Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > Silicon Valley’s Solar Innovators Retool to Catch Up to China

October 13th, 2010

Silicon Valley’s Solar Innovators Retool to Catch Up to China

A few years ago, Silicon Valley start-ups like Solyndra, Nanosolar and MiaSolé dreamed of transforming the economics of solar power by reinventing the technology used to make solar panels and deeply cutting the cost of production.

Founded by veterans of the Valley's chip and hard-drive industries, these companies attracted billions of dollars in venture capital investment on the hope that their advanced "thin film" technology would make them the Intels and Apples of the global solar industry.

But as the companies finally begin mass production — Solyndra just flipped the switch on a $733 million factory here last month — they are finding that the economics of the industry have already been transformed, by the Chinese. Chinese manufacturers, heavily subsidized by their own government and relying on vast economies of scale, have helped send the price of conventional solar panels plunging and grabbed market share far more quickly than anyone anticipated.

As a result, the California companies, once so confident that they could outmaneuver the competition, are scrambling to retool their strategies and find niches in which they can thrive.


Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Imaging technique pulls plasmon data together: Rice University scientists' hyperspectral method analyzes many plasmonic nanoparticles in an instant March 16th, 2018

Plasmons triggered in nanotube quantum wells: Rice, Tokyo Metropolitan scientists create platform for unique near-infrared devices March 16th, 2018

Movable silicon 'lenses' enable neutrons to see new range of details inside objects March 15th, 2018

Jim Barnhart Joins Nanometrics as Senior Vice President of Operations March 15th, 2018


'Sweet spot' in sweet material for hydrogen storage: Study IDs 'white graphene' architecture with unprecedented hydrogen storage capacity March 12th, 2018

Converting CO2 into Usable Energy: Scientists show that single nickel atoms are an efficient, cost-effective catalyst for converting carbon dioxide into useful chemicals March 1st, 2018

Round-the-clock power from smart bowties February 5th, 2018

Silk fibers could be high-tech ‘natural metamaterials’ January 31st, 2018


A simple new approach to plastic solar cells: Osaka University researchers intelligently design new highly efficient organic solar cells based on amorphous electronic materials with potential for easy printing January 28th, 2018

Tweaking quantum dots powers-up double-pane solar windows: Engineered quantum dots could bring down the cost of solar electricity January 2nd, 2018

Record high photoconductivity for new metal-organic framework material December 15th, 2017

Inorganic-organic halide perovskites for new photovoltaic technology November 6th, 2017

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project