Investors putting money into cleantech have declined every quarter since early 2009, according to a report from Kachan & Co. Early-stage cleantech investment has especially suffered – according to Reuters, 20 percent of all cleantech venture capital went to early-stage and seed funding in the first half of 2010, down from 35 percent in 2007. China’s cleantech IPOs and M&A activity continues to lead the rest of the world by nearly fourfold.
However, at least one group is forecasting a good year for the global solar photovoltaic market, with installations estimated to grow by 42 percent in 2011, according to iSuppli Corp. The company forecasts that solar installations will reach 20.2 gigawatts next year, with half of that capacity going to Germany.
Fisker unveiled today its first factory-built plug-in hybrid, the Karma, at the Paris Motor Show. It features a solar panel on the roof, leather interior manufactured through sustainable methods, sports-car performance and a 300-mile range (50 miles on the battery alone). The car was designed by company co-founder Henrik Fisker, who previously designed cars for Aston Martin and BMW.
Crosslink Capital announced yesterday it closed on a $200 million new fund aimed at energy and informational technology investments. The company has previously invested in LED company Intematix, solar’s SoloPower and SeaMicro, maker of a low-power server. The new fund will invest in companies that use information technology to manage energy use, and is also looking at ways to reduce energy use within the IT sector itself — with an interest in early-stage investments.
Emcore, which makes semiconductor solar cells for concentrated photovoltaic companies, faces delisting from NASDAQ. Green Tech Media reports the company trades below $1 and received a delisting notice last month due to failure to submit a quarterly report in June. It has until Oct. 18 to submit a plan to the SEC.
The House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that will give a $1.01 per gallon tax credit to algae fuel companies. As Earth2Tech notes, the technology is still “likely decades” from becoming viable and widespread – but strong government support has led to continued investment in companies like Solazyme and Sapphire Energy. The bill is still waiting approval from the Senate.
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