Clean technology ventures saw $1.6 billion in investment in Q3, according to a new analysis released yesterday by Ernst & Young, with Pacific Northwest companies among those driving investments in the sector to a record. According to Ernst & Young LLP, based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource, investments in U.S. cleantech companies was up 55% from the previous quarter, driving the total invested in the sector to $3.3 billion for the first three quarters of 2008. Among the companies driving the numbers were investments in Seattle-based firm Imperium Renewables and Altarock Energy, along with Bothell, Wash.-based HaloSource and Ashland, Oregon-based Brammo. Imperium Renewables develops biodiesel refining technology; Altarock Energy is focused on the geothermal energy market; HaloSource in the clean water arena; and Brammo in electric motorcycles. Nationally, the three largest areas for investment in the quarter were Energy/Electricity Generation (including solar), Energy Efficiency, and Alternative Fuels.