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Solar Thermal Bankable – yes or no?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 7, 2013

It is not easy at all to persuade third parties to finance large-scale ESCO (Energy Service Company) projects for solar thermal: The financial sector needs to become more aware of solar thermal technology and its related projects. This is the lesson that Austrian company S.O.L.I.D. learned after looking for investment partners for several months. In the first half of 2012, S.O.L.I.D joined a number of projects, in which the Austrian company takes over the role of the energy provider. The clients had already confirmed these projects, which are worth altogether EUR 10 million. So, S.O.L.I.D. asked Barry Durham, founder of Critical Mass Capital in Little Rock, Arkansas, to be its capital advisor. Durham contacted 17 European and US banks, four private investment funds and two investment bankers in the United States - without any success! In the meantime, some clients have already halted their project; for some of the others S.O.L.I.D. is still negotiating with banks. The photo shows a large process heat installation of S.O.L.I.D. at Gatorade, a subsidiary of US-American soft drink producer PepsiCo.
Photo: S.O.L.I.D.

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