Cleantech venture capital and investment strategies have seen huge growth in just the last 8 to 10 years.
In 2001 when numbers first became available, only $500 million was invested in clean technologies. As of 2008, over $8 billion was invested in that year alone in green and other clean technologies.
In fact, cleantech represents over 6000 businesses and over 8000 individual investors with assets north of $3 trillion. The potential growth for these investments is astronomical for the following reasons.
Firstly, more and more people are becoming aware of the environmental damage the current technologies and business as usual approaches have been having on the earth.
Secondly, the world’s population is expected to reach close to 10 billion within the next 20 or so years. This many people, will have to be fed and sheltered and clothed using far more environmentally friendly strategies than we are currently employing. Lastly, international laws will soon be changed to ensure that more and more businesses are becoming environmentally responsible and friendly. There will become stiffer penalties for not taking care of the environment.
As you can see by just scratching the surface, the opportunities for investing in cleantech and other green technologies are in their infancy. There couldn’t be a better time to be putting your money where your heart is. In the decades to come, we will look at cleantech as we once looked at the dot.com boom that happened just a couple of decades ago.
Just to give you an idea of the exponential growth to be seen in this industry, let’s have a look at the number of patents that have been given out in the second quarter of 2009 as compared to the second quarter in 2008. In the second quarter of 2009 the United States granted 274 cleantech patents which is up substantially from the 217 patents that were granted in the second quarter of 2008.
It is interesting to note that in the second quarter of 2009 the United States granted 156 fuel cell patents, 43 wind patents and 36 solar patents. This suggests to us where the money is being spent and invested in these green technologies. Certainly, being a mobile society it is not surprising that most patents have been issued for fuel cells that are used primarily in motor vehicles. In fact, it is interesting to note that Honda led the market in cleantech patents in the second quarter of 2009.
It should not surprise you then, that Japan as a country is in the lead with 75 clean energy patents followed by California with 29 and Michigan and Germany tied for third position at 23 patents apiece.
As a shrewd business people, it would be wise for us to start looking at clean technologies as areas for investing our hard earned capital. There are certainly a ton of opportunities in this niche especially in its infancy. This is an area where more and more venture capital can be seen pouring in, and as such we like to follow the smart money.
If you’ve missed the Internet boom, now is the time to be certain that you get in on the ground floor of green investing.