Thursday, February 2, 2012

Leading US Cleantech Investment Sectors in 2011 Q3 and Q4

Overall 2011 was a good year for cleantech investments but some sectors fared better than others. According to Ernst & Young in 2011 the Energy Storage segment led cleantech investment in Q3, while the solar sub-segment led in Q4.

The energy storage segment raised $421.0 million during Q3 2011, representing a 1,932 percent increase during the same period last year and has raised a total of $865.2 million throughout 2011. Fuel cells led this segment with $225.5 million, representing nearly 54 percent of the overall investment in the Energy Storage segment in Q3 2011. The Energy Storage segment had the top three transactions of the quarter, the largest of which was the $150.0 million raised by Bloom Energy.

Cleantech companies in the Energy/Electricity Generation segment raised the second largest amount in Q3 2011 with $255.1 million, a 2 percent decrease from Q3 2010. The Solar sub-segment led investments with $195.8 million, accounting for 77 percent of the sector’s total investment.

In Q3 2011, the Energy Efficiency segment ranked third with respect to total amount invested, with $245.1 million, a 23 percent increase from Q3 2010. The segment, however, led the quarter in rounds of financing with 21 deals, a 31 percent increase from 16 deals in Q3 2010. The largest transaction in this segment was completed by Bridgelux, a provider of light-emitting diode (LED) solutions, which raised $60.0 million.

Companies in the Industry Products and Services segment attracted $132.0 million, a 22 percent decrease from Q3 2010. The segment ranked third in the number of deals with 15 rounds of financing this quarter compared to 13 in Q3 2010. Additionally, biofuel deals continue to lead the Alternative Fuels segment. With $23.5 million raised, HCL CleanTech Ltd., a North Carolina-based company that converts cellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars, secured the top biofuel deal for Q3 2011.

The solar sub-segment received the largest share of cleantech capital in Q4 2011 with US$284.5m. This figure accounted for 91 percent of the sector's total investment of US$312.9m.

The industry products and services segment raised the second-largest amount in 2011, at $1.0bn, down 34 percent from 2010. In Q4 2011, the segment raised $256.2m. The largest deal was for the quarter was completed by Better Place, a Palo Alto, California-based provider of electric car networks, which raised US$201m.

The energy storage segment ranked third in terms of total amount invested in 2011, with US$932.6m invested. The batteries sub-segment led the sector in Q4. Companies in the energy-efficiency segment attracted $646.9m in 2011, a 29 percent decrease from 2010.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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