U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
Dec 23, 2011

More solar firms set to burn up as prices sink

Dec 23 (Reuters) – Only four years ago, hundreds of
start-ups optimistically built factories and churned out solar
panels to meet rising demand. Now, closures and failure loom for
many.

The brutal shakeout is a dramatic reversal for an industry
that has seen overall global growth of more than 30 percent
annually over the past decade and this year will reach new
records for solar panel sales.

Dec 22, 2011

Germany’s Solar Millennium files for insolvency

FRANKFURT/LOS ANGELES, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Solar Millennium
AG (S2MG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) became the second German solar company to file for
insolvency this month, as the company ran out of cash before it
was able to finalize deals to sell large projects in the United
States and Spain.

It still expects, however, to complete a transaction to sell
its biggest U.S. projects to German developer solarhybrid AG
(SHLG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) early next year.

Dec 8, 2011

California proposes rules to spur clean car growth

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – California’s powerful air quality regulator on Wednesday proposed sweeping new rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, including putting 1.4 million electric, plug-in and hydrogen cars on the state’s roads by 2025.

In addition to curbing climate warming gases, the program will also save drivers $22 billion in fuel costs, the state’s Air Resources Board said.

Dec 6, 2011

Solar startup Miasole is seeking a partner: CEO

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Thin film solar company Miasole is seeking a partner to help support its growth plan, but plans to remain a standalone company for now, its new chief executive said on Monday.

With less than a week on the job, former First Solar Inc (FSLR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) executive John Carrington said Miasole is among the solar companies being looked at by large strategic investors.

Dec 6, 2011

Solar companies to seek deep pockets in downturn

By Matt Daily and Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – Struggling solar manufacturers will likely be driven into mergers with rivals to survive a sector squeeze, a trend that could draw major Asian conglomerates deeper into the renewable energy sector.

Solar makers have seen their profit margins nearly erased this year as prices for renewable energy systems plummeted by about 40 percent and industry experts say many companies are too small to withstand the downturn on their own.

Dec 5, 2011

Analysis – Solar companies to seek deep pockets in downturn

By Matt Daily and Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – Struggling solar manufacturers will likely be driven into mergers with rivals to survive a sector squeeze, a trend that could draw major Asian conglomerates deeper into the renewable energy sector.

Solar makers have seen their profit margins nearly erased this year as prices for renewable energy systems plummeted by about 40 percent and industry experts say many companies are too small to withstand the downturn on their own.

Dec 3, 2011

California electric car startup Aptera shuts down

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – Aptera, the California startup best known for developing a space age-looking, three-wheeled car, has closed its doors after failing to raise the funds needed to put its ultra-efficient vehicles on the road.

The company had received a conditional offer for a $150 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, but failed to secure the $80 million in private investment needed to close that financing, Chief Executive Paul Wilbur said on Friday.

Nov 17, 2011

Corrected: Fisker chairman backs 2012 vehicle goal

/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Fisker Automotive is on track to meet production goals for its electric sports cars in 2012 despite production delays that have sharply reduced the start-up carmaker’s projected deliveries this year.

Production of Fisker’s first vehicle, the plug-in hybrid Karma, was held up by faulty electrical harnesses and headlights, topped off by a flood that damaged the leather for its interior, according to Chairman Ray Lane.

Nov 15, 2011

Exclusive: Fisker chairman backs 2012 vehicle production goal

/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Fisker Automotive is on track to produce 15,000 of its electric sports cars in 2012 despite production delays that have sharply reduced the start-up carmaker’s projected deliveries this year.

Production of Fisker’s first vehicle, the plug-in hybrid Karma, was held up by faulty electrical harnesses and headlights, topped off by a flood that damaged the leather for its interior, according to Chairman Ray Lane.

Nov 3, 2011

SunPower drums up savings, First Solar ices plant

Nov 3 (Reuters) – SunPower Corp outlined a
restructuring plan to trim operating costs by up to 10 percent
in 2012 and said it saw a pickup in demand across European
markets such as Germany, sending its shares up 11 percent.

Sunpower, which like the rest of the industry was hit hard
when top markets Germany and Italy pared generous incentives
for solar power this year, on Thursday trimmed both revenue and
profit forecasts for fiscal 2011.