I was in the seventies and even in the beginning of the twenty-first century. But it is not only related to “alternative”, altruistic environmentalists or lab scientists anymore. Cleantech has eventually entered the financial or business community’s lexicon… Through the front door.
A Google search for the word shows more than 1.5 million results. Among them, a three-part series of San Jose Mercury News from a couple of months ago, highlighting that the sector is poised to be “not just the next big thing but perhaps the biggest thing ever”. Numbers speak by themselves. “Confronting the peril of greenhouse gases and climate change happens to be a multi-trillion-dollar business opportunity”, states the report.
Venture capitalists are in. Investment in the Cleantech Industry grew from $908 million in 2002 to $8.5 billion in 2008 and California garnered 40% of the world’s funding in 2009. It sounds promising. Nevertheless, the Mercury warns that the US is quickly falling behind and underlines that the Silicon Valley’s “ability to innovate its way to the top in cleantech is far from guaranteed”. Competition is fierce and global.
The Mercury shows how China has already overtaken the lead in key markets such as solar, which was led by Spain in 2008, with 2.51 gigawatts installed that year alone, according to a report from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).
On the other hand, a JP Morgan report last year said South Korea is going to be one of the fastest growing solar markets during the next four years. And last but not least: According to the Fundació Fòrum Ambiental, in Catalonia, the sector is still growing 3%-4% despite the crisis. Cards are dealt. HitBarcelona counts with a great bunch of experts to talk about the opportunities in the Cleantech industry. Do you want to join in?