See updated list here.


We listed the more than 200 VC-funded solar startups back in 2008.

We knew that we'd be writing about most of them on their way up -- as well as on their way down.

Add one more solar company to the list of insolvent solar firms. It's one you may not have heard of: Concentrator Optics. The firm had received investment from Capricorn Venture Partners to build Fresnel lenses for the CPV market.

Imagine approaching a VC firm with that pitch today.

GTM Research forecasts 21 gigawatts of PV module manufacturing capacity coming offline by 2015 as the global market reconciles a dire supply-demand imbalance. (See PV Technology, Production and Cost Outlook: 2012-2016.)

Capacity coming offline means less-efficient companies closing down. Of course there's another long list of relatively unknown Chinese companies closing down as well. Here's an incomplete list of the solar firms that have left the building -- either by closure, bankruptcy, or fire-sale acquisition:

2009 to 2010

Bankrupt, closed, acquired


Bankrupt, closed

Acquisition, sale


Bankrupt, closed

Acquisition, fire sale, restructuring

  • Oelmaier (Germany inverters) insolvent, bought by agricultural supplier Lehner Agrar
  • Q.Cells (c-Si) insolvent, acquired by South Korea's Hanwha
  • Sharp (a-Si) backing away from a-Si, retiring 160 of its 320 megawatts in Japan
  • Solibro (CIGS) Q-Cells unit acquired by China's Hanergy
  • Solon (c-Si) acquired by UAE's Microsol  
  • Scheuten Solar (BIPV) bankrupt, then acquired by Aikosolar
  • SolFocus (CPV) layoffs, restructuring for sale
  • Sunways (c-Si, inverters) bought by LDK, restructuring to focus on BIPV and storage


Bankrupt, closed

Acquisition, sale, restructuring

If we missed a firm, please, dear reader, let us know, and we'll amend the list.