Friday, February 1, 2008

Future Retro

Green Energy Industry Takes Root in California
Matt Richtel and John Markoff, New York Times, February 1, 2008

Interest in alternative energy is climbing across the United States...and in California, especially solar. Entrepreneurs, academics and policy makers say solar industry of today is different from what was tried in the 1970s, when Jerry Brown invited derision for envisioning a future fueled by alternative energy.

In recent months, the industry has added several thousand jobs in the production of solar energy cells and installation of solar panels on roofs. A spate of investment has also aimed at making solar power more efficient and less costly than natural gas and coal. At present, solar power is three to five times as expensive as coal.

There has been a surge in private investment, led by venture capitalists. In 2007, VC put $654 million in 33 solar-related deals in California, up from $253 million in 16 deals in 2006, according to the Cleantech Group, which tracks investments in alternative energy. California received roughly half of all solar power venture investments made in 2007 in the US.

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