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Q1 VC for Clean Tech Variously Pegged at $1.1bn, $2.6bn

U.S. venture capital investment in clean tech firms rose 54 percent to $1.14 billion in the first quarter of 2011, compared to $743.3 million in Q1 2010, according to an Ernst & Young analysis.

The analysis, based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource, found that there were 79 deals last year, down from 69 deals in Q1 2010. The top ten deals in Q1 2011 totaled $683.1 million, 60 percent of the total raised for the quarter.

A $106 million later-stage round of financing for Californian thin-film photovoltaic manufacturer MiaSole was the largest deal of the past quarter, making up 24 percent of the quarter’s total dollars.

The solar sub-segment accounted for 32 percent of the total dollars raised for the quarter with $362.7 million, a 162 percent gain from Q1 2010, and the energy and electricity segment overall raised $450.3 million through 16 deals.

The energy storage segment saw the second largest investment level in Q1 2011, up 671 percent year on year after raising $262.4 million through 10 deals. Battery companies drew in $121 million of this, compared to $8 million in Q1 2010, a 1,405 percent increase, while fuel cell companies attracted $106 million, a 308 percent increase year on year. One of the biggest energy storage deals was $100 million raised by fuel cell maker Bloom Energy.

The industry-focused products and services segment ranked third by amount raised, with $161.9 million – a 27 percent decline from the $221 million raised in Q1 2010. The alternative fuels segment, led by biofuel companies, raised $160 million, while the energy efficiency sector raised $95 million, down 49 percent from the $187 million raised in Q1 2010.

In related news, Greentech Media reports that in April, “green tech” companies raised $335 million of venture funding in 27 deals. The biggest deal of the month was Suniva’s $115 million round D funding, which followed the company’s rejection of a $141 Department of Energy loan guarantee.

The website found that green tech companies raised a total of $2.6 billion of VC funding in Q1 2011, through over 115 deals.

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