Hamilton: Canada’s invisible cleantech scene
Earlier this week in New York City a research and investor organization co-founded by a Canadian released a much anticipated list of the world’s 100 most promising clean technology companies.
The Cleantech Group, whose executive chairman and co-founder is Toronto devotee Nicholas Parker, asked the question: Which private clean technology companies are likely to make the most significant market impact over the next five to 10 years?
The organization sent this question to hundreds of folks in the broader global cleantech community. Venture capital investment data was mined. In the end, a list of 3,138 companies was compiled. Using a variety of filters and ranking criteria, that list was whittled down to a short list of 218.
The final list of 100 companies was determined by an expert investor panel composed of 60 people from North America, Europe and Asia.
In the end, only two Canadian companies made the final cut, putting Canada in the same league as Sweden, France, Norway, Switzerland and The Netherlands.
The United Kingdom had more that five times as many companies. The United States dominated with 55.
One of the two Canadian companies on the list is Montreal-based Enerkem, which has a gasification technology that can turn a variety of municipal and industrial solid wastes into ethanol fuel.
Enerkem broke ground on its first municipal waste-to-biofuel facility in August. The $75-million plant is in Edmonton and will be able to produce 36 million litres of ethanol annually. The company is building a similar facility in Mississippi that will be twice the size, and is proving that it makes more sense to chemically convert waste into fuel than to burn it for electricity.
The other Canuck on the list is Vancouver-based Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, which has developed a way to extract nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen from municipal wastewater and turn them into eco-friendly commercial fertilizer.
To date, Ostara has built commercial nutrient-recovery facilities in Oregon, Virginia and Pennsylvania. It also has a demonstration facility operating in Edmonton, which combined with its Enerkem facility is clearly setting the standard for municipal waste management in Canada.
Read the full article at thestar.com