Monday, February 19, 2007

Clean Technologies, Pt I

Clean Technologies (cleantech) include solar (PV), wind systems, fuel cells, wave and tide systems, biomass, geothermal, hybrid vehicles, water purification and others.

Investments in cleantech are rising. According to the Cleantech Venture Network, clean technologies investment was $1.6 billion in 2005, up 34.9% over 2004. In 2006 investment in cleantech was $2.9 billion, representing a 78% increase over 2005, and a 140% increase over 2004 ($1.2 b).

Why invest in cleantech? Bottom line: demand for energy is growing (think China), and supplies of traditional energy, especially oil, are not growing. Also, as the public becomes increasingly aware of the consequences of pollution, cleantech demand rises. According to Frost & Sullivan, wind, solar and “clean power” will rise from a combined market total of $13.5 billion in 2000 to an estimated $91.5 billion in 2012.

Where does nanotechnology (nanoscale materials) come in? Many “clean” technologies are either enhanced by nanotechnologies or enabled by them. For instance, consider “nanomagnets” that could help treat arsenic-contaminated water (1), concrete treated with nanoscale titanium dioxide that reduces auto pollution (2), nanotechnology-enabled solar cells that become efficient enough to compete with traditional energy generation methods (some say we’ll see these in less than 5 years), and the use of materials that will greatly reduce weight (think automobile bodies and components) while at the same time increasing strength (already happening). There are many other examples, and many new ones added every day. The promise of nanotech-enabled cleantech is huge.

Here is a tidbit for you to consider:

“The Cleantech Venture Network forecasts that cleantech venture capital investment opportunities for major institutional investors globally through 2009 are estimated at $17 billion, with $10 billion in North America, $5 billion in Europe and $2 billion for the rest of the world. Cleantech Venture Network research has also shown that for every $100 million invested into venture-backed companies, 2,700 new jobs are created and the overall economy receives a 5x positive impact in related economic growth.”

From: Institutional Investors Surpass $1 B Clean Technology Investment Goal

Want to learn how your company can take advantage of this trend? Visit


No comments: