Money for Nothing – the Fall of Solyndra!
Case in point: Ehren Goossens reporting for Bloomberg, stated Solyndra Inc., a California based maker of solar modules that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Energy Department, suspended operations, laid offf 1,100 workers and plans to file for bankruptcy, saying it couldn’t compete with larger rivals. The company has borrowed $527 million of the $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee. The reasons given for the default were “Technology Not ‘Scalable” and a “Dubious Investment.” Solyndra is the third U.S. solar manufacturer to fail in a month as falling panel prices and weak global demand are driving a wave of industry consolidation.
Adding politics into the equation, Jack Gillum And Kevin Freking of the Associated Press reported:
“….. whether the White House rushed approval of a half-billion-dollar loan guarantee for a now-bankrupt solar panel manufacturer once cited as the kind of renewable energy company worthy of federal stimulus money.”
“Solyndra Inc. was a major presence in Washington and spent millions of dollars on lobbying there, particularly about the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program.
“….. its (Solyndra) executives raised thousands of dollars for Obama and Democrats in Congress.”
In closing, if left to the courts to decide, it is reasonable to say that at the lowest level, government and company officials in charge should be found incompetent and malfeasant. Ultimately some company officials may be charged with a criminal offence. At the same time, the responsible government officials may remain in office to do it all over.
However, the real travesty is to those startup companies throughout the country with solid plans and management teams that struggle below the radar each and every day. They could have put this half a billion dollars to good honest use. Spread across 35 business, a cash infusion of $15 million each would have much less risk and potentially much more benefit to our country and taxpayers.
It’s a sad day in renewable energyville.