Most venture capitalists and entrepreneurs expect greentech investments to increase next year, according to a survey released by KPMG on Tuesday.
About half of the survey respondents said they expect greentech investments to jump by 20 percent or more in 2009, while 34 percent of respondents see an increase between 10 percent and 19 percent from 2008 to 2009, the survey showed.
KPMG, a tax and auditing firm, polled 301 VCs, company executives and bankers. The respondents believe investments will go to a variety of greentech sectors in the next two years: 15 percent of those polled said energy storage would get the most funding, while 14 percent expect investments to favor clean coal and another 14 percent expect wind to lead the charge. Eleven percent of the respondents pegged alternative fuels as the most attractive, while 10 percent named solar.
The firm regularly surveys the greentech community to distill trends in funding and exits. In July, KPMG released a survey showing that VCs expect initial public offerings to remain slow through 2009 (see KPMG: VCs Expect Slow IPOs Until 2010).
The fall of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and other U.S. financial institutions, which has a significant impact on the global capital markets, will likely make IPOs even more unattractive.
Already, Schott Solar has decided to postpone its IPO. The German company originally planned to announce its offering price range on Sunday, but decided to put it off because of "the current high volatilities in international capital markets," reported the Reuters.
The turmoil in the financial market has raised concerns about the ability of solar and wind companies to raise large rounds for building power plants in the near term (see Lehman's Fall to Create Greentech Woes).
Venture capitalists have continued to make large bets in greentech, however. For example, thin-film solar startup Nanosolar received a whopping $300 million last month while eSolar raked in $130 million in April (see Nanosolar Confirms $300M Funding and Funding Roundup: Solar-Thermal Heats Up Despite Cool VC Climate).
Eric Wesoff, a senior analyst with Greentech Media, plans to release his third-quarter Venture Power Report next week and intends to post a summary of the report on Greentech Media's Green Light blog later this week. In his blog post today, he listed the top 10 greentech venture deals of 2008 so far (see Green Light post).
In spite of the growing funding, 67 percent of the respondents in the KPMG study said they don't foresee a greentech investment bubble. Some analysts have previously cautioned that a bubble could be in the making (see Dancing on the Edge of a Bubble, Lux Predicts Solar Bubble About to Burst and Solar Roundup: New Projects, Financing and Materials).
About 60 percent of the respondents expect most of the money investing in the United States will go to companies in the West. But 14 percent of those polled see more investments going to the Southwestern region of the country, while 13 percent believe investors will favor the Midwest, 9 percent anticipate the Northeast will get more cash and 4 percent expect the Southeast to lead the charge.
KPMG also asked the respondents to predict investment activity beyond the United States, China and India. Twenty-eight percent expect Brazil to receive a large share of international investments, while 27 percent point to Israel. Russia got the nod from 11 percent of the respondents and South Korea received votes from 10 percent.