The maturation and scale of the silicon photovoltaic industry have resulted in a decline in attention from corporate and venture funding for solar-related start-ups. Mercom Capital reports a tepid $1.7 billion in corporate funding, a year-on-year drop of 71%, and $174 million in venture funding – a quarter-on-quarter drop of 57%. The drying up of available funding has led to a fairly sparse landscape of solar start-ups with a handful of remaining companies developing innovative technologies in each area of the solar taxonomy. While the quantity of start-ups has decreased as low-cost crystalline silicon panels pour out of China, the potential impact of those that remain could still prove to be as dramatic a disruptor to the solar industry as solar is to the broader power industry. In this light, Lux Research has determined five solar start-ups we spoke with this year that have achieved the most progress: Continue reading
Solar has emerged as the power source that will probably have the biggest long-term impact on the world going forward: Photovoltaic technology will eventually do the most to shift the world away from fossil fuels and towards renewables, with wind power also playing a contributing role. However, after initially growing in some early-adopter countries like Germany, Italy, and the U.S., solar developers now need to push further, lest they be stuck in maturing markets with flat revenues. That means focusing on Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. To fuel this expansion, policy is key: On average, solar technology is still not yet cost competitive with fossil fuels, particularly given that the price of gas has plunged over the past few years – and in emerging markets, consumers are even more cost-sensitive.