Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Green is good for business

Remember the old canard about environmental responsiblity being bad for business and jobs? Well, as CNN reports:
Venture investment in energy technology firms reached new highs this year, more than tripling the investment recorded for 2005, according to data released Wednesday by Thomson Financial and the National Venture Capital Association.

In the first three quarters of 2007, nearly $1.7 billion, or 7.4% of U.S. venture capital investments, was put into American companies developing technologies that conserve energy and resources, protect the environment, or eliminate harmful waste. The majority of this year's clean technology investment was made in companies based in California, Massachusetts, and Texas, with the solar energy and biofuel industries receiving the bulk of the investment dollars.

"This is a remarkable share of the venture capital pool when you consider that less than five years ago clean technologies represented less than 1%," says Rodrigo Prudencio, a partner with Nth Power, a California-based venture capital firm that backs early stage energy technology companies.

Annual venture investments in clean-technology companies went from $469.7 million in 2005 to $1.4 billion in 2006, and this year's total through September has already seen a 21% increase over last year. The number of investments made has also increased, with 149 deals made in the first nine months of this year, as compared to 129 deals at the end of 2006.

"Long term, this is an area that is going to be as important to the venture capital community as biotech and IT have been in the last twenty years," says Mark Heesen, NVCA president.

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