Cleantech investment booms, but energy tech bubble looms
mongabay.com
April 30, 2007




Investors are pouring money into clean technology, with spending on R&D rising to $48 billion in 2006, up 9 percent from 2005, reports a new study by Lux Research, an emerging technology research and advisory firm. However, the report warns that the energy technology sector is showing signs of a bubble, with initial public offering (IPO) values and venture capital deployments more than doubling last year.

"Cleantech encompasses innovative technologies specifically designed to optimize the use of natural resources and reduce environmental impact, with five top-level segments: energy, air, water, waste, and sustainability," said Lux Research President Matthew M. Nordan. "Driven by solar and biofuel deals, the energy segment looks overheated — there's no way that more than a fraction of the 930 energy start-ups operating worldwide can possibly succeed. But the attention to energy masks neglected opportunity in other segments: For example, the waste segment accounted for 32 percent of merger and acquisition value last year but only 1 percent of IPO value and 4 percent of venture capital."






The 600-page report shows that in the energy segment, IPO value rose from $1.6 billion in 2005 to $4.1 billion in 2006 and venture capital raised went from $623 million to $1.5 billion, primarily for solar and biofuel deals. It says that there are now 930 energy start-ups operating worldwide, 198 of which are venture-funded.

The report notes that media interest in cleantech, as measured by the number of articles in major print media, has risen by 70 percent since last year, while 29,874 scientific journal articles were published on cleantech topics in 2006.

Some 4,093 U.S. patents focused on cleantech were issued in 2006. Lux Research reports that "U.S. cleantech patents issued have grown at an average of 5 percent per year since 1995, double the rate for patents overall."

More information on the Cleantech Report is available at www.luxresearchinc.com/cleantech.

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CITATION:
mongabay.com (April 30, 2007).

Cleantech investment booms, but energy tech bubble looms.

http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0430-cleantech.html