cleantech insights

New white paper showcases learnings from Water Innovation Summit

Whitney Michael

Today we released a whitepaper covering the findings from September’s invitation-only Water Innovation Summit.

The report touches on the utility perspective on innovation, smart water networks, financing innovation, sustainable water management in the oil and gas sector, opportunities in water and agriculture, and securing clean water for industries.  Download the whitepaper for free.

The Water Innovation Summit was held as part of Cleantech Group’s ongoing effort to support the water technology community. The key takeaways and learnings covered in the report include:

  • Innovation at a water utility is driven by 3 C’s: Cost, Crisis, and Cool.
  • “Water as a Service” is a new and innovative business model that can help entrepreneurs sell to conservative, financially-strapped water utilities.
  • We are shifting from an ‘era of water development’ to an ‘era of water allocation’ (water rights).
  • The water-energy nexus is more than ever appropriately the water-energy-food nexus.
The 2013 Water Innovation Summit is scheduled for September 10-11.  While invitations will not go out until Summer 2013, you can request an invitation today.  Additional information on water innovation investment trends and the companies involved in this market can be found in Cleantech Group’s i3 market intelligence platform.…

2012 Global Cleantech 100 list announced!

Whitney Michael

We’ve just released this year’s list of the top 100 private companies in cleantech.  From energy efficiency, biofuels & biochemicals to smart grid, renewable energy, water and waste, and transportation, this list identifies the private cleantech companies most likely to make a significant market impact over the next five to ten years.

To qualify for the Global Cleantech 100, companies must be independent, for-profit, cleantech companies not listed on any major stock exchange. This year, we received over 8,000 nominations for 5,117 companies from 85 countries. A 75-member expert panel, including leading global investors and a wide range of corporate executives from multi-national enterprises such as ABB, BP, Ecolab, GE, General Motors, IBM, Intel, Johnson Controls, Procter and Gamble, and Vestas, gave input on the shortlisted 236, to get to the final list of 100 companies from 13 countries.

Cleantech Group also presented awards in eight categories to clean technology innovators at the Global Cleantech 100 Gala at the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC on October 1.

Company of the Year was awarded in each of three regions to the highest-ranked company with no …

Meet the experts behind the 2012 Global Cleantech 100

Whitney Michael

With just 18 days left to the announcement of the Global Cleantech 100 in DC, we’d like to shine the spotlight on the panel of over 70 international experts who nominated companies along with hundreds of others and then the 236 who were short listed.

The expert panel is truly global with representatives from the US, Canada, Korea, France, the UK, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, China, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, and Israel.

Our distinguished panel includes a private pilot, a Chevalier de la légion d’honneur, a television show producer, a Fulbright scholar, one of the Clean 16 – a top spot on Canada’s 2012 Clean 50, and one of “China’s Most Powerful People (BusinessWeek, 2009)”.

Without their help, the Global Cleantech 100 would not be possible.  The team at Cleantech Group would like to give them a big thanks and be sure to look for them at the Global Cleantech 100 Summit & Gala in DC on October 1-2.…

Video: Company of the Week is Aqwise

Whitney Michael

Analyst Troy Ault explains why we chose Aqwise to be the company of the week:…

The Global Cleantech 100: How we make the (free-range, organic) sausage

Whitney Michael

The nominations are in, the expert panel has been assembled, and we are now very busy finalizing the 2012 Global Cleantech 100, our annual list of the most promising 100 private companies in clean technology innovation. This list is widely regarded as the leading barometer of the shifting and evolving direction of cleantech innovation.

The revealing of the top 100 companies at The Global Cleantech 100 Summit and Gala in October is the culmination of an intensive research process. It’s how we develop this list as much as who is on it, which sets the Global Cleantech 100 apart from other rankings.

Analyst Vince Knowles, has posted here earlier this year on how the methodology of the Global Cleantech 100 list is the industry’s most robust and comprehensive.

While October seems far off, much is underway now to have the list ready for the announcement and celebration at the Italian Embassy. Just a reminder: the Summit and Gala sold-out in 2011 so be sure to reserve your place today.

We are going to “open the kimono” and let you know about some of the key milestones in the creation of this report, downloaded each year by over 5000

Second quarter numbers in: venture investment cools off in 2Q 2012

Whitney Michael

Today we released preliminary 2Q 2012 results from the i3 research platform showing worldwide clean technology venture investment in the quarter totaled $1.61 billion.

Measured by dollars invested, cleantech venture investment fell 14 percent compared to the previous quarter ($1.88 billion) and was off 25 percent from 2Q11 ($2.15 billion).  Of this quarter’s deals, 59 percent (92) were Series B or later rounds, accounting for 90 percent ($1.59 billion) of all money invested during the quarter.

