Several significant trends emerged from the Global Cleantech 100 list released this week by the Cleantech Group.
The Smart Grid sector has become hot for corporate partnerships. This is highlighted by the #1 ranking for smart grid software firm Silver Spring Networks, which is collaborating with some of the biggest utilities and hardware makers in the U.S. and abroad.
Across the board, corporations are becoming ever more active in global cleantech innovation--as investors, partners, licensees, customers, and acquirers of smart grid and other cleantech companies. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), GE (NYSE: GE), IBM (NYSE: IBM), PG&E (NYSE: PCG), and Siemens (NYSE: SI), are the most active partners with 2010 Global Cleantech 100 companies.
Another trend is the increasing influence of Asia on the cleantech industry. The region is no longer considered a low manufacturing center, or an end market for technology deployment. China has 3 companies in the 2010 Global Cleantech 100; it had none last year.
Over 200 investing entities, from more than 20 countries, have a shareholding in the 100 companies. VantagePoint Venture Partners is the most prolific shareholder of 2010 Global Cleantech 100 companies, a testament to its longevity in the space. It has 13 investee companies on the list, overtaking Kleiner Perkins by one.
Other companies on the list include Amonix, Bloom Energy, Coulomb Technologies, Cpower, Enphase Energy, Ice Energy, Petra Solar, Tendril Networks and Xtreme Power.
(The full list is available at the link below.)
The Cleantech Group says the selected companies are the most likely to make the significant market impact over the next 5-10 years.
To qualify for the list, companies must be independent, for-profit and cleantech companies that are not listed on any major stock exchange.
“The second Global Cleantech 100 shines a spotlight on which companies and which technology areas the global innovation community is currently most excited about, from a commercial standpoint,” said Richard Youngman, managing director, Europe & vice president, Global Research at Cleantech Group. “There have been significant changes since 2009: more Asian companies and less renewable energy generation companies attest to the growing diversification of cleantech innovation. Cleantech is a broader phenomenon than just clean energy. The wider issues of resource scarcity are starting to gain attention and traction.”
Other Key Findings
Of the 100 companies in the 2010 Global Cleantech 100 list, only 43 were in the 2009 list. Cleantech Group says high turnover is consistent with the relative infancy of the cleantech wave of innovation.
North America’s share increased from 55% to 57% of the overall findings, Asia-Pacific’s from 3% to 7%, at the expense of Europe and Israel, whose overall share declined from 42% to 37%.
The U.S., led by California, remains the dominant country, a reflection of its leadership and history in creating and growing, venture capital-funded, innovation-based, technology companies. However, the sheer spread of U.S. states and countries across the world that are represented on the list, 13 and 14 respectively, provides a clear reminder of how geographically diverse and global, cleantech innovation is.
In 2010, Energy Efficiency has overtaken Solar as the hottest sub-sector within cleantech, with 15 companies on the list. Biofuels matched Solar, with 14 companies.
Cleantech is a whole lot more than clean energy. Renewable energy generation technology companies’ share of the Global Cleanetch100 fell from 37 to 33, 2009 to 2010.