While it might have been a tough year for most investments on Wall Street, venture capital funding into alternative energies really took off in 2008, setting records.
This story posted on CNET News quotes a Cleantech Group report that says those investments jumped to $8.4 billion, a 38 percent increase from the previous year:
Solar investments helped drive the growth, capturing 40 percent of green-tech investments. Thin-film solar deals did particularly well, capturing the three largest investments in green technology last year.
NanoSolar raised $300 million last year, followed by Solyndra with venture investments of $219 million and SoloPower with $200 million.
Cleantech Group’s senior research director, Brian Fan, said in a statement:
2008 saw solar take a 40 percent share of clean-technology venture investment dollars, led by mega investment rounds in thin-film solar, concentrated solar thermal, and solar-service provider companies.
Investors also continued to migrate from first-generation ethanol and biodiesel technologies to next-generation biofuels technologies, led by algae and synthetic biology companies. Other sectors with healthy investor interest included smart-grid companies, small-scale wind turbines, plastics recycling, green buildings, and agriculture technologies.
Biofuels… ethanol, biodiesel, synthetic biology, and algae… are the next biggest sector, capturing 11 percent of green-tech venture investments in 2008 with electric vehicles, advanced batteries, and fuel cells, grabbing 9.5 percent. Worldwide, the U.S. raised the most in green-tech venture funding.