Global cleantech investment dropped to $1.6 billion in the second quarter of 2012, down 14 percent from $1.9 billion in the first quarter and 25 percent down from the $2.1 billion invested in the second quarter of 2011.
That’s the bad news from the Cleantech Group’s report Tuesday, which tracks a downturn in green technology venture investment amidst global economic turmoil and heightening political opposition to government subsidies for solar, wind, EVs and other green industries.
Still, Cleantech CEO Sheeraz Haji noted some bright spots, including water, agriculture and resource management, that seem poised for success. “Maybe you don’t want to call it cleantech, but this world of resource efficiency is hot, and it’s going to be huge,” he said in a Tuesday conference call.
In the meantime, “It’s safe to say the U.S. IPO market is effectively shut,” Haji said. All nine of the greentech IPOs in the second quarter came from China, while North American startups BrightSource, Enerkem and Luca Technologies all dropped their IPO plans.
Little wonder, given the poor performance of companies like A123, Amyris, and some other greentech companies that have gone public in the past few years. (Tesla is an outlier in this case, Haji noted.) Little on the horizon seems set to change that perception, though Haji noted that SolarCity’s expected IPO may provide a much-needed boost.
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