Cleantech Venture Network reports that North American venture capital investment in the cleantech category totaled a record $2.9 billion for 2006, representing a 78 percent increase over 2005 cleantech investment of $1.6 billion, and a 140 percent increase over 2004 investment of $1.2 billion. About $613 million was invested in cleantech in Q4 2006, a 22 percent increase over the Q4 2005 investment of $502 million. The fourth quarter 2006 was down from the record invested in Q3 2006 of $933 million.
Energy-related investment accounted for $2.1 billion, or 74 percent, of the total 2006 cleantech venture investment. This represented a 1.9x increase over the $739 million invested in the energy category in 2005 and a 2.9x increase over 2004 energy investment. The Energy Generation segment totaled $1.3 billion, a 2.1x increase from 2005. Energy Storage attracted $354 million, representing a 2x increase over 2005.
“While energy was certainly the top area of interest, some other categories posted good gains as well,” said Nicholas Parker, chairman and co-founder of the Cleantech Venture Network. Recycling & Waste deals totaled $192 million, a 2.9x increase over 2005, and Transportation investments hit $164 million, up 2.5x over 2005, indicating growing interest in other cleantech segments.