The sound of cash pouring into the greentech sector echoed twice as loud Monday when GE Energy Financial Services said it plans to double its renewable-energy investments to $6 billion by 2010.
The pledge by the financial unit of tech and service conglomerate General Electric (NYSE: GE) will support a mix of investments that includes both debt and equity.
GE Energy Financial closed more than $2 billion worth of renewable-energy transactions last year.
The unit also said it expects the sector to make up about 25 percent of its overall energy and water portfolio within two years. That's up 10 percent from 2006.
The latest plays by GE Energy Financial include a $300 million investment announced Monday. The funding will go toward a 600-megawatt portfolio of wind farms in Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois and Texas owned by Horizon Wind Energy. The Houston-based wind farm developer is a subsidiary of Portuguese utility company Energias de Portugal.
GE's Energy Financial Services has more than $16 billion in total assets.
Although GE might have the big bucks to throw around, that doesn't mean other heavy and lightweight investors aren't doling out the greenbacks. Here are the some of the deals announced in the past week.
- Ethanol startup Coskata said Sunday it had raised an undisclosed amount from General Motors. The Warrenville, Ill.-based company was founded with a $10 million Series-A round in July 2006 from Khosla Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures and GreatPoint Ventures. Coskata said intends to deliver ethanol for less than $1 per gallon using agricultural and municipal waste (see With GM Deal in Hand, Coskata Promises $1 Ethanol).
- Khosla Ventures said Saturday it had made an undisclosed investment in eco-friendlier auto developer EcoMotors. The company is working on a diesel engine capable of delivering 100 miles per gallon by 2011.
- Waste-to-energy company EnerTech Environmental said Tuesday it had snagged $42 million in a second round of funding. Citigroup's Sustainable Development Investments unit and the Masdar Clean Tech Fund led the round, and Nimes Capital and CNM contributed. The company said it would use the money to develop five plants to convert not-so-pleasant wastes, such as sewage sludge, into renewable energy ( see EnerTech Grabs $42M to Turn Sewage Into Energy). In total, EnerTech's total venture capital is about $57 million.
- Friday saw another waste-to-energy move when startup Ze-gen said it had closed $2.5 million in venture debt from Pinnacle Ventures. Boston-based Ze-gen uses gasification technology to convert municipal waste into synthetic gas and electricity. The company said it expects to start construction on a full-scale commercial facility by the end of the year. In total Ze-gen has raised more than $8 million in financing.
- Yellowstone Capital Partners said Wednesday it is launching a $50 million alternative- and renewable-energy fund (see Yellowstone Capital Launches $50M Greentech Fund). The fund is quite a jump in investment dollars when compared to the Houston-based firm's first greentech fund, which closed at $10 million in 2005.
- Tuesday, BlueFire Ethanol Fuels said it had closed $15 million from Quercus Trust to turn waste into ethanol. The bulletin board-traded company plans to use cellulosic waste that would have otherwise ended up in a Southern California landfill.