Shawn Lesser of Sustainable World Capital has named his choices for the top 10 cleantech countries of 2009. Lesser researched a variety of factors including the availability of green collar jobs, government programs that support cleantech development, and funding for the industry.

Lesser admits that there are no black and white answers and instead used his research to choose his top ten picks. Denmark, a wind energy Mecca, came in at the top of Lesser’s top 10 cleantech countries of 2009 list.

“The Danes are Europe's largest exporters of energy technology and the birthplace of wind technology. The Danish wind industry accounts for approximately one-third of the world market, with big players such as Vestas, Siemens and Gamesa all having major R&D and production facilities in Denmark. The Danes also have the financial backing of ATP Pension Fund, DONG Energy and AP Pension, all with huge mandates for cleantech.” Source: Cleantech Group LLC

The following countries round out the top 10 (in order): Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, Israel, Switzerland, United States, United Arab Emirates, China, and Canada.

Are you surprised to see any of these countries on the list? When I first read through Lesser’s list I was a bit surprised to see the United Arab Emirates, which sits amidst large oil fields and is rich on petroleum profits. However, these riches will help the country prepare for the day that those oil fields run dry.

Case in point – Masdar City. Lesser reports that this massive city will be “the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste city.” Although that is a very lofty goal, the UAE has been success in previous large-scale, difficult commercial developments. Just look at Ski Dubai and Dubai’s man-made Palm Island.

Now that Lesser has picked his choices for the top 10 cleantech countries of 2009, I’d love to hear from you. What country (ies) would you add to his list? Do you think the United States should be doing more so that they can top Lesser’s 2010 list?

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