Cleantech Group checked in recently with word that venture investment in clean energy tumbled in the second quarter of 2011, but according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, financial commitments overall in the sector surged, driven in no small part by utility-scale solar thermal development.
Furthermore, Bloomberg said its own accounting showed “venture capital and private equity players” boosted its investments in clean energy companies by 74 percent, to $3.1 billion, in the quarter – the top quarterly figure in more than two years.
Overall, Bloomberg said investment in clean energy in the quarter increased 27 percent over the first quarter of 2011, to $41.7 billion. That was 22 percent higher than in the same period last year. Big solar thermal – also known as concentrating solar or CSP – got a lot of the credit for the increase, and it was trending across the globe.
Bloomberg pointed to BrightSource’s 392-megwatt (MW) capacity Ivanpah project, which accounted for $2.2 billion of the new investment – most of it backed by a U.S. government loan guarantee. But “the 100-MW FPL Termosol site in Spain (and) the 100-MW Eskom Uppington project in South Africa” also gobbled up cash, Bloomberg said.