Is solar the next great market opportunity?

It sure seems so here in California. I can’t go a week without hearing an angel investor or VC say that they are on the look out for good renewable energy and clean tech deals, and solar seems to the be most popular sub-sector.

At Wednesday evening’s reception for the ThinkEquity Patners’ ThinkGreen conference, attendees were certainly high on solar and very encouraged by the day-long presentations by solar companies. (You can judge for yourself by viewing the webcasts.)

So I wanted to be optimistic the next day, when I heard about the House approval of the energy bill, which includes a mandate for electric utilities companies to generate at least fifteen percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. Unfortunately, the air fizzled out of the balloon when I actually read the news accounts and saw that the consesus is that this provision is not likely to make it through the Senate. And today the defeat was confirmed.

I hope the sector can take off based solely on the innovation of the entrepreneurs and the enthusiasm of the investors. Some market incentives wouldn’t hurt!

About the Author

A strategy and marketing consultant, Leah enjoys highlighting the efforts of, and providing information for, social entrepreneurs. In her consulting practice, she works with cause-related businesses and enlightened investors--to see people succeed at doing good for the planet and local communities while doing good for themselves. Leah has a B.S. in business from UC Berkeley and an MBA and Certificate of Public Management from Stanford University. More information at