CleanTech Perils When Relying on Government Subsidies

WSJ ran a story today of how the one-time darling of solar energy, First Solar (FSLR), is hurting as solar subsidies subside. Key point:

Solar power relies almost completely on subsidies, and those are being slashed in Germany, where First Solar made 65% of its sales last year

The stock is down 40% and is likely to continue dropping. Its core business is suffering due to cheap solar panels coming in from China and the difficulties of transitioning to a systems provider for solar farms. The WSJ thinks it could drop another third.

First Solar (FSLR): 109.80 -3.50 (-3.09%)

About Duncan Davidson 228 Articles

Affiliation: NetService Ventures

Duncan is an advisor to NetService Ventures, where he focuses on digital media and the mobile Internet.

Previously he was at four start-ups: Xumii, a mobile social service based on a Social Addressbook; SkyPilot Networks, the performance leader of wireless mesh systems for last-mile access, where he was the founding CEO; Covad Communications (Amex: DVW, $9B market cap at the peak), the leading independent DSL access provider, where he was the founding Chairman; InterTrust Technologies ($9B market cap at the peak), the pioneer in digital rights management technologies, now owned by Sony and Philips, where he was SVP Business Development and the pitchman for the IPO.

Before these ventures, Duncan was a partner at Cambridge Venture Partners, an early-stage venture firm, and managing partner of Gemini McKenna, a joint venture between Regis McKenna's marketing firm and Gemini Consulting, the global management consulting arm of Cap Gemini.

He serves on the board or is an adviser to Aggregate Knowledge (content discovery), Livescribe (digital pen), AllVoices (citizen journalism), Xumii (mobile social addressbook), Verismo (Internet settop box), and Widevine (DRM for IPTV).

Visit: Duncan Davidson's Blogs

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