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Fremont's [CA] High-Flying Solyndra Hits a Rough Patch
San Jose Mercury News ^ | 01/30/2011 | Dana Hull

Posted on 01/30/2011 8:58:12 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom

Less than a year ago, President Barack Obama held it up as a poster child for clean energy, saying during a visit to its headquarters that "companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future." But now, despite having raised more than $1 billion in venture capital and receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, Solyndra is struggling and analysts can't see a way forward.

One reason for its woes is that low-cost Chinese manufacturers are building massive factories that have rapidly driven down the price of solar panels and shifted more than 50 percent of production to China. But Solyndra's technology may also be a problem -- several analysts question whether it will ever capture more than a narrow niche of the market.

Solyndra canceled its plans for an IPO in June, citing "adverse market conditions." Then in July, Chris Gronet, the company's founder, was replaced as CEO by Brian Harrison. Gronet remains at the company and chairs the board of directors.

"In 2010, the market changed, and we had to change with it," said Steven Mitchell of Argonaut Private Equity, Solyndra's largest shareholder. "We spent the first three months of 2010 trying to figure out where the bottom was. But we believe we have a fantastic product, and we have great confidence in Brian Harrison."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: boondoggle; california; climatechange; globalwarminghoax; gorebullwarming; solar; solyndra; waste
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The "industrial policy" geniuses in Washington pumped a half billion of our tax dollars into this dog and now it's going belly-up, just like Evergreen Solar in Massachusetts. No matter how much Obama and his ilk command things to happen, the old law of supply and demand always trumps them. The untold amounts of our money poured into the toilet infuriates me to no end.
1 posted on 01/30/2011 8:58:19 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

There shouldn’t even be a Federal Department of Energy.

2 posted on 01/30/2011 9:01:14 AM PST by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Well, they can always re-invent their business and go into roofing. Oh, wait......

3 posted on 01/30/2011 9:02:16 AM PST by edpc (It's Kräusened)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
If bureaucrats invest in it, short it!
4 posted on 01/30/2011 9:04:07 AM PST by downtownconservative
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

No problem. All Hussein has to do is drive all competitors out of business! Monopolies HAVE to succeed!! But then, we have the Post Office and....never mind.

5 posted on 01/30/2011 9:06:29 AM PST by Oldpuppymax
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
The problem here isn't markets or financing or public policy, it's just plain basic physics. The sun doesn't always shine. Even if you have a 100% efficient solar panel, you're still going to get 0% output when the primary energy source is absent. That means your capacity factor is inherently limited. The primary energy source is very diffuse. That means you have to work harder (i.e., costs more) to gather energy in sufficient quantities to make it economically viable. And when the primary source is available, it tends to be variable. That means you need downstream systems (i.e., storage) to manage the variability. That also adds to cost.

I really wish people would look at the basic science and engineering before they run off half-cocked on these schemes, simply for political advantage, or to play the "green-chic" role.

6 posted on 01/30/2011 9:08:18 AM PST by chimera
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To: ProtectOurFreedom; Ernest_at_the_Beach; tubebender; SierraWasp; BOBTHENAILER; Liz; ...

Maybe they can get Kansas City, Boston, or some other red state where they have green wet dreams to offer these losers money to move to a new Red Green State.

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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Put tariffs on all imports from China. That should equalize the prices.

8 posted on 01/30/2011 9:10:18 AM PST by RC2
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
"We're not yet cash flow positive, but we've adjusted our spending and slowed the rate of cash we are consuming," he added.

Ah yes, back in the heady good old days of the tech bubble this was referred to as "the burn rate," usually in connection with heavily financed startups that no longer exist.

9 posted on 01/30/2011 9:11:09 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Half a Billion here, half a Billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money...

...or greater debt.

10 posted on 01/30/2011 9:17:06 AM PST by proudpapa
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

When they get around to repealing the Second Law of Thermodynamics, you will know we will have entered utopian world of BizzarO. As we pour money into expensive leftist wet dreams, the rest of the world will use the cheap energy we don’t to lick our bones clean.

