The Guardian and Cleantech Group recently announced the Global Cleantech 100. This is the first ever list of this scale highlighting the most promising private clean technology companies around the world. The Global Cleantech 100 recognizes companies at the forefront of cleantech innovation offering solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. The final list represents the collective opinion of hundreds of leading experts from cleantech innovation and venture capital companies in EMEA, North America, India and China.
New Investment in clean energy worldwide rallied in the second quarter of 2009, reaching $24.4 billion, according to figures published recently by New Energy Finance. The data, which is based in actual deal and project transactions, show that during the second quarter, there was a big improvement on the first quart of 2009, when investment was just $13.3 billion. Despite this dramatic increase in investment, the investments of the second quarter were 37% below the investment amount from the same quarter last year, when the figure was $36.2 billion.
The second Renewable Energy Finance Forum – West (REFF-West), will take place in San Francisco on September 29-30, 2009. It builds on the success of both REFF-Wall St and the inaugural REFF-West, which took place in Seattle in October 2008.
The conference focuses on finance and investment for clean energy technologies, with a particular emphasis on the Western US, and covers both large scale projects and the development and commercialization of new technologies. REFF-West is targeted at a senior level audience including investors, financiers, project developers and clean technology companies. Conference sessions will examine opportunities in a range of cleantech markets.
In these challenging economic times, with seemingly thousands of unemployed or underemployed professionals available as candidates, you might think that renewable energy and clean tech leaders would be having a field day attracting and choosing leadership and professional candidates at will. But while many talented professionals from all walks of life are interested in landing a role in the clean tech industry, firms need to be sure that they select the right people for the job. Attracting the right talent to an organization is considered half art, half science and it is accomplished with a lot of hard work and occasionally a bit of luck and good fortune. And one way to help firms get out there is through positive press announcements and employment branding activities.
The Pew Charitable Trusts has conducted the first-ever hard count across all 50 states of the actual jobs, companies and venture capital investments that supply the growing market demand for environmentally friendly products and services. The study, entitled The CleanEconomy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America, revealed that the number of jobs in America’s emerging clean energy economy grew nearly two and a half times faster than overall jobs between 1998 and 2007.
The clean tech green energy sector is hurting badly – along with the rest of our economy. A lot of promising new firms are on life support finding it very difficult to raise desperately needed venture capital. We need to be laying the foundations for future growth now and there is no time to waste, I would argue that this is a paramount issue of national security, that it is not just about jobs or being “green”, but that it is an urgently vital necessity for our country’s future security. This is not an optional choice; it is not a luxury, a nice to have kind of thing; this is the very life blood of our country, of our industrial society. An industrial society needs energy and lots of it. America needs to urgently begin a national crash program of investing in domestically controlled renewable energy supplies, such as wind and solar right now while we still have a little breathing room to begin laying the foundations for a new American energy economy. It is a matter of national security.
The continued global financial crisis has been hurting the green economy. The sudden and very sharp drop in the availability of capital has dried up needed new investments and funding for new many green economy projects and businesses. Because many green or clean tech businesses are in an early expanding phase of their growth, they have been especially hard hit by the current dearth of capital. Quite a number of green firms are at serious risk of failure because of this capital starvation.