GE released its “Ecomagination” report today outlining the company’s cleantech performance since the new business strategy was launched a year ago. So far, they’re claiming success. The company said its revenues from ecomagination products hit $10.1 billion (U.S.) in 2005, up substantially from $6.2 billion in 2004. The company also said its orders and commitments nearly doubled to $17 billion and that its pipeline of certified products has increased by more than 75 per cent.
“Our advanced environmental products and services are helping customers increase their energy efficiency and reduce costs and emissions. And it is providing the growth we expected for GE, as we are ahead of our plan to reach $20 billion in annual sales of ecomagination products by 2010,” said GE chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Immelt. “With oil prices and other energy costs surging and with water scarcity concerns spreading, ecomagination makes even more sense for our investors today than it did a year ago.”
I have questions: Is this growth merely the result of GE re-classifying or certifying existing products as “ecomagination”? If so, are they talking true growth or merely a shifting of revenues from one class to another? It’s great the company is going strong in this direction, but I wonder how they’re calculating all this. I haven’t read the whole report closely, so hopefully I’ll get that answer when I do.
In other cleantech news, the Cleantech Venture Network released its first quarter 2006 investment figures for the sector and the impressive growth continues. During the first quarter of 2006 venture capital investments totalled $513 million (U.S.), up about 53 per cent from the year prior and a quarter-over-quarter gain of 2.3 per cent.
There were 67 separate deals done, down from 73 in Q4 2005 but up 37 per cent compared to the year prior. That said, the average deal size jumped to $8.28 million, up 20 per cent from the prior quarter and about 17 per cent from a year ago. The report said cleantech investments, out of all VC investments, remained in fifth place behind biotech, software, medical and telecom, and ahead of semiconductors.
Keith Raab, chief executive and co-founder of the Cleantech Venture Network, said energy-related deals dominated cleantech investments in the quarter. “The $357 million invested in energy accounted for nearly 70 per cent of all cleantech Q1 investments and 48 per cent of the total energy investment made in 2005,” he said.
Cleantech investment accounted for 8.5 per cent of all North American venture capital investment in Q1 compared to 9.1 per cent in the previous quarter and 7.5 per cent in Q3 2005.
A full report of the data will be released at the Cleantech Venture Forum X in London, England, on June 7.