Investment dollars flow to green energy start-ups

The renewable energy market continues to show growth, despite a struggling economy.



According to a Wall Street Journal report , start-ups developing products aimed at wringing every last drop of efficiency from green technologies have become the standouts in the increasingly crowded field of renewable energy.

These companies are gaining favor, in part because they don't require a lot of cash to bootstrap, a big draw at a time when there's not much financing available.

Other winners in the investor sweepstakes are companies seeking to replace existing power grids to allow utilities to interact with home appliances, turning them on when power demand is low and electricity is cheaper.

Two big deals worth a combined $500 million highlight the changing sentiment. Industrial conglomerate United Technologies Corp., best known for its helicopters, jumped into the wind business. Another deal brought chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. into solar.

In the third quarter of 2009, clean energy received 19% of venture capital investment in the U.S., second only to biotechnology, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Assn .

To read the complete article, which analyzes the key sectors and companies in the clean-energy industry, click here .

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