Energy Storage Driving Growth
After a significant drop earlier this year, U.S. investment in cleantech companies was on the rise in the third quarter.
According to an Ernst & Young survey released yesterday, U.S. venture capital investment in cleantech firms totaled $1.1 billion in Q3 2011, an increase of 4 percent from Q2 2011. Compared to the same quarter last year, the $1.1 billion represents a 73 percent growth in dollars invested with the number of deals increasing by 36 percent to 76.
In a positive sign that corporate commitments to managing energy use is reaching a deployment phase, the Energy Storage segment led all cleantech investment during the third quarter of 2011. This segment raised $421 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.
Among Energy Storage sub-categories, fuel cells led this segment with $225.5 million, representing nearly 54 percent of the overall investment. Energy Storage also had the top three transactions of the quarter, with the largest going to Bloom Energy which raised $150 million.
As a segment, Energy/Electricity Generation came in second place raising $255.1 million in Q3 2011. Solar, the dominant sub-segment here, accounted for 77 percent of the sector's total investment with $195.8 million.
Energy Efficiency ranked third 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.
Regionally, California continues to be the national leader in cleantech investment. In the third quarter alone California garnered 52 percent of all dollars with $583.0 million bring the total to nearly $1.8 billion raised so far 2011. The next top states included Massachusetts ($170.4 million), Pennsylvania ($85.4 million) and Oregon ($73.5 million).
Notable U.S. government activity for the quarter included:
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