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U.S. poised to hand over $197 million to another solar panel start-up

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posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 09:18 AM
I put this under Political Madness because this is madness, its madness that we continue to allow our government to do this. After several failed start up solar businesses that have milked the American taxpayers of over $1 billion you would think this would stop.

SoloPower has initiated a strategy to differentiate it from struggling commodity players in the solar panel industry. Still, there are several similarities between SoloPower and Solyndra - which became a lightning rod in the U.S. Presidential campaign this year after taking in more than $500 million in government loans and then filing for bankruptcy.

Like Solyndra, SoloPower is a Silicon Valley start-up and uses the same non-traditional raw material in its solar panels. And, like its now-defunct peer, SoloPower is one of just four U.S. panel manufacturers to clinch loan guarantees under the Department of Energy's $35 billion program to support emerging clean energy technologies. The DOE payments to SoloPower will come on top of the $56.5 million SoloPower has collected in loans, tax credits and incentives from the state of Oregon and the city of Portland, where its first factory will be located.

The most telling statement in this story is here.

And, perhaps most importantly, SoloPower is entering the market at a time of cutthroat competition from cheaper solar products made in China.


I'm all for American companies competing on the global market and don't have any problems with government secured loans to assist with businesses but when a certain field has proven repeatedly that it is a struggling market then these attempts become exercises in futility and do nothing hut drive America further into debt.

posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 09:29 AM
so...since china is making cheaper solar panals, all money that goes to american businesses in that industry is a waste of money....the DOE has 35 billion to invest in american businesses in the alternative energy field....isn't this investing in the future of our country?, promoting job growth?...oh yeah...i forgot, it might make our government look like they are actually doing something good...and that, here on ATS, is a non-starter.

posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 09:40 AM
This is the best government related news I've read in ages.
If the million other reasons why we need to get away from oil and all fossil fuels can't appeal the Right wing mentality, ffs at least acknowledge that those resources are FINITE.

posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 09:49 AM
reply to post by jimmyx

Actually doing something good, creating jobs and stimulating the economy? Well that's not what the track record shows so far. Would you please explain how handing over billions of taxpayer dollars to companies that fail is doing any of the above?

Here's a list of failed alternative energy companies that Obama has pushed to receive federally secured loans and ended up in bankruptcy.

Solar Trust of America: FAIL! - Filed Bankruptcy in Oakland,CA,April 3,2012 –On April 2,2012

Bright Source: FAIL! - Bright Source warned Obama’s Energy Department officials in March 2011 that delays in approving a $1.6 billion U.S. loan guarantee would embarrass the White House and force the solar-energy company to close. Lost Billions of dollars but Getting More Money To Keep Trying. Can you say,“This isnt working?”

Solyndra: FAIL! - Obama gave Solyndra $500,000,000 in taxpayer money and Solyndra shut its doors and laid off 1100 workers in August 2011 After Billions in Losses due to failure to make a solar product that works!

LSP Energy: FAIL! - LSPEnergy LP filed bankruptcy protection and a sale of its assets in Feb 2012

Energy Conversion Devices: FAIL! –On February 14,2012 Energy Conversion Devices,Inc. and its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy

Abound Solar: FAIL! - Abound Solar received a $400 million loan guarantee from Barack Obama announced in June,2012 that it would file for bankruptcy

SunPower: FAIL! - SunPower stopped producing solar cells last year at near bankruptcy restructured only with help of,get this,oil giant TOTAL who owns 60% stake. Irony! Still struggling…

Beacon Power: FAIL! –Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy Oct 2011 just a year after Obama approved $43 million loan Government loan guarantee

Ecotality: FAIL! - ECOtality,a San Francisco green-tech company that never earned any money on the verge of bankruptcy after receiving roughly $115 million in two loan guarantees from Obama

A123 Solar: FAIL! -A123 received $279 million from taxpayers thanks to President Obama’sDepartment of Energy loan guarantees and after Solyndra bankruptcy is getting another $500M from Obama and it has lost $400M

UniSolar: FAIL! - Uni-Solar filed for Ch 11 bankruptcy in June 20 this year laid off hundreds got more Obama money still failing but still in business

Azure Dynamics: FAIL! - Azure Dynamics files for bankruptcy in June wasting millions in Obama “Stimulus” and taxcredits. Azure Dynamics LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the US. Azure laid off 120 of its 160 employees in Oak Park; Boston; Vancouver,British Columbia; and the UK.

