The problems with righteous investing

One of the more subtle problems with the first wave of cleantech investing I think has to do with passion, identity and save-the-world over exuberance. It’s hard to call that a fault, but when it comes to making money in the VC model, it’s a problem.

Solar startup Semprius to open first factory next week

Solar startup Semprius says it will open its first factory in North Carolina next week. The company makes solar modules for solar concentrating systems, which use mirrors to focus light onto solar cells. Other startups that make this type of technology have struggled in recent months.

GreenVolts loses ABB as investor, lays off bulk of staff

Solar startup GreenVolts says it has laid off more than 60 of its 80 person staff, as a result of investor ABB removing its support. A small staff remains at GreenVolts to offer customer support of its systems and to look to sell itself or assets.

Solar startup Amonix shutters Vegas factory

A solar startup with a new type of technology, and funding from Kleiner Perkins and the Department of Energy, has closed its factory in Las Vegas after 14 months, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Solar startup Amonix to start layoffs

Amonix, which makes concentrating solar photovoltaic tech that uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto solar cells, will cut 76 workers across its offices in California, according to a Dow Jones Venture Wire report.

The weird story of a Chinese solar firm & Nevada politics

Nevada has tried very hard to attract solar energy investments and one of its latest efforts is both grandly ambitious and peculiar: Chinese energy company ENN Group promises to invest $5 billion to build a solar panel factory, a solar power plant, and an “eco-community.”

SunPower launches its first solar concentrator

Once upon a time, concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technology received ridicule for its design and promise to deliver cheaper electricity. But CPV is now attracting new entrants such as SunPower, the long-time maker of traditional solar panels that on Tuesday launched a CPV system.

The story behind solar startup Alta Devices’ innovation

Alta Devices has garnered high-profile investors, but it’s been fairly quiet about the tech it’s developed to bring in those investors. But after chatting with Alta’s CEO, Christopher Norris, we have a lot better idea on its innovation. Here’s the story behind Alta Devices.

Siemens invests in solar startup Semprius

Power gear giant Siemens has bought a stake in startup Semprius that makes solar concentrating photovoltaic tech, which use mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight onto highly efficient solar cells. Solar concentrating PV is a sort of hybrid between solar panels and solar thermal tech.