A surge in funding to energy storage companies helped US venture capital investment in clean-teach firms rocket 73 per cent increase in the third quarter of this year compared to 2010.

A total of 76 deals accounted for a total investment of $1.1bn, according to analysts at Ernst & Young.

 “Confidence in clean-tech investing continues despite the challenging investment market,” said Jay Spencer, Ernst & Young Americas clean-tech director.

The energy storage sector raised $421m in the third quarter, marking a 1932 per cent  increase on the same period last year. Throughout 2011 so far, the market has raised  $865.2m, with the greatest investment made in fuel cells, which accounted for $225.5m.

In the alternative fuels sector, Ernst & Young found that biofuel deals led the way, with $23.5m raised. Within the biofuels sector, analysts stressed the importance of international alliances and highlighted several key programmes, including Dow Chemical and Mitsui’s joint venture to produce ethanol and biopolymers in Brazil, and GE’s teaming with Virgin Australia and Canadian biofuels firm Dynamotive Energy Systems to develop commercial biofuel for the aviation industry.

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