The Cleantech Group and Deloitte have released preliminary first quarter (1Q) 2010 results for clean technology venture investments in North America, Europe, China and India, which total $1.9 billion across 180 companies.
Cleantech venture investment was up 29% from the previous quarter and up 83% from the same period a year ago. The number of deals recorded in 1Q 2010 represents a new record total, edging ahead of the previous high set in the fourth quarter of 2009 (4Q 2009).
Growth in cleantech venture investment was matched by new investment from utilities and corporations. Total capacity additions announced by utilities increased in 1Q 2010 compared to 4Q 2009, as government incentives spurred spending on the part of companies.
In the U.S., wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) remained the most attractive energy sources for utilities due to extended tax credits, while utilities also focused on smart grid projects boosted by significant federal grants, underscored by Florida Power & Light Co., Duke Energy and CenterPoint Energy, which each received $200 million grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.
In the corporate space, direct investments announced during 1Q 2010 increased by 140% quarter-over-quarter compared to 4Q 2009, primarily by energy and consumer and industrial products companies.
Royal Dutch Shell, General Motors and Valero Energy announced significant investments in biomass and wind projects. Solar PV, wind and smart grid continue to be attractive sectors for top utilities and corporations looking to invest in clean technologies.