This week, Sage Electrochromics—a company that makes windows that automatically tint to cut heating and air conditioning—was acquired bySaint-Gobain in a deal that underscores one of the long-running, yet little-noticed, trends in green technology. Namely, that conglomerates from France have been on an extended buying spree in the U.S.
The French seem to be everywhere. Late last month, NanoH2O, which has developed an advanced desalination membrane, announced it had raised $60 million more in venture funds. One of the new investors was Total EnergyVentures International, the venture arm of the Total energy conglomerate. Since 2009, NanoH2O has been working with Veolia, the water and waste conglomerate that helped build the sewers of Paris.