Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Investments in “cleantech” worldwide surged in the second quarter to $2.02 billion, up 43 percent from a year ago, according to new data from the and Deloitte.

Investments did slip slightly from $2.04 billion in the first quarter.

The number of deals also declined in deals reported April-June to 140 from a record high 192 in the previous quarter.

Deals were made with 140 companies in North America, Europe, China and India.

“In spite of the persistence of wider concerns about the strength and sustainability of the global recovery, the strong flow of investment dollars to cleantech growth companies has continued in 2Q10, with cleantech venture investment in the first half of 2010 edging slightly ahead of the record total recorded during the first half of 2008,” said Richard Youngman, the head of research for Cleantech Group.

The new record is $4.04 billion, topping $4.02 billion.

“Key to this has been the resurgence of solar, and a high volume of follow-on rounds, including many blockbuster deals, which are, in part, a response to the lackluster and unpredictable state of the cleantech IPO market.”

While Tesla executed an IPO for its electric motor vehicle business, two other IPOs – Goldwind and Solyndra – were withdrawn.

Cleantech and Deloitte also noted that corporate investors are helping drive the deal making. Among the investors were Intel Capital, GE Capital and Shell.

Utility firms also increased investments in renewable energy some 148 percent the first six months of the year compared to the same time period in 2009.

Solar led the way in venture investments for the second quarter at $811 million in 26 deals followed by biofuels at $302 million for 13 deals and smart grid at $256 million for 11 deals.

Most investments (72 percent) were made in North America followed by Europe/Israel (24 percent), India (3 percent) and China (2 percent).

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