Press release

Global cleantech industry grows by value and size, despite challenging market conditions

London, 8 August 2013

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Despite challenging market conditions, the key indicators of population and financial performance of public pure-play (PPP) cleantech companies show signs of improvement according to EY’s annual Cleantech industry performance 2013 report, released today. 

  • Number of cleantech companies, globally, grows despite bankruptcies and consolidation
  • Market capitalization bounces back, boosted by energy efficiency companies and renewables
  • Asia-Pacific region emerges as the growth driver, with China leading headcount growth

Commenting on the activity in the sector, Gil Forer, EY’s Global Cleantech Leader says:

“We’ve seen a notable upturn in the performance of the 424 public pure-play cleantech companies globally. Despite a challenging period of consolidation in certain cleantech segments, fiscal issues in some countries and the continuing impact of the financial crisis; we’ve seen an annual gain of 18% in market capitalization (US$170b), and 12% increase in headcount (512,500). Growth in the Asia-Pacific region was a major factor in these increases.”

Asia-Pacific increases company count lead

Globally, the cleantech sector saw the creation of 68 new PPP companies and lost 63 companies in 2012. The Asia-Pacific region was the main winner, increasing 16% to 177 companies, while the company population in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) contracted by 8% to 135 companies. The US and China remain the leading countries in terms of PPP companies, with 70 and 64, respectively.

Energy efficiency surge; renewables recover

The corporate focus on energy efficiency continues to boost the segment, with the number of energy efficiency products companies jumping 14% to 50, and market capitalization increasing 25% to US34.6$b.

The renewable energy sector showed important signs of recovery as generation companies showed across the board gains, benefitting from lower equipment costs. The number of companies increased 14% to 32, market capitalization increased 8% to US$25.5b and revenues increased 23% to US$11.1b.

While the number of wind equipment companies fell by 2% to 53, market capitalization increased by 2% to US$30.8b and revenues increased 14% to US$35.3b. The picture for solar is more mixed, with the number of solar equipment companies falling by 2% but market capitalization up 14% to US$28.8b; however, solar revenues declined by 16% to US$42.5b.

Biofuels also experienced significant growth in 2012 as the number of companies in the segment increased 8% to 41, market capitalization shot up 25% to US$13.1b and revenues grew 14% to US$26.0b.

Growing number of jobs in cleantech

The global headcount of public cleantech companies stands at 512,500, up 12% from last year. China, with over half the global headcount, was the source of this growth, led by additions in the solar and wind segments globally.

Forer concludes: “The cleantech sector globally has shifted to growth. Resource scarcity, energy security concerns, population growth and increasing consumption, by expanding middle classes in emerging markets, will continue to drive this cleantech market growth. China is consolidating its position as the most important cleantech market and is poised to overtake the US as the number one center for public cleantech companies.”


Notes to editors


The PPP universe comprises the public companies in the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) database classified as deriving 50% to 100% of their total value from clean energy as of April 2013. Public investment funds and acquisition vehicles are excluded. Companies participating in carbon markets activities are also excluded. 

Company revenue and market cap data is drawn from their fiscal year 2012 annual reports and S&P Capital IQ. Market cap figures were recorded on 29 April 2013. 

The financial results of companies that report in non-US currencies were converted to US dollars using the exchange rate that obtained at the end of their respective fiscal years. 

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How EY’s Global Cleantech Center can help your business

From start-ups to large corporations and national governments, organizations worldwide are embracing cleantech as a means of growth, efficiency, sustainability and competitive advantage. As cleantech enables a variety of sectors, old and new, to transform and participate in a more resource-efficient and low-carbon economy, we see innovation in technology, business models, financing mechanisms, cross-sector partnerships and corporate adoption. EY’s Global Cleantech Center offers you a worldwide team of professionals in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services who understand the business dynamics of cleantech. We have the experience to help you make the most of opportunities in this marketplace, and address any challenges. Whichever sector or market you’re in, we can provide the insights you need to realize the benefits of cleantech.