Before the economic crisis made the question of investments something of a joke, venture capital investments in green technology worldwide saw a huge increase in 2008. Compared to the same investment period in 2007, venture capital investments increased by 82%, totaling $4.6 billion.
While America still leads the pack in investments in green technology, there has also been significant growth in Europe, China, and Israel. In Israel, venture capital investors have heavily favored solar companies and water treatment technologies. This has been true of investments in Israeli cleantech as a whole: the vast majority of investments ($4 million out of a $5 million total) have poured into only two companies: established solar companies Solel and Luz II, which already have facilities in various parts of the world. And of course, another huge recipient of investments was Shai Agassi’s Project Better Place, which raised $200 million in its first round of funding.
But Ernst & Young also reports that we will witness a sharp downturn in investments in light of the economic crisis. It remains to be seen whether government incentives and the profits derived from renewable energy ventures can salvage the next year in cleantech investing.
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