Today, SolarCity is a much different company than it was before it went public. It has made numerous acquisitions in an attempt to control nearly every part of the value chain, from hardware to customer acquisition, making it a fully vertically integrated solar provider.

Most recently, SolarCity acquired the high-efficiency solar manufacturer Silevo and broke ground on a gigawatt-scale production facility in Buffalo, New York. The company now has more than 7,000 employees, a market cap of $5.3 billion and a 30 percent share of the U.S. residential solar market.

SolarCity is undoubtedly a success story. But can it continue growing sustainably in the long term? Can vertical integration actually work in residential solar?

This week, we’ll talk with CEO Lyndon Rive about SolarCity’s move into manufacturing, its new loan product, the outlook for U.S. policy and the way the company calculates “retained value” for investors.

Later in the podcast, we’ll discuss the different business strategies of two leading independent power producers, NRG and Dynegy. We’ll also look at why the Nobel Prize in physics went to three inventors who created the first blue LEDs.

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This podcast is brought to you by SMA, the world's leading solar inverter manufacturer. With more than 850 service experts, 90 service hubs, 30-plus gigawatts installed globally and thousands of commercial and utility projects completed worldwide, SMA is the partner of choice for your PV projects.

The Energy Gang is produced by The show features weekly discussion between energy futurist Jigar Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Media Editor Stephen Lacey.