Less “green” energy

The month of August was not good to solar energy. Nor was it good to taxpayers.

Today, a California company, Solyndra, LLC. closed it doors, filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers.  The company had been one of many companies that President Obama visited last year touting the virtues of both clean energy and his Stimulus Bill.  Solyndra was also one of the companies to benefit from that Stimulus as it received $535 million of your money.  I don’t know whether any of those 1,100 laid-off workers counted as a “created or saved” job, but I do know that the American taxpayer will never see that $.5 billion again.

That news prompted me to check on Evergreen Solar, a company we posted about earlier this year.  That company fleeced the state of Massachusetts out of $58 million, to locate a plant there.  Then, earlier this year, closed that plant in Danvers, Massachusetts, laying off 800 employees.  I don’t know whether Evergreen received Stimulus money, but if it did that money is also gone.  Evergreen Solar filed for bankruptcy on August 15.

The liberal philosophy that believes that if the government just throws enough money at a non-competitive industry it will somehow magically become competitive doesn’t seem to be working.  And yet, let’s keep score.

How many times in the President’s long awaited speech next week about job creation will we hear about green jobs and clean energy?

You can’t learn from your mistakes if you don’t first admit that you made a mistake.

 

29 replies
  1. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    You’re correct, the Solyndra solar panel prices were not competitive with the Chinese manufactured panels whose price dropped 42% over the last year. This is another failure to be attributed to the penchant by US industry to pursue “investor? value/company profits” at the expense of new technologies/emerging markets, i.e we keep letting our technologies and R&D slip outside the country.

    • GdavidH
      GdavidH says:

      After giving them a diaper load of begged for cash.
      ?How is this different from the flash mobs in Philly or elsewhere where the crooks just look into the camera and smile, knowing they will get away with the theft?

  2. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    Eco-zealotry leads collectivist/planners in the same way and to the same destination as the old pursuits of Eldorado and the Fountain of Youth:? Expensive failure.

  3. Eric
    Eric says:

    Sad epitaph to a once great labor force too. ?And a hat tip to labor unions nationwide which have triumphantly priced the US worker out of the world markets while simultaneously filling their greedy pockets.?

  4. Anybody but Obama
    Anybody but Obama says:

    There’s a reason why Trumpka is exporting his union recruiting to developing economies. He’s going to where the money is. Eric is right

  5. Eric
    Eric says:

    What’s so damn special about green energy anyway? ?I’ll stick with what’s always worked for me until I can see market demand for proven technological change. ?I have yet to see anyone but the government pushing a green agenda that interests me.?

  6. Anybody but Obama
    Anybody but Obama says:

    Why doesn’t maobama just get out of the way and let American ingenuity and venture capitalists do what they do best. Create products, make money and the results would be jobs and a healthy economy.?

  7. RIAP27
    RIAP27 says:

    They could not compete-plain and simple. The company in AZ that is one of the customers of my husband’s employer is putting out good product and doing just fine. My husband, and his colleagues? in their R&D group have done wonderful things with improving solar panel technology. The industry is not dead-just a few companies that just could not compete.

  8. ricbee
    ricbee says:

    ?Most of the government sponsored companies pay their friends & relatives large salaries,buy raw materials with inflated prices(& get kickbacks) until all the money is gone & then close up shop.

  9. RoBrDona
    RoBrDona says:

    Price parity between solar and fossil-based energy is the primary economic issue. You can puke $$ at anything you want, but if it is not economically viable for the consumer, (and in many parts of the US it is not due primarily to geography/weather) then forget it. Add the Chinese into the mix with the Yuan artificially low and cheap labor and you get bargain photovoltaic panels. Do you know that a piece of Chinese granite (yes rock) for a large pillar we are installing is 50% cheaper than VT granite … delivered? ?We are in trouble.

