In the first quarter, investment in the emerging US cleantech sector reached its highest since the global financial crisis began in 2008, according to a report by San Francisco-based consulting company Cleantech Group.
If it keeps up, the sector is on track to the highest investment amount since the sector began being tracked in 2002. It could be a record year. The total amount invested for the quarter was $2.57 billion, which was up 31 percent from a year earlier.
The company says the number of cleantech deals reached 159, which was actually the lowest since mid 2009, but the amount of investment money involved was higher. Sheeraz Haji, CEO of Cleantech Group has said,
“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”
The Cleantech Group said the sector has been helped along by some recent initial public offereings, such as Tesla Motors.
Investments in solar reached $641 million, with the largest going to BrightSource Energy Inc. Another large chunk of investment money went into electric vehicles ($311 million).
The most number of investment deals came from the likes of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Vantage Point Venture Partners, the venture capital arms of General Electric Co and Google Inc, and Khosla Ventures.
Image: BrightSource Solar Power Cluster, CC licensed by pgegreenenergy