Denmark, Sweden, Germany Dominate Top 10 Cleantech List

Even the primary supplier of Denmark's electricity, NRGi, uses solar panels. (Photo: ricochet64/Shutterstock)

Some estimates say that cleantech will hit the $2 trillion mark by 2030. Shawn Lesser over at Sustainable World Capital looked at which countries are most likely to dominate the space. Here is his Top 10 list of Cleantech Countries.

10. Canada

Canada made it on the top 10 despite its tar sands oil industry. The country runs largely on hydropower and the government has developed an innovative nonprofit foundation that seed funds innovative cleantech companies.

9. China

Though its economy is growing at alarming rates, the government is clear on its cleantech strategy -- it wants to become the leading exporter of both solar and wind. It has also set in place a goal to increase renewables 15% by 2020.

8. United Arab Emirates

UAE is set to be a major cleantech hub in the Middle East with its new Masdar City (completed by 2015) expected to be the first carbon-free, waste-free city in the world.

7. USA

Despite the utter lack of government incentives for the past 10 years, American VC's have been pouring venture money into cleantech, leading the world with 70% of total cleantech investments. Several states, California in particular (which probably should be listed as its own country) leading with innovative clean air and legislation and renewable incentives.

6. Switzerland

This non-EU banking hub has concentrated european cleantech interests. It also runs 56% of its power off hydroelectric.

5. Israel

Tel Aviv is the Silicon Valley of the Middle East, with a strong presence in 3 major sectors -- water, solar, and batteries. Every drop of water counts and Israel, which invented drip irrigation, now recycles 75% of its waste water. It will also be home to Shai Agassi's company Better Place, which is pioneering battery-swapping for all-electric vehicles.

4. United Kingdom

The UK is aiming for 60% carbon footprint reduction by 2050 and has a large concentration of cleantech VC funders.

3. Sweden

The city of Malmo just a few miles from Copenhagen has already reached the highest ratio of renewable energy for a single city -- 40%, and can make the remarkable claim of increasing GDP by 48% while reducing CO2 emissions by 9% (since 1990 levels).

2. Germany

Ironically, one of the greyest countries in the world is the solar capital of the world -- a testament to what strong legislation, government incentives, and lots of German engineers can pull off. Germany is pursuing a 50/50 goal -- 50% renewables by 2050.

1. Denmark

Home to the soon-to-be Copenhagen Agreement, Denmark is striving for 100% renewables. The country was hit hard by the first oil embargo and in response the nation emerged to became the leader of both wind and energy efficiency technologies. Enormously high car taxes have also led to the creation of the most bike-friendly city in the world. The country has also actively promoted public-private partnerships through the Climate Consortium Denmark, which produced a sophisticated website called that tracks the wide array of cleantech companies residing in Europe.