September 1, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On Wednesday Solyndra, once the heavily subsidized green crown jewel in the Obama Administrations' economic plan to "remake" the energy industry, announced that it will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, along the way adding another 1,100 workers to California's unemployment rolls.
In a 2010 visit touting the plant, President Obama referred to the company as, "...a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world...."
In the real world however, it was simply the most recent example of Team Obama's massively expensive, now demonstrably failed experiment to establish complete control over the economy via government by decree, lubricated with crony capitalism.
The bankruptcy leaves the public holding the bag to the tune of a $535 million federal grant [using borrowed money of course] which was then used as earnest money to secure venture capital funding.
Solyndra's product, solar panels, were so expensive to manufacture that any possibility of competing with other established companies in the field was never really feasible - though cheaper manufacturing techniques are readily available [consider China's growing solar industry] they tend to run afoul of the myriad of federal regulations which burden American corporations and drive them offshore. The company reportedly [see, http://optics.org/news/2/8/35 ] lost money on every unit sold - a fitting epitaph to governmental intrusion into the marketplace and a telling indictment of Team Obama's collectivist mindset as his plan to create a top-down, command economy which is now a pile of [very expensive] rubble.
According to Hoovers [a Dunn & Bradstreet company specializing in corporate data, see http://www.hoovers.com/company/Solyndra_Inc/rjfjcif-1-1njea1.html] Solyndra's Chairman [and founder] Christian Gronet and EVP Benjamin Bierman's compensation packages were substantially over 200k including bonuses, seemingly making them members of the "evil rich," one of the President's favorite whipping boys.
Peering under Solyndra's wreckage, one finds the fingerprints of Democrat bundler supreme George Kaiser who held a substantial interest in the company, "Solyndra LLC, a Fremont, Calif.-based solar panel maker, was partially funded by Tulsan George Kaiser. It had long been an administration favorite. Over the past two years, President Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu each had made congratulatory visits to the company's headquarters..." [source, http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=49&articleid=20110901_222_E1_CUTLIN589741]
The deserved [and predictable] death of this company also highlights the facade which has been erected around the "green energy industry," a hollow entity essentially created by the fed to appease the radical greens. Under the best of conditions, solar panels waste 2/3rds of the total available energy, wind generated power is only slightly more efficient.
"...In this case, "efficiency" means how much of the energy source (be it wind or coal or solar) can actually be converted to electricity. For wind power, the theoretical maximum efficiency is 59 percent, but most windmills achieve about 50 percent efficiency with very good land and wind conditions. The efficiency of solar energy - how much heat can be converted to electricity - is approximately 35 percent. One reason wind and solar energy are so inefficient is because they require vast amounts of land. Wind power requires about 11 square feet of land to generate 4 watts of electricity - the amount needed to turn on a light bulb. To generate that same 4 watts of electricity, a natural gas plant requires 30 to 200 times less space..." [source, Don't Get Burned by Solar Power http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2003/01/01/don't-get-burned-solar-power
With no real ability - at the current state of technology - to store meaningful amounts of electricity [and none really on the scientific horizon] neither wind nor solar represent anything close to a cost-effective, reliable alternative to conventional methods of energy generation, but mere technical impossibility isn't enough to deter the bureaucratic planning mentality of Obama's collectivists.
One would hope that the crash and burn of this company would send a jolt of reality sizzling through this administration, however we suspect it will have little effect on the disastrous energy policy Team Obama has chosen. Of note WH spokesman Eric Schultz was quoted today by Bloomberg as gleefuly willing to double down on failure, "While we are disappointed by this particular outcome, we continue to believe the clean-energy jobs race is one that America can, must and will win..." [source, Obama Stands by Renewable Energy Aid After Solyndra's Failure, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-01/obama-stands-by-renewable-energy-aid-after-solyndra-s-failure.html]
We justifiably fear that the President's hastily scheduled jobs address next week will provide nothing but additional proof that nothing will change along these lines until he is sent packing.
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