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Green technology is VC money magnet: report

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Clean (read green) technology is the new investment hot spot, according to a report on US venture capitalist spending in 2006.

The sector is benefiting from a better awareness of environmental issues, changes in policy, as well as rising fuel costs.

The survey, published by Environmental Entrepreneurs and CleanTech Ventures, shows that $2.9bn was invested in clean technology firms in 2006, up almost 80 per cent on the year before.

The authors predict that the growth in the market is set to continue, and suggests that by 2010 investment in the sector could climb as high as $19bn.

Most of the cash went into businesses working on clean energy, with just five firms accounting for a whopping $600m of the total investment.

The reports says shifting public opinion and growing policy support for green technologies were two of the main raising agents that helped the sector attract more cash than even medical devices, telecoms, and semiconductor sectors. Biotech and software are still more attractive overall ($4.92bn and $5.25bn respecively), but have seen nothing like the same growth.

Naturally enough, there are concerns there might be a bubble forming in the market, but the authors state that overall the sector has a good track record, so far.

Interestingly, the report reveals that while investment in the green stuff rose in the US from 2005 to 2006, it fell slightly in Europe, dropping from over $800m to just over $650m. ®

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