Many important trends emerged from the Cleantech Group’s Global Cleantech 100 list released this week. Corporate partnerships have become the way to go in the Smart Grid sector. This is highlighted by the top spot taken by Silver Spring Networks, a smart grid software company which is in partnership with some of the biggest utilities and hardware manufacturers in the US and outside. Across the board, corporations are taking ever more interest in cleantech innovation at global scale—in the form of partners, customers, investors, licensees, and acquirers of smart grid and other cleantech companies. Siemens are the most active partners with the companies in the 2010 Cleantech list.
Another trend evident from the report is Asia’s increasing influence on the cleantech industry. The region has progressed from being a low manufacturing center, or an end market for technology deployment. Three companies from China are on the list; last year there were none. More than 200 investors, from over 20 countries, are shareholders in the 100 companies. VantagePoint Venture Partners has the most shareholdings in 2010 Global Cleantech 100 companies, which shows to its longevity in the space. By having 13 investee companies on the list, it overtakes Kleiner Perkins by one. Other companies on the list include Coulomb Technologies, Amonix, Petra Solar, Bloom Energy, Tendril Networks, Cpower, Enphase Energy, Ice Energy, and Xtreme Power. Companies on the list are the most likely to make considerable market impact in the next 5 to10 years, according to the Cleantech Group.The criteria for qualification include independence, for-profit, and no presence 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,” stated managing director, Europe & , and vp Global Research at Cleantech Group Richard Youngman. “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.”
Energy Efficiency has overtaken Solar this year as the hottest sub-sector, with 15 companies making the list. Biofuels equalled Solar, with 14 entries. Only 43 companies on the 2010 Global Cleantech 100 list were present in last year’s list. According to Cleantech Group, high turnover shows the relative infancy of the cleantech wave of innovation.