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U.S. Cleantech Funding Climbs 73% to $1.1 Billion

U.S. venture capital investment in clean technology rose 73 percent from a year earlier to $1.1 billion in the third quarter, led by funding for companies developing power-storage systems, according to a study by Ernst & Young LLP.

There were 76 companies developing renewable power and energy-efficiency technologies that received funding in the quarter, more than double the 36 investments last year, the New York-based accounting company said today in a statement.

The world’s growing population, developing economies, climate change and increased interest in energy security are making cleantech companies attractive to investors, said Jay Spencer, Ernst & Young LLP’s Americas Cleantech Director.

“It’s a challenging investing environment overall right now and cleantech is holding its own,” receiving about 10 percent to 15 percent of all venture capital investment in the quarter, he said in an interview yesterday.

Energy-storage companies were the top recipients, with $421 million in investments. Companies developing fuel cells received $225.5 million, led by $150 million in funding for Bloom Energy Corp., whose generators are used by Google Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other companies.

Energy-generation companies received $255.1 million, with 77 percent going to solar energy.

Investments in energy efficiency totaled $245.1 million. The largest was a $60 million funding round for the Livermore, California-based light-emitting diode maker Bridgelux Inc.

Ernst & Young’s analysis was based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

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