cleantech insights

Top 5 Cleantech Predictions For 2012: The Expanded International Version

Greg Neichin

It’s that time of the year when pundits and prognosticators begin to opine about what will happen in 2012.   Frankly, I don’t like this game.  In mid-2001, I worked for a technology “futurist” firm and wrote a piece predicting that CD-R/W music players would continue to dominate in the year ahead.  That was a couple months before the ipod came on the market and made me look like a fool.  Not that I mind looking like a fool, but I think I’ve shied away from these declarations ever since.

However, I was inspired this week by Rob Day (@cleantechvc) to throw my hat back into the ring.  Why? Because Rob actually went back and wrote a post critiquing the predictions he made from the previous year.  I found this remarkable precisely because most analysts write these odes with zero accountability.  As an investor, Rob actually has to bet on his predictions, so I enjoyed his self-critique.  I promise to do the same – someone hold me to it!

So without further adieu, here are my top 5, slightly irreverent, predictions for cleantech internationally in the year ahead. Why international? Because I’ve spent most of the last 6 …


Water: Week in Review


Water infrastructure received a lot of attention this week, but in other areas of water, it was relatively quiet.  While there weren’t too many big news announcements regarding new partnerships, investments, or projects, a good number of water companies (i.e. Innovyze, Elster AMCO Water, ACCIONA Agua, etc.) did manage to secure new customers.  To view which companies were particularly active, take a look on i3, where you can filter news by tags or topic.

M&A/ Partnerships


  • Wastewater utility Missouri American Water completed an $11m water system improvement project in Jefferson City, Missouri, designed by Black & Veatch.  The project, which replaced water infrastructure that was 50 to 120 years old, has improved the water pipelines and pumping station that deliver water from the Missouri River to the treatment plant.
  • Rijn & IJssel Water Board is replacing an outdated sewage treatment plant in the Dutch town of Dinxperlo by a new one,

Water: Week in Review


M&A/ Partnerships

  • Rotork announced the acquisition of Fairchild Industrial Products Company, a manufacturer of high-precision pneumatic controls and power transmission products. The acquisition is in line with Rotork’s strategy of strengthening its presence in the global flow control market, as part of which the Group also announces the creation of a new division, Rotork Instruments. Rotork Instruments will focus on developing further opportunities in the flow control market; in particular, products associated with flow and pressure control and diagnostic and information gathering technology.
  • Artesian Water Maryland, a subsidiary of Artesian Resources Corporation, completed the purchase of several Cecil County-owned water systems located in the eastern portion of the county and serving approximately 1,500 customers. Artesian paid Cecil County $2.176 million for the water systems.


  • A custom-built 2.64 MGD (10,000 m³/d) seawater reverse-osmosis (SWRO) plant consisting of four trains operating in parallel is being installed in eastern Russia, off the coast of Vladivostok, by Aqua-Chem Inc of the USA. Aqua-Chem, which was contracted to provide a turnkey design/build project, will commission the first train in the coming weeks.
  • A pilot demonstration of a solar-power desalination system will be deployed in the spring of 2012 at the US

Registration is Now Open for Cleantech Forum Munich 2012!

Hannah Gustafson

The global Cleantech Forum series comes to Europe in 2012 for the 8th year running. For the first time the backdrop will be Bavaria, the geographical center of Europe, globally-renowned for its technical expertise and research and engineering skills.

Cleantech Forum Munich 2012, April 16-18, 2012 at the Sofitel Munich, will bring together leading European and international cleantech corporations, investors, innovators, government and regional officials and service providers for the continent’s most important cleantech event of the year.

Don’t miss out on three days of a leading conference agenda, experienced keynote speakers and networking with top clean technology leaders. Reserve your place now to save $300 with early registration pricing.

Check back as the agenda develops over the next month.…

Please Join Me in San Francisco

Sheeraz Haji

With the holiday season in full swing and a new year just around the corner, we at the Cleantech Group are focused on identifying the key sector trends and opportunities poised to shape the 2012 global clean technology agenda.

I am pleased to invite you to join me in San Francisco, March 26-28, as we explore these opportunities and discuss the business, investment, and partnership strategies that will help you make the strongest decisions involving cleantech innovation in 2012.

