Don’t Be Fooled By the Solyndra Bankruptcy Circus - Solar Is Booming
I doubt the facts are going to matter much now that Republicans have latched onto the Solyndra solar ‘scandal,’
It’s the new
black Climategate!!!11! 9_9
After a few dozen Solyndra hearings like the one in the House today, nobody’s going to remember the Bush administration was just as hellbent to make this loan. Nobody’s going to care that all successful loan programs have failures, that the Solyndra venture was barely 1% of the Energy Department’s $40 billion clean-energy portfolio, that there will still be over $2 billion in reserves for busted loans no matter how Solyndra shakes out. That’s politics.
It’s the media, also, who - if the disturbing number of oil/gas industry ads on the evening news are any clue - are leaping at the bidding of their corporate masters to slam solar…while not even bothering to mention the recently released report on BP’s blame for the blowout! (at least, there was no mention of it whatsoever on ABC News last night).
But I do want to push back against the idea that Solyndra’s failure reflects some kind of failure of the solar industry. That’s just wrong. The solar industry is on fire, thanks to the same collapse in prices that doomed Solyndra.
I’m glad someone is pointing this out. Specifics here:
In just the last two months, about 7,000 megawatts of new solar projects were added to the U.S. pipeline. That’s the equivalent of seven nuclear reactors, which is seven more than we’ve built in the last three decades. And that doesn’t include residential projects, like the unprecedented ‘Solar Strong’ effort to install photovoltaic panels on 160,000 rooftops on military housing that was just announced last week. The U.S. solar market doubled last year, and it’s expected to double again this year, even though many states are reducing their subsidies. How many other industries are growing that fast in this economy?
But greenies r job killurs, St. Limbaugh told me so!
It’s true that these are tough times for solar-panel manufacturers. Solyndra had a cool technology, but it couldn’t produce panels cheap enough to compete with Chinese manufacturers that received over $30 billion in government funding last year.
That’s the real reason for Solyndra’s troubles. The Chinese solar industry has far more government support than America’s.
It never ceases to amaze me how Washington wise men seem to think of renewable energy as some kind of gee-whiz Jetsons technology. I was on some TV show with Sam Donaldson after Fukushima, and he scoffed that maybe we’d have wind and solar someday, but not in his lifetime. Dude! It’s here! Wind is now a bigger employer than coal. Solar is finally scaling up, which is why its costs are falling down.
There’s a little factoid the fossil fools would rather you not know.
The collapse of Solyndra is an embarrassing bump on the road to a clean-energy future. Maybe it’s a coincidence that the politicians who are hyping Solyndra tend to be the politicians who want to close that road. But we’re getting farther down the road than people realize. And it’s taking us where we need to go.
Let’s hope it can still take us there despite all the outrageous outrage and attempts to exploit Solyndra for the cynical purpose of smearing the entire industry.