Investment in Green Technologies Decreased In 2012 But Good Hopes for 2013

Investment in Green Technologies Decreased In 2012 But Good Hopes for 2013

According to statements from the Cleantech Group, released in the year of 2012, the overall investment in clean technology decreased heavily. Investors run away from risky and valuable deals, causing the investment in this area to decrease at a fast pace.

The Cleantech Group, an analysis company that is based in San Francisco, pointed out considerable changes in the market of clean technologies. In its preliminary findings for 2012, they detected the investments of venture capital during 2011 which were estimated at US$9.6 billion and in 2012, they were estimated at US$6.5 billion. This venture capital has been invested in the sector of clean tech.

The total number of deals during 2011 was 829, more 15% than the following year. In 2012 the total number of deals only reached 704. The acquisitions’ records, the number of deals and the overall investment, all of it fall during the year of 2012, making the total amount of transactions of US$39.7 billion, a value quite a lot below what was registered during 2011.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Cleantech Group, named Sheeraz Haji, said during his webinar that 2012 was a very bad year for the sector, although, previous predictions showed that 2012 would be a potentially year to break records in the sector. He also explained that the factors that led to the current scenario were macro economic factors, like commoditization of solar modules and the reduced price of natural gas in the United States.

Sheeraz Haji stated that investors are currently running away from the solar area and coming over the fields of transportation and energy efficiency, or green chemicals. From all those categories, the energy efficiency one is indeed the most popular among investors, which is no surprise. Since they are looking for deals light in capital. He also speculates that this scenario will continue during 2013. Clean web (software that is aiming to improve e.g.: the efficiency of the traffic system and so on); the water; or even the waste turned into energy, will be categories favoured by investors because they are cheap categories and that’s why they will resist and see their investment increase, at the same time, the field of solar energy will see its investment fall once again, because it is a more expensive field what is not making investors keen to invest.

During the year of 2012, investors preferred the sectors of biochemical and biofuels as well, with a total of 53 deals. They managed to attract a pretty good value US$952 million. Sapphire Energy is based in California and it is the developer of algae biofuels, the company was responsible for the highest deal, it’s worth US$144 million.

Some of that 927 million dollars were invested in the sector of transportation, by the hand of a company basin in California, it is named Fisker Automotive. It produces luxury electric cars, which raised $381 million dollars in a financial round. At the end, the various energy efficiency companies managed to raise no less than $907 million dollars. This value, corresponds to the investment in one-hundred and forty deals.

The Clentech Group stated that from all the investors, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, was the most active one, it was involved in 25 rounds. The second place belongs to Draper Fisher Juvetson with 22 rounds and the third place, is occupied by Khosla Ventures, with 18 rounds.

When it comes to the details of investment by region, companies in North America raised only 5 billion dollars, which was 30 percent less than what was achieved in 2011. The investment in Israel and Europe decreased 23.6 percent when compared to what was achieved in the year of 2011, and raised a value of 1.1 billion dollars.

However, the Asia Pacific region was the region that showed the heaviest losses. In 2012, during 44 rounds 300 million dollars were raised, which was 67 percent less than the 910 million dollars achieved in 2011.

Haji said that Asia’s start-up scene is not yet fully-developed. He says that it is easier to invest in Europe and North America than to invest in Asia, because, it is a real challenge to get accurate information about the market and the companies there. Haji also talked about the clean-tech IPO (Initial Public Offering) that happened in 2012, he says that that window has been shut. During 2012, only 37 companies trusted on public markets and raised money there. But in 2011, the number of interested companies was higher, there were 51 companies. Also, during the year of 2010, there were 89 companies raising money on the public markets.

As a result, 10 clean-tech companies decided to cancel their IPOs, the reason that justified such decision was based on the current market conditions that are indeed, difficult. Plus, they were willing to fuel private funding instead of public.

Although, it is important to state that SolarCity, a United States based company launched its own IPO and the results were very satisfying. Haji believes that the SolarCity example was a significant goal that was reached and he also believes that can be the spark that can trigger clean-tech investments during 2013 and make that year, a very good year for the investment in clean-technology.

Source: Oil Price

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RPN's contributed to this report.

Professional freelancer in Green Technology and Scientific Development. Educational background in the field of Human Resources Management.

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