13 solar startups to watch in 2013

Solar makers are getting squeezed in a difficult global solar market, but the growth of solar panel installations continues to soar. This should all make 2013 a very interesting year for solar startups. Here’s 13 solar startups to watch in 2013:

Solar startup Stion raises $25M, but cuts costs, workers

Amidst rampant solar manufacturing bankruptcies, thin film solar startup Stion has raised a $25 million equity round, of a planned $55 million round. At the same time the company is cutting costs and laid off a small amount of workers.

Korean funds back tenKsolar’s wave solar

Solar startups have been a favorite target for Korean conglomerates looking to boost clean power investments. TenKsolar certainly has caught the attention of one of them, Hanwha, which just led a series B round of $15.5 million the companies said Wednesday.

PHOTOS: Next-gen solar, robots and patriotic marketing

The inaugural PV America West solar trade show, which took place in San Jose amid a big trade dispute involving Chinese manufacturers, offered novel solar equipment designs and robotic technology as well as an interesting mix of marketing and politics.

MiaSole ships solar to India, looks for white knight

India wants a lot of solar energy, and it’s getting a lot of financial help from the U.S.. The Export-Import Bank has provided a $3.7 million loan to a project developer to build a 2 MW project in India using MiaSole’s thin films.

GE’s grand solar plan: A 400 MW factory in Colorado

General Electric has been plotting a solar empire for several years now, and it has settled on a place for the crown jewel of the plan: a 400 MW factory in Colorado to produce solar panels and compete with the likes of First Solar.

When good tech ideas go bad

Sometimes tech trends end up disrupting huge industries, like when the idea of Skype and free web calls, collided with the phone companies. However, sometimes tech ideas have all the makings of these kind of disruptions but ultimately end up flaming out. Here’s why:

Amidst solar sell off, SK Group shows interest in HelioVolt

Solar thin-film startup HelioVolt has lined up Korean conglomerate SK Group as an equity investor as it tries to scale up and move into mass production. SK announced Monday that it’s made an equity investment of $50 million in HelioVolt.

As Solyndra falls, Stion scales up

Silicon Valley solar thin-film startup, Stion, on Friday officially opened the door of its factory in Mississippi, marking a milestone for the company as it seeks to expand production quickly in an increasingly competitive market.

Fall special: solar companies for sale

The sale season is on for solar. SpectraWatt, which filed for bankruptcy last month, plans to hold a live auction of its silicon solar factory equipment on Sept. 28. Others will follow.