The 4 most important leaders in the solar industry don't run solar manufacturing companies or solar trade groups. Instead they run Berkshire Hathaway, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, NRG, and Next Era--one conglomerate and 3 big diversified energy companies. Their names respectively are Warren Buffett, Greg Abel, David Crane, and Lew Hay.
These 4 chief executives run major, diversified companies that must be profitable, and each plunged into solar power in the USA during 2011. Their plunge came in the form of multiple transactions at the scale of a billion dollars and hundreds of megawatts.
Nothing signals more strongly the arrival of solar power as a big, mainstream business than the huge stakes in solar taken by Buffett, Abel, Crane, and Hay during 2011.
Why have they become top solar power executives? Certainly, if they were easily buffeted by what they read about Solyndra or heard from conservative politicians, they would not have become big solar players.
Instead they crunched the numbers and saw that solar pricing is approaching major tipping points in 2011. Solar is now at grid parity or fast approaching grid parity in increasing numbers of markets. The falling price of solar makes viable explosive solar power growth across America and the globe.
Buffett, Abel, Crane, and Hay are the first big movers into solar power from Big Energy and for now are the 4 most important and surprising solar CEOs.