  10. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Say what? We missed the boat on commercializing photovoltaic panels? Given the anti-science, anti-technology stance reflected on this blog, I’m not surprised. Good thing it has not always been like this

    • kateinmaine
      kateinmaine says:

      who is anti-science/anti-tech??? and for the record, commercialization requires a bit more than just a cool invention. . .but you’re a cleverbot–you already know that.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Please drop that tired, old canard, sammy!? You want anti science?? Go look at how math and science are taught by the liberal controlled teacher’s unions in our public schools (when it even is taught) and who is teaching it.? Compare and contrast with China, India etc.? Look at who is populating the college math, engineering and science graduate positions in our universities.? Turning out math/science illiterates is not pro science by any definition.
      ?
      For the record, I am a scientist and quite the tech junkie, but I am not going to subscribe to the latest incarnation of the economically unfeasible perpetual motion device simply because it is politically correct.

      • rachel
        rachel says:

        Speaking of public schools & science, Dims…my daughter’s freshman intro to physical science was taught by a sub for the entire school year.? Her area of expertise is…ready for it?…Law.? Yes, she’s a lawyer who, because she has a bachelor’s degree, can substitute for any class that requires a sub.? Needless to say, more than 50% of the students in her class failed it (including my daughter, which cost me $150 so she could complete an on-line summer course to get the credit).
        This woman did not know the difference between kinetic and potential energy.? Shocking, I tell you!

  11. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    For the record, Dims; German, Chinese and other country’s companies are making a TON of money manufacturing and installing solar panels? (even in the US). So skip the lecture on unfeasible/uneconomical bull. As for the math/science illiterates being turned out by our schools, I agree. I also say that the reason for that state of affairs is staring back to all of us from the mirror.

    • kateinmaine
      kateinmaine says:

      chinese gov’t is complicit in ‘making’ their solar panel market–the ‘tons’ of money are really lots of ether.? the german gov’t heavily subsidized the german solar panel industry–those subsidies are now largely gone, courtesy of global recession and common sense fiscal policy.? let’s see how the next 4-8 quarters go.? willing to bet that the spending public are still as enthusiastic without gimmes?? especially if it doesn’t happen to be the most efficient technology for where you live??

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      It is easy to make a “ton of money” when you are paying your workforce(d) zip, yet charging prices in the U.S. just low enough to screw our workers, yet yield huge profits.? And don’t forget their messing with the value of the yuan.?
      ?
      It is unfeasible when you can’t sell it at a cost that will return a profit.? In this case, it cost them twice what they grossed to make their panels.
      ?
      I blame companies here too, as I cannot understand why an LL Bean boot made in China has to cost the same as one made in Maine.

  12. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Subject of post was Solyndra going bankrupt with $500 million of our money. Obviously made inferior product or just plan did not use money correctly (and that is being kind, could have said they stole it)

  13. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Should have known I’d get a series of “disclaimers”. So other governments are “subsidizing”. They capture the market and live happily ever after (while we sit around and whine) . How do you think we got the integrated circuits, the communication satellites, jet engines, nuclear power plants, fiber-optics, lasers etc. etc. etc. ?? Was it because a bunch on “inventors” sat around kitchen tables and raided their piggy banks? How did we get to the moon?

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      You are right: this company couldn’t do it even with government subsidization.? Yes, we have the ingenuity, but China now has the (economic) fluidity.? The lefties (and many righties) spend to buy votes, fail to chase down profligate waste, and wouldn’t recognize GAAP principles if they smacked them over the head like a sock full of nickles (it is a Boston thing!).? One has to wonder why companies go to China with their requirement that the technology they use to produce their products be turned over to China, who is actually our enemy, both militarily and economically.? That is not just cutting off your nose to spite your face; that is using a shotgun as an all day sucker!? Why didn’t the government restrict that?? It isn’t like they couldn’t go to S. Korea etc.
      ?
      As for the moon, why are we relying on Russian rockets instead of having a shuttle replacement in place?? I believe it was ?bama that put the brakes on NASA.

      • rachel
        rachel says:

        It’s all Eric Cantor’s fault.? Just refer back to his comments re. Hurricane Irene.
        hee hee heeeeeeeeeeeee 😛

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] 2011 at 4:50 pm | Share via e-mail We’ve done two posts about Solyndra recently.? The first explained that the?solar panel manufacturing company which had received $535 million in loan […]

  2. […] 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Share via e-mail We did a post yesterday about the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a company that manufactures solar panels, and received a $535 loan guarantee to construct a new […]

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