Despite the headwinds of the economy and the difficulty of bringing cleantech firms to market, VCs are still investing in cleantech, and early signs indicate that 2012 could be a good year for VC investment totals in this broad field.
Cleantech Group just gave a sneak peak at the VC investment totals for the first few months of 2012 and -- hot off the presses -- the total is $1.5 billion in 110 deals. That's for just the first two months, and the activity in VC picks up in the final month of the quarter, according to Sheeraz Haji, the CEO at Cleantech Group, who said, "I think it will be a good quarter." Haji is also on record as saying that "2011 will be a strong year for cleantech IPOs," which was not the case, but he may have only been off by one year. 2012 is seeing IPO movement from Enphase, BrightSource, Enerkem, and Luca Technologies. Haji added, "This week could mark an inflection point" in the environment for cleantech IPOs.
Here's a view of past VC totals in the sector, according to The Cleantech Group:
- 2006: $4.64 billion
- 2007: $6.58 billion
- 2008: $9.68 billion
- 2009: $6.24 billion
- 2010: $8.04 billion
- 2011: $9.03 billion
Energy Efficiency led 2011 in investment sectors by total number of deals.