The Global Cleantech 100: What’s Not Happening in Cleantech

There were no companies from China on the list, which was issued yesterday by the Cleantech Group and The Guardian, and only three from India — although maybe that’s because the judges were almost all from North America and Europe, which got over 90 percent of the companies between them. Over half were in the U.S.

Big sectors of cleantech were also under-represented. Over half of the companies are focused on generating or saving energy, while very few are working on transportation, recycling, agriculture or the environment.

Water, energy storage and energy infrastructure companies did better, but they were still less than a third of the list even when combined.

The list is an interesting read because it describes in some detail what each company is doing, but to me it shows how far clean tech has to go to become mainstream, and perhaps how disconnected North American and European investors are from what’s happening in the rest of the world.

Are there really no clean tech companies in China — now the most populated nation on earth — that are “on the forefront of cleantech innovation, offering solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges?”

The Cleantech Group says that “China’s importance and leadership in this area should not be overstated.”