Clean technology investors who have suffered through 2009 can find cheer in a new report by the Cleantech Group that gives its top ten predictions for 2010.

The number one prediction: Private capital growth will recover, the research group said.

The group believes that the amount of money from global venture capital and private equity in clean technology in 2010 will surpass that in 2009 “by a healthy margin” and could be a record year. The group also is watching for major investments like Khosla Ventures’ raising $1 billion for renewable energy and clean technology funds, more capital in Asia and innovative fund strategies.

Here are the group’s other predictions for 2010:

2.    Clean economies become the new space race. There will be changes in which countries and cities are driving global momentum, but greater protectionism surrounding the industry will be a drawback.

3.    Electric cars take the back seat to smart mobility. The trend will influence city designs, shipping ports and governments’ tax incentives and budgets.