Along with the rest of the economy, venture capital investment in green technology has fallen off the proverbial cliff, according to a survey released Wednesday by market research firm the Cleantech Group.
Global investment in renewable energy, electric cars and other green tech dropped 48% to $1 billion in the first quarter of 2009 from the previous year and fell 41% from the previous quarter. (Global here being defined as North America, Europe, China and India.)
The survey, conducted with Deloitte, found that the size of the average round of funding also crashed, from $20 million in the fourth quarter of 2008 to $12.3 million in the first quarter.
Solar captured the biggest chunk of VC cash at $346 million, with the money going to companies like concentrated photovoltaic startup SolFocus and Norwegian polysilicon maker Norsun.
“Venture funds continue to invest significant sums, albeit at a slower pace and smaller scale than in the past two years,” Brian Fan, the Cleantech Group’s senior director of research, said in a statement.
North America remains the epicenter of green tech investing, with nearly two-third of all of investments in the first quarter.