Global Investment Plummet Hits Israeli Cleantech Companies… Except BrightSource and Ormat

Ormat Geothermal PlantA slow recovery in the global cleantech sector has left many Israeli companies without VC funding and media coverage, while BrightSource Energy and Ormat Technologies continue to thrive.

The decrease in VC investments in cleantech companies over the past year and in particular Q3 is raising questions about the cleantech industry’s recovery. According to NASDAQ, research by the Cleantech Group found that investment in cleantech companies during the quarter was about $1.53 billion with North America “accounting for 61% of total clean-tech venture capital, while Europe and Israel accounted for 25%, China for 10%, and India 4%.”

Although the number is down from last quarter and last year, investment in renewable energy so far this year ($5.73 billion to date) has surpassed 2009’s total, mainly thanks to large investments in solar energy in the first quarter.

Feeling the pinch and more are Israeli companies who not only aren’t getting funding but are also not getting media coverage as a result. Instead the media has focused on BrightSource Energy and Ormat Technologies over the past two months, both of which have secured funding and have large projects underway in the U.S.

BrightSource Energy, a solar energy company, has received a constant flow of attention for its likely IPO in 2011 and recent OK for building the world’s biggest solar plant in California’s Mojave. Construction and maintenance of the plant is expected to create a thousand jobs and has been hailed by U.S. President Obama who spoke of it in his weekly address this past week. (See video below).

Ormat Technologies (NYSE: ORA), a geothermal power company, reported a second quarter loss this year but managed to secure $350 million in loan guaranties for three new geothermal power plants in Nevada and most recently $108 million for a new proposed geothermal power plant located in North Brawley, California. The company also formed a consortium with Solar Millennium A.G. to build and operate a 120-megawatt solar thermal power plant in Ashalim, Israel.

:: The New York Times green blogs

More articles on BrightSource from Green Prophet:
Meet BrightSource’s Founder Arnold Goldman
BrightSource Prepares for NASDAQ IPO
BrightSource Impinges on Coyote Land
BrightSource Gets A Billion Loan Guarantees
BrightSource Launches Solar Energy Plant in the Negev Desert, Israel

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