Solar power revolution ‘unavoidable’ in Asia, says industry expert

REC solar panel manufacturing plant in Singapore
A robot operates at a production line during a tour of an REC solar panel manufacturing plant in Singapore. Reuters / Edgar Su

By Henning Gloystein and Vera Eckert, Reuters

Investors are increasingly excited about the prospects for much faster growth in the solar power industry in Southeast Asia, which has until now been a backwater for renewable energy.

They say that the region is in a perfect position to benefit from rapidly declining prices in solar panels. It has strong economic growth, relatively high costs of electricity and a shortage from traditional sources, undeveloped infrastructure in more remote areas, plenty of sunshine, and backing for more renewable energy from many of Southeast Asia’s governments.

“Dramatically falling costs for solar energy technologies means businesses and governments are choosing renewable energy not for environmental reasons but for economic ones,” said Roberto De Vido, spokesman for Singapore-based Equis, one of Asia’s biggest green energy-focused investment firms with $2.7 billion in committed capital. “It simply makes good business sense. And that’s a trend that’s not going to change.”  Continue reading Solar power revolution ‘unavoidable’ in Asia, says industry expert

Rethink Robotics raises $18 million in new funding

scott eckert, sawyer robot
Scott Eckert with Sawyer, Rethink Robotics’ new collaborative industrial robot

Rethink Robotics, maker of the Baxter and Sawyer industrial robots, says it has raised new funds for global expansion and new product development  

Rethink Robotics has raised $18 million in new funding as part of its Series E financing round.

The new round includes funding from leading asset manager and private equity investment firm, Adveq, as well as contributions from all previous investors, including Bezos Expeditions, CRV, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, DFJ, Two Sigma Ventures, GE Ventures and Goldman Sachs.

The funding will support Rethink’s global expansion initiatives and new product development, says the company.  Continue reading Rethink Robotics raises $18 million in new funding

Investment industry embraces and fears robo-advisors – but bionic advisor may be the better answer

robo advisor

High net worth investors need and want human advice backed by technology for better recommendations, reporting and access, says InvestEdge

The future of investment advice isn’t a battle of man versus machine, according to a commentary from InvestEdge.

The investment industry is excited – and fearful – about the rise of “robo-advisors”, systems that give automated investment advice. Robo-advisors offer investors lower costs and minimums, and some worry they will wipe out traditional “human” investment guidance. Continue reading Investment industry embraces and fears robo-advisors – but bionic advisor may be the better answer