Today in Cleantech

The solar industry still manages to find investors, despite this year’s carnage (Earth2Tech has a good table outlining the 8 solar companies that have become insolvent, filed for bankruptcy or exited the solar industry since September). This week Google got into utility solar projects and this morning came news that thin film startup, Stion, has landed $130 million in VC from a group led by Korean investors. Add to that the moves by Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy to start buying solar projects and suddenly it doesn’t look so dire in solar. To an extent there’s a short term/long term dichotomy at play here where investors realize that solar power continues to come down in cost (see my weekly update this week about how First Solar thinks it can hit grid parity in 3-4 years), and if you can hang on for 5-7 years, the time will come where the solar market will be price competitive absent subsidies. In the short term, though, it’s rough going.