Today in Cleantech

Good news for clean technology this morning. The second quarter of 2011 saw global clean energy investment jump to $41.7 billion, up from the first quarter’s dismal $31.1 billion and the third highest quarterly figure on record, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Amidst a host of data pointing to the upsurge, it looks like financing for several large-scale solar thermal power plant projects, including BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah project in California, really helped push up the second quarter’s figures. At the same time, China kept its top spot in total clean energy investment at $12 billion for the quarter, higher than the U.S. figure of $10.5 billion, although China’s investment level fell while U.S. investment rose. Europe’s second-quarter green investment rose to $8.9 billion and India’s jumped 45 percent to $2.5 billion. As for private equity green finance, BNEF counted up $3.1 billion in the second quarter, which is the highest since the pre-economic collapse third quarter of 2008 (note that this figure differs from the lackluster $1.87 billion in second quarter green venture capital investment reported by the Cleantech Group last week).