The Solyndra collapse is starting to smell, badly.

Read it all here.

Just as one example, company part owned by major Obama donor gets fast tracked to a half billion $ loan guarantee.

Then goes bust.

8 thoughts on “The Solyndra collapse is starting to smell, badly.”

  1. The idea that O wouldn’t be another corrupt politician just because his father was of a dark hue was surely just… what’s the word… racist?

  2. Hardly. He gave Obama $100k, which in the context of US presidential campaigns is 50p and a bag of chips – almost every wealthy American businessman will have given that kind of money to one side or the other.

    It may raise questions over the DOE’s due diligence process, but suggesting there’s a graft angle is just silly.

    Come to that, I’m not sure the DD was even all that flawed. The company’s bust because solar technology has improved far quicker than expected – to the point where companies in China are making PV panels for next-to-nothing, and where solar will be a viable fossil fuel replacement in countries where electricity demand correlates with sun availability (southern US, Middle East, Australia, etc) within the next few years. When you have that kind of fast-moving boom industry, fortunes are always won and lost, and generally it’s down to luck rather than stupidity.

  3. “When you have that kind of fast-moving boom industry, fortunes are always won and lost, and generally it’s down to luck rather than stupidity.”

    Shame no-one asked the US taxpayer if he or she wanted to become investors in a highly speculative industry then, isn’t it?

    AFAICS its the taxpayer who is doing the fortune losing, and someone else who has made out like a bandit with $500m.

  4. “It may raise questions over the DOE’s due diligence process, but suggesting there’s a graft angle is just silly.”

    any proof of that John, or is this your usual aversion to evidence and recourse to bullying of the “people who believe this are insane” kind?

  5. How is it venture capital if it’s guaranteed by the taxpayer?

    @JohnB: “The company’s bust because solar technology has improved far quicker than expected – to the point where companies in China are making PV panels for next-to-nothing, and where solar will be a viable fossil fuel replacement in countries where electricity demand correlates with sun availability (southern US, Middle East, Australia, etc) within the next few years. When you have that kind of fast-moving boom industry, fortunes are always won and lost, and generally it’s down to luck rather than stupidity.”

    Yet more evidence that the Market will outperform 10 (or 100, or 1000) government experts. All day, every day.

    Of course, the experts won’t really suffer the effects of their idiocy, being as the same taxpayer which underwrites this crock also underwrites their sinecures, pensions, expenses etc.

  6. maybe Tim can comment on solar panels being s0 cheap?

    Where I am, the Govt still pays 40p for you to produce electricty, while users pay13p. Elucidation by john_b awaited

    Tim adds: this isn’t my precise and exact area of professional expertise. So salt should be taken. But my general impression from the sides of the solar industry is that if you’re not cutting your production costs by 20% pa then you will go bust. Not might, but will.

    If you do then you might survive.

    I did actually go and have a look at what this company was claiming to be doing. It actually sounded insane so perhaps I’ve misunderstood it. The expensive bit of all of this is getting the weird metals mixtures (those metals being part of the cost) onto the surface which will face the sun. Get that cheap and you’re in business.

    So most people are making flat panels…..some you move to stay looking at the sun, others you don’t, fair enough.

    These guys decided to make round panels. That is, tubes. Covered with the expensive metals. Now, it’s true, some of the light is reflected off the roof, so the undersides of the tubes will produce power. And as the Sun moves, different parts of the top of the tubes will be working at optimal power. That was their advertising.

    But, inevitably, we’ve spent our expensive metals on a 360 degree tube, only, by the definition they’ve given, a few degrees of which are at optimal generation, the rest just, umm, well, a bit of reflected light and the rest wasted. You know, like 320 o wasted.

    This is what the Feds spent $500 million on.

    I don’t think I’ve got this description of their technology wrong although as always I’m open to correction. But if I’m right, they were insane to go into production. As a research idea, fair enough, but production?

  7. Look at the subsidies they were getting on their borrowing here. This stinks to high heaven.

    Obama’s Enron. Get the meme out there. Obama’s Enron.

  8. I don’t know why anyone should be surprised. Obama is from Chicago, the ne plus ultra of political graft and corruption. You can take the man out of Chicago……………………

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