“Despite headwinds facing the sector and global economic instability, we continue to observe top tier funds such as Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, NEA, and others actively investing into cleantech,” said Cleantech Group CEO Sheeraz Haji. “While some may be ducking ‘cleantech’ as a label in North America, growth in technologies addressing resource and energy challenges remains strong and both corporate and investor interest remains high.”

The leading sector in the quarter by amount invested was solar ($253 million), followed by transportation ($252 million) and energy efficiency ($243 million). Energy efficiency and solar were the most popular sector measured by number of deals, with 35 and 22 funding rounds respectively. Water, 17 deals totaling $135 million, and biofuels, 14 deals totaling $229 million, also …

Riding the solar coaster – a free mini-report from Cleantech Group

Whitney Michael

Just released – a special excerpt on Solar from Cleantech Group’s Quarterly Investment Monitor report (normally available only to subscribers).

Venture investment in solar in the first quarter of 2012 was down following on the back of a strong 2011. Companies innovating in various areas of the solar sector raised $250 million in the first quarter, down 53 percent from the previous quarter and down 56 percent when compared with the same quarter a year earlier. While the total amount invested dropped steeply, the number of deals done remained relatively strong at 28 (right near the long-running sweet spot for the sector of 30 deals per quarter).

This suggests investors are both cautious about market conditions and capital-constrained and are choosing more efficient fund allocation while still keeping an appetite for deals. The average round sizes for both the quarter as a whole and the top three deals were also down around 50 percent compared with the quarterly averages for 2011.

SolarCity’s $81 million round, the biggest round of the quarter for the solar sector, drove the large dollar share for the segment. In addition to SolarCity’s round, other PV integrators/developers including SungevityOneRoof EnergyISIS Solar

This week in cleantech – May 27th – June 3rd

Whitney Michael

It was a strong and diverse week for cleantech venture investment. CIGS thin film PV manufacturer Nanosolar‘s $50 million growth equity round led the pack, and continued a trend from the previous two weeks of bullishness in the solar sector despite real geo-political, and economic challenges. In addition to Nanosolar’s big round, Austin, Texas-based solar microinverter maker SolarBridge Technologies raised $25 million in a Series D offering, while GeoStellar, a West Virginia-based provider of solar resource analytics software for distributed projects, raised $13.9 million in a Series B round of equity.

Solar companies weren’t allowed a monopoly on fundraising, however, as several other sectors saw financing deals during the week as well.

Vancouver, Canada-based Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, a developer of a wastewater treatment process which yields a fertilizer byproduct, raised $14.5 million in a Series B round of financing to expand the application of that technology into industrial markets.

In the Energy Efficiency space, lighting controls developer Redwood Systems raised $11.75 million from existing investors in a Series C round, while Rhode Island-based GreenBytes raised $12 million in a Series B offering to fund further development and global marketing of its data center efficiency offering.

Finally, …

Cleantech in action: LEDs light up the “Night”

Whitney Michael

Last week after we wrapped up Cleantech Forum Munich, I got to spend a few days in the gorgeous city of Amsterdam. And in between Belgian beers and rediscovering the Golden Age of Amsterdam (the Dutch kinda ran the world for a while there…), I came face to face with clean technology in action, a real-life example of saving energy while improving performance.

In this case, I visited the Rijksmuseum and saw Rembrandt’s masterpiece, The Night Watch, illuminated by special LEDs provided by Philips, the lighting leader based in the Netherlands. According to a press release on the new lighting, installed in October 2011, the “innovative LED light, [brings] out the best of the painting’s color palette while offering increased sustainability and energy efficiency.”

Coming out of the dark galleries preceding the room that held this painting, the colors really did seem more vivid, and the LEDs brought out the contrasting areas of light and dark (chiaroscuro) that Rembrandt is known for.

Wikipedia claims that the museum saves 80% on energy and protects the painting from damage from UV radiation and heat. According to, “previously, the painting had been under halogen spotlights that had the …

Who will make the 2012 top global 100 list? It’s your turn to tell us who’s hot, who’s not.

Whitney Michael

This morning at Cleantech Forum Europe in Munich, our Managing Director of Europe & Asia, Richard Youngman, announced that nominations are open for the Global Cleantech 100.  This will be our 4th annual list of the 100 top private companies in cleantech as nominated by the public and chosen through a rigorous process including data analysis and input from a select panel of worldwide judges.  Read the press release.

Nominations are open through June 30.

As with last year’s list, Cleantech Group will debut the 2012 100 at the Global Cleantech 100 Summit & Gala in Washington DC.  The Summit & Gala will be held October 1-2 and will feature Global Cleantech 100 CEOs, investors and venture capitalists, policy-makers and corporate leaders.   Save the date and submit your nominations today.

Registration for the Global Cleantech 100 Summit & Gala opens in May.…