French energy company Total is to invest $1.37 billion in the U.S. solar company SunPower. Total is estimating the renewable energy to become competitive with fossil fuels in the near future. When Total approached SunPower with this offer, Total’s stock was already declining.

SolarPower is one of the biggest renewable energy companies out there and it has been one of the fastest growing companies in the past few years. Before Total approached SolarPower, Total has spent two years looking at 200 different companies before making their decision on SolarPower.

If everything goes according to the plan, Total will own 60 percent of Class A common shares and 60 percent of Class B common shares of SunPower’s stock. Total refused to sell the whole company because it wanted to maintain the Silicon Valley’s “entrepreneurial pace.”

Both companies have also decided to keep SunPower’s current managerial team. This shows great companionship between these companies that will set an example for many similar contracts in the future.

This is good news to anyone who is concerned with sustainability. Just the gesture of an oil company investing that much money in the renewable energy will create a much needed awareness. This will start a chain reaction for other oil companies to move toward an alternative fuels or to at least consider partial investments in the renewable energy.

This could actually mark the beginning of the new era.;txt