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Clean Tech Venture Capital Soars

Third Quarter Sees a Jump in Investments

By Brianna Panzica
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Two energy companies went under in the past several months largely due to failure to pay back government loans.

Solyndra and Beacon Power declared bankruptcy this year, a result of heavy competition and spending faster than they could bring in revenue.  Many have also blamed the government loans for this.

But an article in USA Today reports that Americans still have faith in cleantech.

According to the article, venture capital for cleantech companies is still increasing and showing no signs of slowing.  Clean energy is the future, and the sector is determined to make that a reality.

And this quarter has been a successful one for venture capital, which the article reports was up to $1.1 billion, a 73% jump from the third quarter of 2010, as Ernst & Young LLP’s information revealed.

It also quotes a Kelton Research poll of Americans regarding solar power.  According to the poll, 89% of Americans believe solar energy is important to the country’s future.

And with the U.S. level of foreign oil dependence, this is definitely something the country needs.

The natural gas boom is providing a way for the U.S. to decrease foreign dependence as more and more gas is extracted using unconventional methods.

But this alone can’t completely break off our dependence on foreign nations.  Alternative energy solutions are necessary to aid this as well.

As Jay Spencer of Ernst & Young LLP told Bloomberg:

“It’s a challenging investing environment overall right now and cleantech is holding its own.”

Bloomberg reported that for the quarter, $421 million of the investments were for energy storage companies, $225.5 million went to fuel cell manufacturers, and $225.1 million went to energy generation companies.

Government loans may have played a role in Solyndra’s and Beacon’s failures, but money is what the industry needs to grow.

And investments are an even more reassuring way for this still-developing sector to thrive.  It’s a comfort to know that venture capital and faith in the industry are growing together.

That's all for now,


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