The Holidays in Cleantech – Dec. 17 – Jan. 6

Greetings roundup readers! This being our first Monday back from the holidays, we’ll focus this roundup on some of the deals that took place during our break. But first, we need to appropriately close out 2012. Last week we did this with our press briefing of preliminary Q4 and full-year investment monitor figures, in which we reported 2012 venture capital in clean technology totaling $6.46 billion across 704 deals. That represented a 33% and 15% decline from the robust numbers in 2011 by dollars and deal count, respectively, and a reset to near-2009 levels of VC activity. We see many forces influencing this drop, but we’ll spare this post the detail in favor of our 4Q/FY report, due out later in this first quarter. i3 subscribers can join us for a special client-focused investment webinar tomorrow, Tuesday morning at 8am PT/11am ET by signing up here.

The important thing to remember, however, is that venture capital investment is down across all sectors, not just cleantech. And though 2012 did see a steep decline, clean technology innovators march on. This was especially evident over the holiday break when, despite this correspondent’s best efforts to cease all activity in favor of an egg nog in front of the fireplace, we saw many exciting deals taking place. These are just a few:

Last Wednesday, we woke up to some very big news from one of 2011’s big cleantech exits, as the car-sharing pioneer Zipcar announced it had agreed to be acquired by Avis Budget Group, a major global provider of car rental services, for $500 million.

EnerG2, a Seattle-Washington based producer of nano-structured carbon materials for energy storage applications, managed to squeeze in some last minute business on New Year’s Eve and raised $9.4 million in a new growth equity round led by OVP Venture Partners.

And Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings made serious moves in solar energy during the week, acquiring the 579 MW Antelope Valley Solar Projects from SunPower for $2.5 billion. This grows MidAmerican’s renewable energy holdings, which have included its acquisitions of First Solar’s Topaz solar farm and a 49% stake in NRG’s Agua Caliente project.

Again, these are just a few of the exciting deals we saw in the last few weeks. Hop on/Subscribe to the i3 Platform for access to all the deals we track, and to drill down further into specific cleantech sub-sectors.