It’s hardly surprising, given the obvious need, that investors are ready and willing to put money into green clean technology. That’s not a hard prediction to make. Still, given the down economy and the generally down numbers and poor outlook on investing, how about this:

During 2008, green-tech venture investments jumped to $8.4 billion, a 38 percent increase, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday by the Cleantech Group.

Cleantech Group’s senior research director, Brian Fan, said in a statement:

2008 saw solar take a 40 percent share of clean-technology venture investment dollars, led by mega investment rounds in thin-film solar, concentrated solar thermal and solar-service provider companies.

Investors also continued to migrate from first-generation ethanol and biodiesel technologies to next-generation biofuels technologies, led by algae and synthetic biology companies. Other sectors with healthy investor interest included smart-grid companies, small-scale wind turbines, plastics recycling, green buildings and agriculture technologies.

So that’s good news to me, on two levels. First, it’s hard evidence that some business is doing fine, still growing; second, I think it gives us hope that there might eventually be real solutions to some of the global problems that plague us all.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.