This year looks set to be the one that funding for clean technology really takes off, after global investment in the sector hit a record high of $260 billion (£170 billion) last year. A report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance revealed this month that investment in solar energy grew by more than a third, while the US was named the biggest driver of this funding. Solar energy investment grew to $136.6 billion (£89 billion), partly due to a dramatic fall in the cost of photovoltaic panels, reports Reuters.
All this is great news for UK firms in the clean-tech sector, stimulating demand for Evoenergy solar panels and other businesses who are driving the sustainable revolution. The Department of Energy and Climate Change recently announced a £4 million boost for 82 local energy projects, including show homes that demonstrate good insulation, schemes to check energy efficiency and events that promote the uptake of renewable power such as solar and wind. The extra funding also comes as the government prepares to launch the Green Deal later this year, which will be the first scheme of its kind in the world.
“We face a gigantic challenge in the coming years to keep the lights on and energy bills down,” said energy secretary Chris Huhne. “This means nurturing cleaner, more secure, homegrown energy sources here in the UK so we are not so dependent on imported gas, and boosting the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses to cut out waste.”
The business world is cottoning on to this trend too, it seems, as venture and corporate investments totalled $9 billion in 2011 (£5.9 billion) – a 13 per cent increase over the previous year. The figures, from the Cleantech Group, also show that mergers and acquisitions in this sector hit record highs in 2011, with 391 deals worth a total of $41.2 billion (£26.8 billion).
“Despite some of the well-publicised headwinds, venture capitalists continue to invest in clean-tech,” said Sheeraz Haji, chief executive officer of Cleantech Group. “Based on our historical data, we believe 2012 will be an all-time record year for global clean-tech investments.”