As climate change moves up the corporate agenda, “cleantech” investment is reaching record levels, according to Ernst & Young.
Climate change challenges are creating opportunities for next generation technologies as companies seek to respond to stakeholder expectations, current and anticipated regulation, and rising energy costs.
The study of 150 global companies found that 90% of those surveyed were undertaking climate change initiatives, with disclosed financial commitments totaling $276 billion over the next 10 years.
This accelerated corporate response to climate change is reflected in global venture capital investment trends. As a proportion of global venture capital investment, cleantech has grown rapidly—up from just 1.6% of total investment in 2003 to 11% in 2008. And in terms of value, global venture capital investment in cleantech is set to significantly exceed the record $3 billion invested last year, having already reached $2.2 billion in the first six months of 2008.
The United States led the study with 301 venture-backed cleantech companies that have received cumulative investment of $7.29 billion, weighted toward solar and biofuel companies. Similarly, Europe (203 companies), China (25) and Israel (16) are weighted toward solar manufacturing in terms of capital invested.
Source: Ernst & Young, www.ey.com.