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Clean technology investments hit a record high in 2008

Posted Jan 22 2009 4:32pm

Not only can environmental consciousness save the planet, it can save your bank account too.

Back on January 9, the Cleantech Group posted a report that showed clean technology investments were up 38 percent in 2008, reaching a record $8.4 billion dollars. That’s billion, as in 8 followed by nine zeros. Considering the current state of the world economy, that kind of investment flow is astonishing and it goes to show that yes, there’s some serious green to be had in the green movement.

According to Cleantech, the figures cover investments for North America, Europe, China, Israel and India, with solar power being the investment choice by far. Out of seven categories for clean technology, solar power captured 40 percent of the investment dollar, accounting for $3.3 billion dollars. Of that figure, thin-film solar, concentrated solar thermal and solar service provider companies were the leading solar investments of choice. Bio fuels—which became quite the topic of discussion with oil at $147 a barrel this past summer—followed a distant second at 11 percent, accounting for $904 million dollars. Transportation investments such as electric vehicles, fuel cells and the like came in third, followed by wind, smart grid, agriculture and water.

Not surprisingly, North America led the charge in investments, accounting for 68 percent of the global total. If you’re looking for work in the field of clean technology, this is the place you want to be. Europe and Israel grabbed the number two spot on list with 21 percent of the total, while China and India rounded out the list.

Big deal, a bunch of numbers, yadda yadda. Why should this interest the average Joe?

Consider this: In the midst of a global recession where well-established companies are dropping quicker than stockbroker 401k plans, here’s a segment that’s not just surviving, but thriving. You’re not interested in climate change, conservationism, or the green movement? That’s ok, because the green backs involved in these brand-new technologies suddenly make all this talk about saving the planet a whole bunch more interesting. Sure, we want you to be environmentally conscious, but it’s ok if you’re not because the green movement will make it worth your while to get on board anyway.

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