Smart grid venture capital exceeded $27.5 million in Q1 2009


Eric Wesoff,
GTM Research
Cambridge, MA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 3, 2009 – Venture capital in energy efficiency, demand response and the smart grid exceeded $27.5 million in four deals in Q1 of 2009, according to data from Greentech Media.

In total, venture capital investment in green technologies totaled $836.1 million in 59 deals during this period.

Solar continues to be the leading sector in terms of dollars and deals at $356.6 million in 14 deals, followed by energy storage with $121.5 million, and biofuels with $94.15 million.

The numbers are approximately back to 2007 levels, which saw a total of almost $3.5 billion investment in green technologies, before jumping to almost $7.6 billion in 2008.

Smart grid and energy efficiency investments have not jumped, but as the billions of dollars of stimulus funding for the smart grid percolates into the market, an uptick is expected in this sector, says Greentech Media.

“Despite the slump, venture capital investors remain optimistic about the greentech sector and eventual exits in this space,” said Eric Wesoff, analyst at GTM Research and author of the Greentech Innovations Report. “2009 will be a year of consolidation and development while 2010 and 2011 will be the year greentech breaks. Expect to see IPOs and acquisitions of venture capital-funded firms in solar, smart grid and biofuels. All in all, a good start to the year.”

Among the latest deals is an unspecified amount from Google’s venture fund, Google Ventures, in Silver Spring Networks. Earlier this week chip maker Ember closed an $8 million round of funding from Polaris Venture Partners of Waltham, GrandBanks Capital of Newton, RRE Ventures of New York and others.