Many are confused by the number of terms being slung around in the Green Arena today. One of the most common is “Clean Tech.”
Clean Tech, which is short for clean technology, is often used interchangeably with the term green technology. However, clean tech is broader in scope and is driven by market economics (versus regulations). Clean tech covers several industry sectors, including: energy generation, storage and efficiency, transportation, building, manufacturing, recycling and waste management, and agriculture.
Essentially, though, the term cleantech refers to products or services that reduce or eliminate our negative environmental impact while improving the sustainable use of our natural resources. Cleantech products or services not only provide better performance, they often do so at lower costs.
According to the Cleantech Group, LLC, clean tech venture investments in North America, Europe, China and India totaled $8.4 billion in 2008, up almost 40% from 2007; however those figures dropped sharply in the first quarter of 2009 as cleantech investments underwent a “period of transition.”
Nonetheless, based on a 2009 survey of venture capitalists around the world, the National Venture Capital Association predicted “The cleantech sector is poised to become the leading investment category….” And the London-based New Energy World Network has reported: “More substantial funding is coming with the US American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), which contains over $100bn of dollars in direct spending, loan guarantees and incentives to promote the development of cleantech in energy, water and environment.”