Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nanosolar CEO: No More Easy Money for Solar Companies Without Cash Flow

Mr. Roscheisen said something similar in an earlier post (see below)
From earth2tech:

The CEO of thin-film startup Nanosolar, Martin Roscheisen, is an outspoken guy — so of course he has something to say about how the credit crunch will effect the solar industry. He says in a blog post this morning that solar companies with capital inefficient production methods will now have a harder time getting investors to fund large investments like building factories. Roscheisen specifically names Applied Materials as an example of a company with capital inefficient manufacturing, saying, “[T]hese companies are eternal black holes in terms of cash flow; whatever cash orbits their vicinity disappears in them and is never to be seen again.”

Wow. Roscheisen claims that Applied Material’s high-vacuum thin-film cell manufacturing equipment has a revenue to capex ratio that “is barely 75 cents on the dollar in a realistic pricing environment.” We’re not sure about that assertion and we are waiting to hear from Applied Materials....MORE
One of the things that earth2tech does well is their "10 Questions for..." feature. Here's our post linking to their "10 Questions for Martin Roscheisen" from last December:
...Q). You were one of the first Valley entrepreneurs to focus seriously on green tech - If you had to start a clean tech company in 2007, and not 2002, what would you do differently?

A). I know very little about anything in greentech other than solar. If I had to start a solar company in 2007, I would take a pass. This industry is in a very different stage now. This is going to be like the DRAM business much more quickly than many may realize. I have a hard time seeing how anyone can be successful in solar who isn’t truly in volume in 2008 with a very mature, very cost-efficient technology....