Friday, 6 February 2009

Clean Sweep 55

A round-up of recent news in clean technology and cleantech investment.

German biomass tech developer Maxxtec has raised Euro10m from corporate VC Siemens Venture Capital. Siemens VC takes a 20% stake in the company, in the first deal from its new Growth Capital programme of later-stage investment.
Maxxtech provides a range of hardware for biomass power generation and industrial waste-to-energy plants, including heat recovery systems, steam generators, and low-temperature modules, as well as support services.

Renewable packaging group Xylophane has wrapped a SKr34m (£2.8m) round from Sweden's SEB Venture Capital and Belgium's Capricorn Cleantech Fund.
The Gothenburg-based company is developing a biopolymer material that can replace polymer- and aluminium-based materials in food and chemical packaging.

Israeli concentrating solar firm Aora (formerly EDIG Solar) has closed a $5m first round led by EZKlein Partners. The firm is working on what it claims will be the world’s first commercial hybrid solar thermal gas-turbine power station. The pilot plant, which is planned to begin operations in late March, will produce 100KW of electricity and 170KW of heat.

Across the pond, wind industry supplier TPI Composites closed a $20m second round from engineering and infrastructure giant GE and existing investors. The investment follows a $22m first round in October '07.
The Arizona-based firm manufactures custom blades for wind turbines, as well as products for transport and military vehicle applications, using a VOC-free infusion moulding process.

Californian solar installer Borrego Solar Systems raised $14m from an unnamed corporate investor. It's the first venture funding for the 29-year-old company, which is planning major geographic expansion.

A couple of electric car tech developers raised first rounds. Coulomb Technologies raised a $3.5m round led by Germany's Estag Capital, some way below its original target. California-based Coulomb is rolling out what it calls 'the most advanced networked vehicle charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicles'. (Rival network developer Better Place meanwhile announced a Euro103m deal to roll out a network in Denmark, alongside utility partner Dong Energy.)
Texas-based KLD Energy raised $1m from an unidentified private investor. The firm is developing low-RPM transmissionless motors for electric bikes and trikes, and is looking to begin production in Vietnam later this year.

Further reading
New Energy Finance predicts a year of consolidation for clean energy. The solar sector should see particularly strong consolidation as module prices fall by up to 40%, while geothermal and smart grid tech (which NEF dubs 'digital energy') will see investment soar. For more, see the press release (56kb pdf).
NEF has also released a handy fact pack on clean energy investment (1.6mb pdf), prepared for the Davos World Economic Forum meeting.

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