solar

Chris Nuttall

Despite the disaster of Solyndra, now is still the best time to invest in solar companies, the FT and Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Financing Innovation conference was told on Tuesday.

In a panel discussion, Steve Westly, a leading cleantech venture capitalist, said that, while the Californian solar cell maker’s bankruptcy had been a terrible thing, four or five global solar brands would emerge within five to 10 years. Read more

Richard Waters

The collapse in solar panel prices has not been bad news for everyone: installers are having a field day. But how do you create a large-scale business quickly in an industry that has always favoured local operators?

US solar installer Sungevity has one answer – it is about to venture into Europe, making it the first to make the move. Read more

Richard Waters

One of Silicon Valley’s most ambitious “green” start-ups looks like it’s about to join the consolidation that’s sweeping through the solar industry.

Ausra, which was backed by more than $90m in equity from blue-blooded venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins and  Khosla Ventures, is in talks with three potential acquirers, according to a person familiar with the situation. Possibilities range from a full buy-out of the firm to a majority investment, this person says.

Originally from Australia (hence the name), Ausra’s founders were lured to California two years ago by the flood of VC money that was pouring into solar at the time. Their company is founded on concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology, which uses mirrors to focus the sun’s rays in order to heat water and drive a turbine. Read more