Portfolio Management of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Assets – From underperformance to maximum value


Rob Andrews
Like all stakeholders in large-scale industries, the actors within the solar market are susceptible to operation and maintenance costs that result from system underperformance, downtime or asset degradation. When a solar asset operates suboptimally, it can have repercussions from both cost and energy yield standpoints. Across many of the industries we cover, we see more innovators trying to capture the true potential of assets through new enabling technologies that address asset underperformance. One of these players within our network is... Read More »

Infinite Drivetime: Talking Solar Cars With Lightyear


Louis Brasington
Solar-powered cars have been mostly experimental vehicles trying to break records at competitions like the World Solar Challenge in Australia. On the commercial side, the efforts have tended toward Solar Assisted Electric Vehicles (SAEVs). These vehicles have proven impractical and expensive, providing nothing more than small incremental gains to mileage. Ford and Toyota have had shots at products and to date, no system has managed to gain traction. With the coming of low cost-efficient solar cells alongside the transformation of... Read More »

European Utilities Support UN Development Goals


Louis Brasington
Last month, the United National delegates came together in New York, assessing the progress for their Sustainable Development Goals. The focus this year was on how nations can provide access to affordable and reliable energy, water, and safe and resilient cities. The meeting marked three years since the UN committed to reaching universal access to affordable and clean energy by 2030. Large energy corporates have been actively involved in the push across the globe, deploying decentralized energy systems through partnering... Read More »

Room for Innovation in Mature Renewable Energy Industries


Troy Ault
In mid-October we hosted our latest Power Breakfast here in San Francisco with the support, as always, of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Silicon Valley Bank. So, I’ve been meaning to post this for a few weeks, but have been happily busy on various client work and prep for a new baby girl set to arrive later this month! Better late than never! At any rate, our topic in October was SaaS Innovation in Pursuit of Lowest-Cost Renewable Power,... Read More »

Cleantech’s Four $1,000,000,000 Sectors


Josh Gilbert
Introduction Our Quarterly Investment Monitor has just been released, including a round-up for 2016 to help understand the trends driving the past year’s cleantech investments. For the first time since 2011, we had four cleantech sectors pass the $1 Billion mark in global venture capital investment last year –Transportation, Energy Efficiency, Solar and Agriculture. In this blog post, we’ll go behind the numbers to have a look at some of the specific innovations and companies driving the growth and diversity... Read More »

Renewable Energy Down Under: Where solar-plus-storage and utilities become good friends?


Josh Gilbert
In case you hadn’t heard, changes are afoot in our energy system. With previously preventative price points now falling rapidly, are we now seeing an opportunity for an accompanying change in the pricing of our energy? As production ramps up, the energy storage systems required to firm intermittent renewable power are beginning to become financially viable. Smart inverters and corresponding software are combining with solar-plus-storage systems to enable truly democratized energy. To this point, customers in many geographies are already... Read More »

Are we starting to see the end of the wave of major venture-backed solar companies?


Michele Parad
By Simeran Bachra and Michele Parad Solar has strong head-winds right now, with the market forecasted to grow 25-50% in 2016 alone. We are seeing a rise in consolidation, and in both horizontal and vertical integration across the industry. Industry leaders, many of whom have appeared on our past editions of the Global Cleantech 100 (GCT100) – are expanding their market share and taking control of solar deployment across the customer value chain (from owning and operating plants, to financing,... Read More »

Technological edge means business: why we’re adding patents to i3


Jules Besnainou
Each investor, innovation executive or business unit manager has their unique process to discover and evaluate companies in a technology area. However, they all share one key criterion to set companies apart: technological edge and the ability to protect it. With that in mind, we have been hard at work on a feature that would allow you to easily navigate a company's IP portfolio. And it is now ready! Here's what we just launched on i3 Connect: A tile showing US and... Read More »

Solar Industry Consolidates… Corporates Increase Involvement


Quitterie de Rivoyre
2015 is off to a good start for residential and commercial scale solar companies. Dollars and partnerships are making daily news and one can easily notice the increasing consolidation of the sector. In these recent deals, corporations are very much involved. The latest on the record is Apple's impressive off-take agreement of $848 million for solar power from First Solar's 130-MW California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County. This 25-year Power Purchase Agreement is Apple's fourth solar farm project, adding to Apple's Data Center... Read More »

Renewable Funding Goes Public


Gannon McHenry
The Great Recession brought about large financial losses, caused the tightening of credit markets, and led to a general prevalence of tax write-offs as a result of the tanking market. Diminished access to private loans, along with the increase in popularity of MLP and REIT structures, led many in the renewable energy industry to wonder if they could take advantage of these newer public financing structures. Practically unheard of just a few years ago, YieldCos have taken off in popularity... Read More »