A growing interest in solar power and other sustainable energy sources has contributed to a rise in clean technology across the globe in the third quarter.
According to Greentech Media, solar power, an electric grid controlled by computers for efficiency, biofuels, electric cars, green building materials and other technologies increased to $1.9 billion in 112 deals. The significant rise follows a trend where clean technology went from $836 million in the first quarter to $1.2 billion in the second quarter.
"There is a lot of momentum and there are a lot of deals in the pipeline," says Eric Wesoff, who wrote the report. "People are energized by the A123 Systems Inc. (AONE.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) IPO. I'd say it's reasonable to look for moderate growth in the fourth quarter."
Last week shares of battery maker A123 shot to more than 50 percent, making it the most attractive of last week's public offerings. Wesoff says venture capitalists will take note of that, but that their pockets are not deep enough to support continued growth at the rate of the past two quarters.
More than half the clean tech investment in the third quarter went into two areas - solar and a combined category of biofuels, gasification and cleaner coal. Solar accounted for $575 million in 29 deals, and biofuels, gasification and coal for $513 million in 17 deals.
Overall, though, the deals have fallen short of 2008's record highs, when the third quarter saw $2.9 billion and the entire year $7.6 billion. Wesoff says the year - and the quarter - were driven by unusual capital investment to build out solar manufacturing plants.