Clean tech 2010 predictions: Venture capital rises

The Cleantech Group today unveiled 10 trends to watch in 2010. The company helps spur the development and marketing of environmentally friendly technologies.

They predict that global venture capital and private equity in the sector will exceed 2009 levels by a "healthy margin." Venture capital flows slowed this year to roughly 2007 levels, they said.

The company also listed nine other trends to watch. Among them: rising concern about constraints on resources, such as lithium needed for batteries used in electric vehicles.

Still, unprecedented levels of “green and clean” stimulus money means cities, states, provinces and countries are now competing to grow cleantech businesses, to bring innovation to market, to attract inward investment and to brand themselves as hubs of cleantech growth.

"It’s no longer about trading our way out of the carbon crisis, it’s about inventing new industries," the prediction says.

Elsewhere, they see greater investor focus on waste-to-energy, geothermal and better fish-farming methods.

“With current approaches to aquatic farming proving largely unsustainable, and increasing concerns over ocean toxicity and species imbalance, new thinking and technologies are emerging about how to sustainably harvest food from the sea,” their forecast states.

“We believe aquaculture is poised to become a breakout agriculture category, in much in the same way biology-based natural pesticides have become an important area of focus for innovation and private investment,” they conclude.

Cross-posted on E2-Wire.