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Persuading consumers to pay for solar is a tough challenge. A solar electric system commands the cost of a new car but, unlike a car, it isn’t necessary. Solmentum, a more recent entrant, says it’s found a more efficient approach to reeling in customers. Read more »


After 10 years of technology development and lining up investors including Intel, solar thin film company Sulfurcell has retooled its business plan that includes a name change, a technology shift and a focus beyond selling solar panels, company executives said Thursday. Read more »

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Big box stores have tried to market solar electric equipment and installation services for years, but they haven’t seen good results. Lowe’s is hoping to change that by offering services from Sungevity and investing in Sungevity. Read more »


Auto makers aren’t making much money (if any) off of electric cars yet. The same thing is true for the makers of the batteries that will run them. A123 System on Monday reported lower sales and widened its loss for the first quarter. Read more »


Solar project developers typically distinguish themselves, among other things, by technology choices. Those who develop photovoltaic power plants tend to stick with PV. That trend is changing. Solar Trust of America is teaming up with a German company to develop PV power plants. Read more »

Temple in Gujarat India

It’s one thing for a small percentage of wealthy homes in California and New Jersey to get solar panels. It will be another thing entirely for India, with its 1.19 billion population, to make a substantial commitment to solar power. Read more »


Applied Materials refocused its solar business last year to concentrate on serving manufacturers of silicon-based equipment, and it’s continuing that strategy with Wednesday’s announcement to buy Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates for about $4.9 billion. Read more »

Fallbrook Technologies 3

The blockbuster IPO by Tesla Motors revved up the public profile of electric cars over the past year. But Fallbrook Technologies, which makes transmission systems for bikes and EVs, pulled its $50 million IPO plan because of “unfavorable market conditions.” Read more »

Thin Film Solar Underdog MiaSole Looks Ahead to New Plant, Solar Shingles

Intel is known for its ability to roll out chips speedily in giant factories. Can that knowledge help a solar startup? MiaSole announced Tuesday that it has enlisted the chip giant to help the company scale up its thin-film solar production. Read more »


The rumor has become reality: BrightSource Energy, which is heavily backed by private and public money for its concentrating solar thermal technology, on Friday filed for an initial public offering to raise $250 million. Read more »

Ribbon cutting in front of the solar array

Solaria corralled political dignitaries such as California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to show off a new headquarters and adjacent demonstration array of its solar panels in Fremont Friday. The occasion marks a milestone for a company that took a while to engineer a product that could attract customers. Read more »


Has Solaria finally hit its stride? The company is now on a path to expand production, and later this morning, it’s scheduled to celebrate the new dig with big-name guests such as California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sierra Club’s executive director Mike Brune. Read more »

SolarCity installation

Does a solar electric system add to the sales value of a home? The Berkeley Lawrence National Laboratory decided to answer this question, and the result is a report being issued Thursday that showed that, indeed, solar homes command higher prices. Read more »


The federal government, which is one of the biggest boosters of electric cars, announced two initiatives on Tuesday: a Google Map project featuring charging stations nationwide, and $5 million in funding for cities to come up with plans to popularize electric cars. Read more »

Solarthermische Parabolrinnenkraftwerke Andasol 1 und 2

It’s a double-whopper: The federal government is offering the largest loan guarantee commitment yet to what will be the world’s largest proposed solar farm. Blythe Solar is set to get $2.1 billion in loan guarantees to build part of a 1,000MW plant in California. Read more »


Solar cell developer Suniva , which recently decided to suspend effort to secure a federal loan guarantee for a new factory, has raised about $94.4 million in equity out of a $115 million goal, according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more »


Cleantech is losing its mojo to upstarts peddling coupons. These days, it’s not hard to find tech companies, investors and market analysts comparing cleantech to Groupon, which generated a lot of buzz when it turned down a reportedly $5-6 billion offer from Google late last year. Read more »

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