Global ‘cleantech’ investment drops amid downturn -- survey

“2009 venture investment was down 33% from $8.5 billion in 2008, paralleling the global economic decline of the same period. However, investment in cleantech declined less than other sectors. While overall venture capital has retreated back to 2003 levels, according to the U.S. NVCA [National Venture Capital Association], cleantech venture capital has been reset only to 2007 levels,” the report states.

The report finds that solar technology attracted the most investment in 2009, accounting for 21 percent of the total. A solar company also had the biggest single funding round – California solar panel maker Solyndra, Inc. attracted $198 million.

Solyndra’s fundraising allowed it to complete an agreement for a $535 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department to construct a new manufacturing plant, the first guarantee issued under a program authorized in a 2005 energy law to support low-emissions energy projects and technologies.