While the world’s economy is struggling clean energy companies have continued to attract record investments, with global investments in clean energy growing 41 percent to $117 billion and venture capital and private equity investment in the sector hitting a record $5.8 billion in the three months from April to June, up from $2.6 billion in the first quarter, according to figures from New Energy Finance, Environmental Finance reports.
NEF says one of the hottest sectors is solar thermal electricity generation, with US developers BrightSource and eSolar raising $115 million and $120 million respectively. US technology developer Sopogy raised $9.1 million.
Biofuels companies were also able to raise significant sums, with Osage Bioenergy, receiving $300 million from private equity firm First Reserve Corporation, and Range Fuels attracting $158 million for its cellulosic ethanol plant, while US biofuels-from-algae firm Sapphire Energy raised $50 million.
Clean energy firms in the public markets raised $5.2 billion in the second quarter, equal to the figure for the same period last year but significantly more than the first quarter’s $1 billion, with solar energy firms receiving most of the investments.
Private equity firm Blackstone Group joined the rank of firms investing in clean energy and announced last week that it’s creating a new business group to focus on solar, wind, biofuels and other renewable energy technologies.