Thursday, May 03, 2007

Solar Power Market Is Evolving.

The venture capital community's interest in solar has been talked about a lot, but now the deal-trades are running stories about a new trend in solar-- companies are seeking to corner the solar market by vertically integrating and controlling everything from production to distribution.

Red Herring notes that production of solar equipment used to be the real money-maker: Build the panels, wafers, cells, etc.; sell them at a high-demand-inflated price; and let somebody else figure out how to make money with them.

Now, with external pressures from cut-rate markets like China, margins are shrinking and manufacturing isn't the cash cow it once was.

So companies are looking to get into the distribution game as well. By controlling manufacturing and distribution, the hope is that they can cut front-end costs drastically enough to mitigate some of the inefficiencies on the back end.

Check out the Red Herring piece, it's a quick, interesting read.

Solar Energy Coming of Age [Red Herring]