Solyndra Bankruptcy Could Impact All Renewables

The federal government's rush to approve a loan guarantee for Solyndra, and the company's ensuing bankruptcy shouldn't be regarded as a sign that all renewable energy projects are risky investments.
By Rona Johnson | September 16, 2011

I guess we know now what happens when the government picks winners and losers and rushes to judgment. I’m sure you all have read about Solyndra LLC, a solar panel equipment manufacturer that has filed for bankruptcy and left U.S. taxpayers liable for more than $500 million in federal loans. All of the stories I have read so far point to the government for not doing its due diligence when it came to approving the company for the loan guarantee.

It’s a shame that it had to happen because it just makes the American people even more wary of our government and whether they than can be trusted to spend taxpayer’s money wisely. And, no doubt, skeptics will say that the renewable energy industry is too risky, which we in the biomass power and heat business know isn’t true.

People need to keep in mind that Solyndra was going to produce a new type of cylindrical solar photovoltaic panel. And there were some market forces, having to do with the price of polysilicon, a material commonly used in making solar panels that led to the company’s financial difficulties. When Solyndra first introduced its product it cost more to build than traditional solar panels, but the cost became more comparable because the equipment didn’t require the use of polysilicon, which was very expensive at the time. Then the price of polysilicon dropped and the company’s product was no longer economically viable. This was something that many investors, including the federal government couldn’t have foreseen.

Hopefully the government learns from its mistakes because the renewable energy industry is worth investing in and not all projects carry the same risks.

2 Responses

  1. Paul



    That's what you get when you trust government to act as a venture capitalist - you get capital or rather our tax dollars - wasted.

  2. Debbie Lewis



    Solyndra is the tip of the iceberg. The controversy here is that DOE lied about doing due diligence and passed Solyndra through while intentionally delaying others that competed with DOE's officers business interests. The DOE could have safely diversified its bets with 40 small america business applicants but they blew the money on a few inside special interest applicants who paid lobby money while freezing out those small American businesses and jobs. Subpeona's will show that Lachlan Seward, of the DOE, ordered staff and consultant's to change their review criteria and findings in order to manipulate winners and losers. Look into the ones that didn't get in because they didn't bribe the right people. The site: has the real truth about Solyndra and beyond... It shows that: - Only campaign contributors received funding from the DOE ATVM and Loan programs and competitors to those interests were frozen out. - Key White House staff were informed of the misdeeds but they covered them up. - A criminally illegal protection investor money racket was being run by individuals in, and around, the DOE funding programs, Detroit and Goldman Sachs. - Detroit ordered all competing efforts killed off or permanently delayed. - Tesla is involved in same influence-buying scam and financials fudging here Everybody knows about the site, above. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen it. Nobody can ignore the facts here. This was all pay-to-play.

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