Cleantech
for Europe
Annual Briefing

Looking back on 2021

2021 was a record year for EU cleantech.

Will we seize climate and industrial leadership?

Investment in EU cleantech doubled to €11 billion, giving the region a shot at climate and industrial leadership.
Will we seize it?

Clean technologies hold the key to reaching our climate goals. This document helps you track the progress of the cleantech scale-up in the EU, and relevant climate policy developments.

2021 was an all-round record year for EU cleantech.
€11 billion of venture capital were invested in start- and scale-ups developing climate solutions. The EU is now rivalling China for investment amounts and has all but erased its scale-up capital gap.
But getting to scale will be incredibly difficult, and rely on EU policy to accelerate the transition.

11

11

billion

Invested in EU Cleantech VC in 2021, more than doubling the 2020 record.

SEED, VENTURE & GROWTH INVESTMENT IN CLEANTECH, EU27, 2017-21

€1,7
€2,6
€4,4
€4,8
11
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
Billions

EU Cleantech VC investment shatters records

  • In 2021, the EU attracted close to 16% of overall global cleantech VC, on par with its share of global GDP
  • Two of the top six global deals by investment amount went to EU companies
  • The EU is the region showing fastest year-on-year growth

Growth equity made huge gains in 2021.
Will it last?

Growth equity, the EU’s main weakness in cleantech investment and development, shot up in 2021.

“As the funding gap between the US and EU cleantech scenes closes, EU start-ups can afford to think bigger from day one.”

Fabio Lancellotti
Partner, Aster Capital

Share of Global Cleantech VC going to EU by Stage - 2020-21

22%
20%
15%
16%
12%
7%
7%
15%
Seed
Series A
Series B
Growth Equity
2021
2020

2021

Top Cleantech VC deals

Largest deals by size, taken from seed, series A, series B and growth equity invesments

Europe

1

Sweden
€2.3 billion

2

Germany
€600 M

3

France
€464 M

4

Sweden
€283 M

5

Lithuania
€256 M

6

Germany
€250 M

World

1

Sweden
€2.3 billion

1

USA
€2.3 billion

3

USA
€2.24 billion

4

USA
€1.52 billion

5

China
€1.35 billion

6

Germany
€661 M
NOW AVAILABLE

What does 2022
hold for EU Cleantech?

Learn more about how EU policy can support the rise of innovation in the race to net zero

READ THE BRIEFING
Contents
01
Executive summary
02
Looking back on 2021: a record year for EU cleantech
  • EU cleantech investment trends
  • Top deals of the year
  • Top sectors and technologies
  • EU policy review
03
Looking forward to 2022
  • Macro themes that will impact EU cleantech
  • Sectors to watch
  • EU Policy: what’s on the agenda?
04
Cleantech for Europe: year in review, what’s next