Cleantech Forum San Francisco is internationally recognized as the premier cleantech event influencing global venture and equity investment, business formation, mergers and acquisitions, and government policy. More than 700 professionals at the forefront of cleantech innovation and investment – corporate leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, and policy makers – come to San Francisco to directly engage with the leaders of global cleantech markets.

The 2012 Forum will mark our 10 year anniversary and the theme is “The Power of Global Partnerships,” an exploration of how strategic relationships – between entrepreneurs, corporations and governments – are playing an ever more important role in the future of clean technology.

We recently announced our first round of speakers and a preliminary agenda that includes David Crane,

Ford’s ‘Power of Choice’ Tour Stops in San Francisco – Is Detroit Leading Again?


I sold my car when I moved to San Francisco. I have my Zipcar membership, and as a sustainability nut am quite content riding public transportation in the city. But I know that, eventually, my dream job as a soccer dad will require that I once again own my own wheels.

Though Ford was not among the American auto makers to receive a bailout from the federal government during the height of the financial crisis, the company did find itself saddled with some of the negative stigma assigned en masse to American auto companies who have for some time been seen as latecomers to the cleantech table. For many American drivers in my generation, ‘buying American’ has seemed more of a patriotic decision – not one based on quality. I assumed I’d end up buying a Prius. After attending the San Francisco stop of Ford’s ‘Power of Choice’ tour yesterday, however, the company may have found its way back onto my short list.

Hosted by Dan Kapp, Director of Powertrain Research & Advanced Engineering at Ford, the session was attended by Ford dealerships, representatives of the City of San Francisco, and interested members of the media.

Ford certainly seems to …

Weekly Investment Highlights (Dec 9, 2011)

Hans Chen

Each week our research team tracks cleantech transactions across the globe. This week we recorded 73 investments, 14 M&As, 336relationships and 45 other news items. Below are some of the highlights. The complete version of the weekly roundup can be found here.

New Investments

New Mergers & Acquisitions

New Relationships

  • ECOtality and Silver Spring Networkshave formed a Technology Partnership. ECOtality has agreed to integrate its Blink electric vehicle (EV) charging stations

Five good reasons to launch a Cleantech magazine

Parker Snyder

When I first asked Polish inventor Robert Dwilinski of Ammono if his new laser crystal could be sold as a cleantech product, he said he had never heard of cleantech. That’s too bad, because his product and others like it may enable the next generation of energy efficient consumer products.

In Poland, and elsewhere in Central Europe, many inventors like Robert aren’t able to discover their products’ cleantech aspects by themselves. It’s cases like these that are prohibiting the sector from unleashing its full potential. That’s why we started a magazine – to help them better understand the context in which cleantech markets develop. The next natural step is then to foster interactions with people, whom they might not otherwise meet, to enable serendipitous developments.

This is what Cleantech Poland is aiming to achieve on a local level through its publications and business community. Here is a picture of our launch event, which we hosted to get people of different stripes talking. Potentially, the man with a water-efficient fire hydrant nozzle can talk to the man with an energy efficient crystal, and both will realize they can sell the product for its environmental, resource saving features. Perhaps a person with …

Water: Week in Review


After all the activity this week, we can expect to see new desalination plants pop up in exciting places all over the world, including Qatar, Singapore, South Australia, Djibouti, and Saudi Arabia.  To find out what else is going on in water around the world, continue reading below:

M&A/ Partnerships

Sheeraz Haji to Chair World Water-Tech Investment Summit

Guest Contributor Jennie Moss

As investor interest in the water sector gathers momentum, we need to identify exactly which technologies will have the greatest impact on the global water market and, therefore, where the best financial returns might be found.

The World Water-Tech Investment Summit, taking place in London on February 28-29 2012, offers the cleantech community in-depth insight into two of the most exciting areas of innovation in water today:

•             Wastewater reuse and energy recovery

•             Smart infrastructure and metering

The program features an interesting mix of international water companies, active investors, and technology start-ups, and will drill down into exactly where the best opportunities lie for investors in this space.

Cleantech Group’s CEO, Sheeraz Haji, will chair the final panel, which will determine the critical success factors for new water technologies, including the potential for global expansion and replication, and the role of large corporate players as sources of capital and distribution networks.

Register at or email Register before December 31st 2011 to receive a 20% early booking discount.…