Nanosolar: No Solar Panel Auction For You


Here’s a brief note to digest during your Xmas cheer-induced hangover. Nanosolar’s landmark “#2” thin-film solar panel, which was put up on eBay last week, has yet to find a home with an adoring fan. The thin-film solar startup that just started shipping its solar panels says eBay prematurely ended the auction with no winning bidder after the company decided to give the proceeds to charity. Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen writes on the company blog:

The eBay auction started at 99 cents and quickly reached more than $13,000.00, and there was still more than 6 days left. At the point where it became clear that the auction would reach thousands of dollars, we decided it would be appropriate to use the proceeds after the auction for a charitable purpose. We regret that without warning eBay today decided to delete our auction due to the promised charitable use of the proceeds.

You probably weren’t pining away over the panel, but it’s nice to have such iconic cleantech gear bring in the dollars for a good cause. Well, the company isn’t losing too much sleep over it and is keeping the panel at Nanosolar HQ, and states: “This isn’t a battle we care to fight more than an afternoon.” Back to doing what they do best: manufacturing the thin-film solar gear.




Green energy is definitely the best solution in most cases. Technology like solar energy, wind power, fuel cells, zaps electric vehicles, EV hybrids, etc have come so far recently. Green energy even costs way less than oil and gas in many cases.

Peter M

I guess I can remotely understand why a listing isn’t allowed to just claim that its purse will go to charity, but for such a high-profile auction with so much time left on the ticker this is really just obscene. You’d think this is something that could be resolved with a few exchanges of legal contract between eBay and Nanosolar.

Just for fun though, let’s do a quick Kevin Bacon-style connection to show that they are even in the same family. Nanosolar’s investing partners, Larry Page and Sergey Brin (of Google of course), also investors (passively) in Tesla, which is principally financed and run by Elon Musk, progenitor of Paypal, which is now partnered up with eBay. Ah, the new world of clean tech is so wonderfully incestuous with Silicon Valley…

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