The success story of innovative cleantech companies is continuing. This is demonstrated in the Cleantech report published by Cleantech Flanders. The most recent data show that not only is the number of cleantech companies increasing, but with 1.32 billion euros in investments and almost 2,000 new employees, our cleantech is increasingly putting itself on the map, both nationally and internationally.
The number of applications of cleantech technologies is growing by the day. It should come as no surprise that the energy transition is the ideal field for cleantech. The evolution in battery technology, the large-scale integration of renewable energy and the research into renewable energy carriers such as green hydrogen and the roll-out of heat networks are at the forefront. It is clear that there is a growing awareness that Europe must become much more self-sufficient in strategic raw materials.
As a result, the energy transition is proceeding at an unprecedented pace. Vestas, for example, a Danish supplier of wind turbines with two facilities in Flanders, acquired more than 800 million euros and dominates the general cleantech investment landscape in Flanders. But cleantech awareness is also growing in the construction sector. Circular economy and maximum recycling form the backbone of this.
The past two years have been marked by corona. In this context, not only is there an increase in the number of registered companies in the cleantech sector, but also a statistically relevant increase in both the total EBITDA growth (+26.61% YoY) and the average EBITDA growth per actor (+21.87% YoY). The statement that companies with a focus on sustainability would be better able to cope with the crisis therefore also gains credibility.
Noteworthy in 2020 is the trend that cleantech actors are spreading more widely across Flanders. Whereas we used to see a consolidation of actors in the main economic hubs, 2020 was notable for a reversal of this trend. For the first time, many top 10 cities saw a decrease in the number of registered actors, while many smaller communities reported an increase. One assumption is that this is partly due to the change in working conditions following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flemish Minister for Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits: "The growing number of companies and profits despite the global corona crisis point to the strength and resilience of the cleantech sector. I am convinced that all sectors will benefit from the further integration of cleantech in their business operations. It also contributes to reducing their ecological footprint and building a green, prosperous future for Flanders."
Want to know more? You can find the report here.