--en/docName--WCMS_098503/index.htm