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New Energy Finance – Week in Review

September 6, 2007

VENTURE CAPITAL AND DEBT DEALS FAVOUR SOLAR AND METHANE FIRMS
Clean energy firms go into the final four months of the year uncertain about the effect of this summer’s financial turbulence on the attitude of investors towards their sector. The signs from the last week were that venture capitalists, at least, have retained a strong appetite for renewable energy investments, with the solar sector the one most in vogue.
In the last few days, photovoltaic cell developer Plextronics banked USD 20.6m of Series B financing from venture capitalists, and started to plan how to spend the money on research and the expansion of its manufacturing operations.
Solexant, another PV cell maker, although one that uses nanostructures rather than printed organic polymers as in the case of Plextronics, said it had raised USD 4.3m in Series A funding from Californian venture capital firms.
Finally, Solarcentury, a UK based installer of solar systems, caught USD 27m worth of pre- IPO funding from blue chip funds including Zouk Ventures and Good Energies.
A fourth solar firm, Sopogy, which develops solar thermal electricity generation systems, is clearly confident that investors will continue to back its sector. It announced last week that it wanted to raise USD 9m in Series B funding during the autumn.
Sopogy says it aims to build projects in the USD 10m to USD 30m range, based on its parabolic trough solar technology.

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