The sixth annual Intersolar North American trade show took place in San Francisco last month. During the three- day trade show, one of the biggest in the US, a number of solar-industry start-ups funded by venture capital (VC) emerged from “stealth mode”.

Solar has been a notorious sink of VC in recent years, and as the trade show took place, printed thin-film solar developer Nanosolar began in earnest to seek a buyer for its technology and tools after consuming a startling $400m in funding. The auction is set for August 13. During its struggle to market, Nanosolar had managed to ship only a paltry 50MW of solar panels since 2002, an extremely poor result and an extremely poor outcome for investors. The company, which once had valued itself at $2.1bn, is now thought by some analysts to be worth less than $50m.

However, despite…

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