A new survey has found that the number of private capital investors planning to invest in Europe’s clean energy sector is set to treble.

More than 40 per cent of private capital investors will allocate over 10 per cent of their available funds to clean energy over the next 18 months according to law firm Taylor Wessing’s survey, with 80 per cent in total planning to invest in the sector.

Venture capital investment in European clean energy companies slumped to $82m last quarter, compared with $210m in the same period in 2011. The problem is acute among early stage ventures, where venture capital investment fell to its lowest quarterly level in two years, according to the survey.

“At the moment bank lending is almost non-existent and venture capital and private equity funds are either reluctant or unable to invest in early stage technologies within the clean energy sector,” said Jerry Biggs, chief executive at Narec Capital, a clean energy consultancy. “This is providing an opportunity for private investors to take up the slack and lock in early stage value.”

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