Friday, July 20, 2007

Cleantech Investments in China Soar

New report said 2007 investment will rise 38 percent.July 19, 2007
By Marie Alpman

Chinese cleantech companies scored $154 million in venture funding in the first-quarter, a fourfold increase from the same period two years ago, a new report released Thursday said.

The report from the Cleantech Group, a research firm based in Brighton, Mitchigan, that tracks cleantech investments around the world, also noted that investments in China’s cleantech sector for all of 2007 likely will surpass investments in 2006. The report estimated that total investments in alternative energy and other clean technologies in China will reach $580 million this year, compared to $420 million in 2006.

The report said investment in cleantech is being driven by China's Renewable Energy Law, which went into effect last year and states that 10 percent of the nation's energy output should come from renewable sources by 2010.

China's solar sector is particularly hot. In 2006, about 70 percent of the venture capital was spent on solar companies, and the biggest first-quarter 2007 deal was an $82 million investment, led by Goldman Sachs, in Jiangsu Shunda, a photovoltaic solar company. To boot, five Chinese solar companies went public on U.S. exchanges and London's AIM in 2006; so far this year, three more Chinese firms have been listed in the U.S.

According to the report, the next booming segment will be water purification. Investments in water technologies are expected to reach $100 million in 2008, the report said.

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