Evergreen Solar: FAIL! - Evergreen Solar received $527 Million in Taxpayer money from Obama filed bankruptcy

Ener1: FAIL! received more than $100 million in government funding from the Obama administration filed for bankruptcy January 2012


Creating billions in government debt is not stimulating the economy and providing jobs for a short time until the company declares bankruptcy is not providing any type of sustainable job market. I'm all for alternative energy, here in ND where I live we have massive wind farms that provide up to 25% of our energy needs. If the government would invest in proven alternative energy it would be fine hut to continue to invest in a sector with a proven track record of failure is madness.

posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 09:54 AM
reply to post by Nucleardiver

I have a good acquaintance who is a Harvard graduate that told me he is over a barrel trying to bring solar power to his region of the world due to the fact the only place he can purchase certain parts are from China. He does not like the idea of having to deal solely with the politics of purchasing from there and having no other options that are attainable or available.

This is a great man who deeply cares and is using his degree to help bring light to some very poor nations.

Edit to say that I sense there is more to this than the article states.
edit on 24-9-2012 by antar because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 10:20 AM
reply to post by Nucleardiver

Solyndra: FAIL! - Obama gave Solyndra $500,000,000 in taxpayer money and Solyndra shut its doors and laid off 1100 workers in August 2011 After Billions in Losses due to failure to make a solar product that works!

To use the most famous case as an example... I was going to do a thread on this yesterday but decided it wasn't worth leading a horse to water... but since the horse has brought it up:

Quit the outrage over Solyndra

Sunday, September 09, 2012
NY Daily News

It was one year ago this month that the solar manufacturer Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, defaulting on a $535 million federal loan. The company’s name has become Republican shorthand for crony capitalism and the left’s green lunacy. But the Solyndra story is not a scandal. It is an inevitable bump on the road to a clean-energy economy. And almost everything Americans think they know about Solyndra is wrong. For starters, this story has bipartisan roots. President George W. Bush signed the bill launching the Energy Department’s loan program in 2005, and his administration selected Solyndra from 143 applicants for the first loan.

But silicon got unexpectedly cheap, so Solyndra’s financials evoked the old joke about losing money on every sale and trying to make it up on volume. The company also made some strategic mistakes and ran out of cash before a new management team could turn things around. Eventually, the Energy Department withdrew its lifeline.

But all lenders make bad loans. Obama’s stimulus package reserved $2.5 billion for Solyndra-style busts. A review led by a Republican financier found that the portfolio — which includes the world’s largest wind farm, a half dozen of the world’s largest solar farms and America’s first cellulosic biofuel refineries — is doing fine.

Overall, the stimulus poured $90 billion into clean energy, when the U.S. had been spending just a few billion a year, and it’s launched a quiet green revolution. We’ve doubled renewable power; with help from the low silicon prices that killed Solyndra, solar installations have soared 600%. The stimulus has jump-started the smart electric grid and created a new domestic battery industry for electric vehicles.

It won’t all pan out — that’s the nature of investment. Obama is betting on clean energy, putting public dollars into thousands of firms that can help move us away from fossil fuels. The market is picking the winners and losers, and Solyndra was one of the losers. But there’s nothing scandalous about that.

Drink up Mr. Ed... it's good for you.

posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 10:30 AM
Bottom line!!!! These companies will never compete with China unless the playing field is changed to balance trade between the US and China. Obama is only now in the twilight of his term trying to do this with China. Too little Too late!!

Even if dumping this money makes people feel good about the bogus "green energy" scam. It is a FAIL.

Just a scam to win votes.... If they truly wanted to succeed in this industry they should have been on the dominant edge 15 years ago!! When the US still had some muscle left in her...

Time to let the Solar chips fall where they may... right next to the Chinese CFL scam chips....

I'm tired of these rotten schemes that do nothing more than rob the taxpayers blind!!! and whereby the Govt. gets to hand pick the winners and losers. Especially, when the "winners" do not have a snow balls chance in hell at success....

posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 11:00 AM
reply to post by Nucleardiver

I read the total loses accounted to 3.2% of investment in renewable energy and most of the companies that have filed for bankruptcy are liquidating and paying back the government in some cases 80% of the loans. Overall the investment is a success. It will lead to more jobs plus sustainable renewable energy that will lead us to energy independence.

If you have ever looked at how much money DARPA funds for new projects the losses there are phenomenal compared to the losses in alternative energy I am not for cutting that but it makes you think are the losses being publicized in alternative energy being scrutinized more than most programs?
edit on 24-9-2012 by Grimpachi because: add

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