Global clean technology venture and corporate investments totaled nearly $9 billion in 2011, representing a 13% increase over 2010, new research from Cleantech Group finds. In addition, cleantech mergers and acquisitions (M&As) reached record highs in 2011, with 391 deals and a dollar volume of $41.2 billion – a 153% increase over 2010.
Throughout 2011, investment totals grew, while the number of deals declined by 7% compared to 2010. Of the 713 deals, 61% were Series B or later rounds, accounting for 85% of all money invested during the year.
Investments in North America grew significantly, from $5.20 billion in 2010 to $6.81 billion in 2011 – a 30% increase. On the other hand, Europe and Israel took a step back, with $1.30 billion invested in 2011 compared to $1.84 billion in 2010.
In the public markets, China remained strong for cleantech initial public offerings (IPOs): Twenty-eight of the 51 IPOs in 2011 came out of China, led by several massive offerings by large renewable energy corporations such as Sinohydro, Sinovel Wind Group and Huaneng Renewable Energy.
Solar was the leading sector by amount invested ($1.81 billion), followed by energy efficiency ($1.46 billion) and transportation ($1.12 billion).
"While 2011 has been a difficult year for cleantech and venture capital, our 2011 numbers show surging interest in cleantech from global enterprises," says Sheeraz Haji, CEO of Cleantech Group. "Despite some of the well-publicized headwinds, venture capitalists continue to invest in cleantech. Based on our historical data, we believe 2012 will be an all-time record year for global cleantech investments."