The first full-year figures are in, and they show what many industry entrepreneurs and analysts already suspected -- that 2007 was a banner year for greentech investment.
New Energy Finance said Wednesday that clean-energy companies globally pulled in a whopping $117.3 billion in public and private funding in 2007. That's 41 percent more than the $83 billion the London-based research firm tracked in 2006.
Increased government support in clean energy around the world contributed to investors' willingness to back clean-energy companies and assets, according to New Energy Finance.
The biggest chunk of money, $54.5 billion, went to financing projects and other assets, particularly in wind power, which pulled in $24.8 billion.
Biofuel projects and assets garnered $27.9 billion, despite some ethanol plant construction being put on hold due to shrinking margins.
And venture capital and private equity doled out $8.5 billion, up 27 percent from the previous year. More of that money shifted to early-stage companies -- which raked in $1.8 billion, compared to $800 million in 2006 -- as increased competition made it harder for investors to find value in later-stage deals.
But New Energy Finance isn't the only one tracking the green-energy space. As previous quarters have already demonstrated, investment numbers can vary widely depending on who does the counting, and full-year numbers for 2007 aren't likely to change that.
The National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Financial said Wednesday the United States saw no cleantech IPOs in 2007, while 86 venture-backed companies overall hit the U.S. public markets last year, more than doubling public fundraising to $10.3 billion.
That's because the sector is still young, said Emily Mendell, vice president of strategic affairs for the National Venture Capital Association, who added that the cleantech sector saw five acquisitions last year, with an average deal value of $84.97 million each.