Silicon Valley investors: Solar out, grid and energy storage technologies in


A Bloomberg report says the Silicon Valley investors who helped fire up the solar industry are having second thoughts and are now putting their money into electric grid and energy storage technologies.


With investments in panel makers failing to pay off, the Bloomberg story says companies including VantagePoint Capital Partners and Khosla Ventures are now turning to systems that manage electricity. Data compiled by Bloomberg indicate venture capital and private equity financing for renewables hit a six-year low in 2012.


Wal van Lierop, founder of Vancouver-based Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, called it a "repositioning of cleantech."


"The big sectors - solar, wind and LEDs - are in the process of being consolidated," van Lierop told Bloomberg. "They're maturing, so they fall out of the cleantech opportunity basket. We are now trying to find the next hot spots."


And what might those be? Alan Salzman, CEO of VantagePoint based in San Bruno, California, told Bloomberg that "systems that allow energy to be used more efficiently and help the grid cope with variable supplies from wind and solar plants represent the richest new areas."


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