One of the world’s six “supermajor” oil companies is remaking itself as greentech, having purchased a controlling stake in the solar manufacturer SunPower. Just to give you a sense of the relative size of these industries–and their pocketbooks–Total’s $1.3 to 1.4 billion purchase of SunPower is roughly equal to all venture capital solar investments in 2009 combined.
SunPower is the biggest item in Total’s solar investment strategy, but not the first. It’s created joint ventures with solar companies in Europe and bought minority stakes in a couple of U.S. solar firms. What does it all mean? Probably just that there’s a buck to be made. Experts predict that by 2050, photovoltaic will supply 11 percent of the world’s electricity, equal to 253 million homes.
Read (lots) more at The Street.