Big Oil Taking Small Steps Toward Big Renewables Profits

The oil industry giants are embracing alternative technologies -- including biofuels, geothermal and solar. Right now, renewable sources provide only a tiny fraction of the profits they derive from oil and gas, but they'll have a real impact on the revenues of majors like BP, Exxon Mobil and Chevron in the not-so-distant future.

Austerity Means a Cloudier Forecast for LDK Solar

LDK Solar has long depended on demand driven by government subsidies from countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy, which makes it vulnerable in this period of European austerity. Trefis has revised its estimates for LDK Solar down -- but still meaningfully above the market price.

Can You Profit from Obama's New Energy Policy?

Last week, President Obama outlined a new energy policy that aims to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil by using more natural gas, wind and solar power, and encouraging manufacturers to build more fuel-efficient cars. But how can patient investors capitalize on these trends?

Are Solar Stocks Finally Regaining Their Shine?

Haven't we seen this movie before? As costly oil makes solar look good, investors pile in -- only to be let down when overcapacity sets in and oil prices tumble again. But this time, solar's rebound may be on somewhat firmer ground. Investors, though, still need to be cautious.

D.C. Power Couple Tells Solar Confab How to Pitch to GOP

Republicans can be friendly to solar energy -- just don't use the terms "recovery act" or "stimulus package" when lobbying them for government subsidies. That was the message from GOP political adviser Mary Matalin at the largest solar conference in the country on Thursday.

LDK Solar Lifts Revenue Outlook

Just as many were expecting demand for solar products to wane in 2011, LDK Solar, the Chinese maker of solar wafers, raised its shipment and revenue outlook for the third quarter.

New Solar Panel Factory Will Rise in Oregon

Oregon is the latest state to notch a big win in the effort to attract green jobs: Silicon Valley solar company Solexant has announced plans to build a large factory to produce thin-film solar panels near Portland. Oregon gets jobs; Solexant gets a $25 million loan and $18.75 million in tax credits.

California Freezes Popular Solar Incentives

Just a few days before an expected 20,000 solar devotees gathered in San Francisco for Intersolar, a large industry conference and expo, California regulators suspended its popular solar incentive for large projects, as well as government and nonprofit projects, while it rejiggers part of its program.

Solar Energy Market Will Get Even Hotter in 2010

This year is turning out to be a good one for solar energy equipment makers and project developers. Solar panel makers saw a 92% jump in shipments in the second quarter from a year ago, and market research firms have issued bullish outlooks for the industry.

Economy Could Cast a Shadow on Solar Energy

President Obama's $2 billion booster shot for solar is surely good news for the sector. But it may not be enough to counter the drag of a global economic stall that many see coming. When other energy prices fall, solar investment tends to dry up.

Clean-Tech Investments Surge, With Solar in Lead

Global clean-tech venture investments rose 43% to $2 billion in the second quarter and hit a high for the first half of this year. Solar and biofuel startups garnered the biggest funding, and the IPO market for clean-tech was much hotter in China than the U.S.

California Gold: Solar Startup Scores Cash

BrightSource Energy has raised $150 million, which will help with its plans to build solar power plants in California. The company wants to use mirrors to generate electricity from the sun's heat and has already signed deals with utilities.

Turning Glass Windows Into Mini Power Plants

Silicon Valley startup Pythagoras Solar wants to put power plants in your office windows, skylights and building facade. It's launched a new type of solar glass, which uses a plastic prism to boost electricity generation and reduce costs.

Cleantech Investment Revs Up: Green Cars Get Big Bucks

Cleantech venture-capital investments grew in the first quarter, reaching $1.9 billion worldwide. That's a 29% increase from the previous quarter and a 83% jump from the year-ago quarter, but still falls short of a full recovery. As venture capital accelerates, when will IPOs take off?

Clean Energy Revenues Grew in '09 -- but Not Solar

Despite the world's economic woes, the global clean-energy market grew in 2009, becoming a $139.1 billion industry and the largest venture-capital category, according to a new Clean Edge report. But although solar installations increased, solar revenues fell because of plunging prices.