Australia Cleantech Report: 2009 Revenue Topped $9B

Australia’s cleantech sector had combined revenue of $9.2 billion in 2009 and employed more than 13,000 people, according to a comprehensive report released last week.

Published by Australian CleanTech, the analysis of 420 companies highlights some interesting patterns in the sub-sectors, noting the greatest activity levels and the regions in which they are based.

Sector-wide, the companies raised $2.3 billion in new funds during the year in 86 capital transactions.

Listed Companies

The greatest numbers of listed companies are to be found in New South Wales and Western Australia and overall are fairly well distributed across all of the cleantech sub-sectors. The sub-sectors with the greatest representation are Waste, Geothermal, Biofuels and Energy Efficiency.

However, the market capitalization of the listed companies tells a very different story with New South Wales and Queensland dominating because this is the location of all of the larger listed companies. Waste, Wind and Solar dominate the sector share of market capitalization with half being created by the waste sector alone.

In line with market capitalization, New South Wales and Queensland are responsible for the majority of cleantech revenue, hosting the five largest grossing companies. The Waste and Water sectors account for 62% of the total revenue, demonstrating the more mature nature of these sub-sectors in comparison with many of the renewable energy and efficiency sub-sectors. Companies headquartered in New South Wales employ over 50% of the total Australian listed cleantech workforce with 43% of the total working in the Waste sector.

Over $2 billion was raised by the listed cleantech sector in the form of new capital throughout the 2009 calendar year which represents 18% of their value. There were a total of 60 capital transactions in the listed cleantech sector, with the vast majority raised through secondary raisings.

The ASX specifically provided data on capital raised on its markets for analysis in this report. A number of larger transactions dominate the statistics and have skewed the charts to show dominance by New South Wales and Queensland and by the Waste sector.

Unlisted Companies

The greatest numbers of reviewed unlisted companies are also to be found in New South Wales, with Victoria a close second place. These companies are fairly well distributed across all of the cleantech sub-sectors, with the greatest representation in Water, Energy Efficiency, Waste and Solar.

In total the companies monitored generated an estimated revenue of $1.72 billion over the 2009 calendar year. South Australia tops the revenue figures with some of the larger private companies followed by Victoria and New South Wales. The Water, Waste and Energy Efficiency sectors account for over half of the revenue by sector, with Water and Waste again being the top two revenue generating sub-sectors.

It is estimated that the unlisted cleantech industry employs more than 4,400 people in Australia. South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales have largest number of employees with the sector split being led by Energy Efficiency, Water, Waste, Solar and Wind.

Over $240 million was raised by the unlisted cleantech sector in the form of new capital throughout the 2009 calendar year over a total of 26 capital transactions, with a number of larger transactions dominating the statistics. The largest single transaction was an M&A transaction with venture capital and government grants providing the next biggest shares.

Ten Cleantech Trends

The report also compares the Australian sector with international cleantech activity and includes ten cleantech trends for 2010:

  1. Cleantech takes over from climate change as the key communications theme for Governments and industry
  2. Increasing ‘carbon substitute’ measures to be introduced to provide the incentives and behaviour changes that would otherwise be given by a meaningful price on carbon.
  3. An increasing focus on regulation to promote water competition will drive innovation and opportunities.
  4. Turbine and small wind improvements will drive industry activity and changes.
  5. Commercial scale (<5MW) pV installation will start to be installed.
  6. Recycling technology growth driven by commodity prices.
  7. Increasing sources of private capital from international and corporate ventures.
  8. Cleantech IPOs gaining momentum throughout 2010.
  9. Consolidation in the water and solar installation sectors will commence in 2010
  10. New business models emerging that involve energy service companies and community finance initiatives.

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