Spread across more than 550 deals throughout North America,Europe, China and India, this preliminary total is “expected toincrease by 5-10% once investors fully announce their activity (as inprevious years), which would make 2009 a record year for number ofcleantech VC deals, and approximately equal with 2007 for total amountinvested.” Considering the bleak financial outlook of the past yearoverall, and the lack of binding resolutions at the Copenhagen climatetalks, this represents a coup for clean tech. This is still a thirdless than 2008’s record-breaking investment levels of nearly $8.5billion, so there are no street parties being planned to celebrate thenews (not that we know of, anyhow).
Still, solar energy comes out strong in this picture: with 21percent of total VC funding, solar investment narrowly beat outtransportation (at 20 percent) and energy efficiency (18 percent). Moreexcitingly, four of the five top funding rounds went to domesticcompanies, Solyndra foremost among them with its innovative cylindricalsolar module design. With the economy recovering and new growth pushingforward in the solar industry all the time, let’s hope 2010 breaks somerecords of its own.