13 Oct 2010
More than one-fifth of the early-stage cleantech companies tipped to make a significant market impact in the near future rely on optical technologies.
The second “Cleantech 100” – a list of early-stage enterprises regarded as the most likely to have a major market impact over the next decade – includes 21 companies whose technology is based on optics.
The list, which is compiled annually by the UK’s Guardian newspaper and the Cleantech Group, features 14 companies working on solar technologies, and seven focused on smart and high-efficiency lighting.
To be on the list, companies must be independent, for-profit, cleantech companies that are not listed on any major stock exchange – thus excluding the likes of First Solar or LED maker Cree, who are already making a significant impact.
According to the Guardian, hundreds of cleantech experts from around the world helped to compile the final list. This year, 4,616 nominations were initially received. These were filtered to create a short list of comprising 218 companies. This list was then presented to an expert advisory panel, with firms scored on three key criteria: their innovation, their market's size and growth, and the company's ability and resources to execute its technology.
Notable winners in the solar energy category include the concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) company Amonix – recently tipped as a likely IPO candidate by analysts at Lux Research and currently building a 240 MW annual production facility near Las Vegas. Other solar companies to make the final cut include the organic PV start-up Heliatek, and record-breaking thin-film CIGS cell maker MiaSolé.
Another LED maker in the final 100 is the Chinese company Lattice Power, which has developed a method for producing GaN-based blue emitters on a silicon substrate – something that should enable a significant reduction in the cost of LED lighting, if good wafer yields can be achieved. The company placed a huge order for production equipment with MOCVD tool supplier Aixtron about a year ago, meaning that it ought to be ramping production soon.