This year's Global Cleantech 100 has been released, giving us insight into the most promising, innovative privately held companies in our field.
As has been the trend for several years, companies focused on energy efficiency technologies lead, and the once-dominating solar sector has a lighter presence than in years past.
Other leading industry sectors are Agriculture & Forestry, Water & Wastewater, Recycling & Waste, Smart Grid, and Transportation. Emerging categories are Geothermal and companies with technologies that clean up Conventional Fuels.
5,864 companies from 60 countries were nominated, and although most of top 100 are from the US (56), there are 32 from Europe, 6 from Asia and one from South America (Pure Biofuels de Peru).
Cleantech Group compiles the list with input from a 90-member expert panel of investors and corporations including 3M, ABB, BP, Ecolab, GE, General Motors and IBM.
Some of the top 100 companies are household names for people who follow the field: Sungevity and Clean Power Finance in solar leasing, Chargepoint in electric vehicle charging; Recyclebank in recycling; Elevance Renewable Science in Green Chemistry; Next Step Living in energy retrofits and Project Frog in green building.
The emphasis on energy efficiency technologies "has a strong link to investors' distinct preferences today for business models that more closely resemble those of traditional capital - lighter and faster-to-market, tech and software start-ups - proven money-winners of the past," notes Richard Youngman, who created and leads the Global Cleantech 100 program.
In energy efficiency, "the biggest change over recent years has been the rise of data-centric and so-called "cleanweb" companies which span categories such as Agriculture, Recycling and Transportation, as well as the more obvious energy areas such as lighting and buildings," he says.
Companies in the Energy Efficiency category:
Next Step Living
Nest, which makes home thermostats that can "learn", is named "company of the year" in North America; Organica Water in Europe & Israel, and Hydrexia in Asia Pacific.
Ambri is Rising Star of the Year, a developer of an all-liquid metal battery technology for grid-scale energy. Alphabet Energy, which is developing a low-cost waste heat technology, is Early Stage Company of the Year.
LanzaTech is honored for Continued Excellence. Its process captures industrial waste gases like carbon and converts it into new products.
Here's the full list of companies: