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Cleantech business will be $350 b by 2020, says Grant Thornton

According to reports, the global business for cleantech energy will be as big as $ 349.2 billion in 2020, compared with $ 188 billion in 2010, says Grant Thornton, the consultancy firm.

In a recent report, Grant Thornton observes that cleantech business is no longer something that companies do in order to be seen as doing the right thing. Today’s drivers of cleantech businesses are cost reduction opportunities, the report says.

The business is already growing. While not yet being “a cash generating adult like oil and gas”, cleantech business has shown that it can stand on its own feet, the report says.

The global market for solar photovoltaics, for example, has expanded from $2.5bn in 2000 to $71.2bn in 2010, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.8 per cent, according to Clean Edge. During that period, the global market for wind power expanded from $4.5bn in 2000 to more than $60.5bn, a CAGR of 29.7 per cent. Other cleantech sectors — eg. hybrid electric vehicles, green buildings and smart grids — have seen similar growth rates.

Grant Thornton India’s Associate Director, Mr Vivek Vikram Singh, says in the report that the coal cess, which will accumulate to around $600 million a year, would be reinvested in clean tech sector. He observes that even during the recession, the renewable energy sector was optimistic.

Mr Singh is also optimistic about M&A deals in the clean tech sector. M&A and PE deals totalling about $400 m have happened in the cleantech sector, which he says, “is very promising, given that this is a sunrise sector.”

While right now the cleantech sector is more a private equity play, M&A activity will pick up in the future, he says.

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