Business 2.0 recently published a report on the state of the California solar tech boom, and its potential to revolutionize the power market. Pictured here is a solar module from Energy Innovations (EI Solutions). The start-up company was recently given the contract to build Google's solar project. Excerpts from the article appear after the link:
The signs of world-changing transformation are everywhere: Venture capitalists are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Valley solar startups pursuing technological breakthroughs to make sun power as cheap as fossil fuel. Three of the largest tech IPOs of 2005 were for solar companies, including San Jose-based SunPower, a spinoff of chipmaker Cypress Semiconductor.
Other old-line Valley tech companies are also jumping into the market. Among the most significant is Applied Materials. The world's largest chip-equipment maker will begin producing machines to manufacture solar wafers, laying the groundwork for an industrial infrastructure that should lower the cost of producing solar cells. For the first time in many years, high-tech manufacturing plants - yes, factories - are being built in Silicon Valley.
There are huge forces at work right now," says Sunil Paul, an Internet entrepreneur turned alternative-energy investor. "With the subsidies that are already in place in California, and markets for carbon credits emerging, you have the perfect conditions for innovative companies to capture a piece of the $1 trillion U.S. electricity market. As a startup you have a massive number of customers to go after. And as an investor, it not only makes straight-ahead business sense to put money into these companies, but you can also be excited that you are doing something that's good for the planet. That is a powerful combination."