There is no free lunch, it is in the price of beer.

11 posted on 01/30/2011 9:31:08 AM PST by depressed in 06 (The only thing the ZerO administration is competent at is bad ideas.)
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To: hinckley buzzard

>> back in the heady good old days of the tech bubble

At least it was private money burning up back then.

Now it’s taxpayer money, in part. That’s just wrong.

12 posted on 01/30/2011 9:39:48 AM PST by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: chimera

Could you please call up the USAFA and tell them this basic information as they are in the process of installing what appears to be acres of solar panels?:)

13 posted on 01/30/2011 9:52:10 AM PST by ebersole
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To: ebersole
Our local high school district passed a $41 million bond measure last year with 77% voting "Yes." It needed a 55% supermajority to pass. You'd think this would go toward improving education, right?

Ha! Silly you! They are using a good chunk of the money to build a solar power plant right on the high school parking lot. So now our rather bucolic little town has a G** D*** solar power plant right in the midst of our nice neighborhood! It looks like a damn industrial plant in a residential zoned area.

Can you imagine all those brand new licensed drivers managing the maze of columns covering the entire parking lot? How long before some kid hits one of those columns and brings some of those monstrous panels crashing down on top of him or her?

I'm sure if anybody looked at the overall system economics it is a huge money loser. But, as we all know, in leftist la-la land, ROI and IRR are meaningless numbers. What matters if your "feelings."

Our hard-earned tax dollars are being pissed into this worthless project, just for the sake of a greenie utopia These leftist greenie wet dreams are driving me crazy.

Lastly, before EOR ("end of rant"), the electorate was sold a bill goods. The actual ballot measure is shown below -- you'll notice nowhere does it say the school district is going to become an electric utility. They snuck it in by calling it "upgrades to electrical systems." Dishonest government is everywhere.

Local High School Improvement Measure. Without increasing current tax rates, shall Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District add classrooms and science labs to prevent student overcrowding, improve instructional technology to support academic programs, lower energy costs by upgrading heating, ventilation, electrical and other systems, improve/add student safety systems, repair, construct and acquire school facilities and equipment, by issuing $41,300,000 in bonds at legal interest rates, with all expenditures subject to independent citizens’ oversight?

14 posted on 01/30/2011 10:23:34 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: depressed in 06
There is no free lunch

And you can't get out of the game.
15 posted on 01/30/2011 10:25:31 AM PST by sasquatch
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To: sasquatch

“And you can’t get out of the game.”

How true. I remember when Skippy blew into town to give his blessing to the massive new Solyndra building, gleaming with its green glass and chrome right next to highway 880.

Never mind that they had a perfectly good building already.

Never mind that Skippy’s visit shut down every small general aviation airport for miles every direction, robbing those who rent airplanes, or provide flight instruction, or provide aerial advertising of their incomes for the duration.

Never mind that basic physics does not support Solyndra’s business model - it’s all about feeling socially responsible by being in the green energy business.

Nope, you CAN’T get out of the game. We’re shackled by the whims of political opportunists. And only we can fix it.

16 posted on 01/30/2011 11:18:32 AM PST by Tigerized (
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
.Many low-cost Chinese manufacturers, which benefit from massive government support, are manufacturing at costs in the $1.10 to $1.20 a watt range. Thin-film leader First Solar, based in Tempe, Ariz., manufactures at 75 cents a watt and aims to be at 53 cents a watt by 2014. Solyndra says its current manufacturing costs are about $3 per watt..

No wonder Obama didn't mention this catastrophic Green Boondoggle in his most recent SOTU?

17 posted on 01/30/2011 11:40:12 AM PST by zbogwan2
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To: Grampa Dave; NormsRevenge; steelyourfaith; SierraWasp; tubebender; Carry_Okie; Brad's Gramma; ...

The ole Greenjobs propaganda works....

18 posted on 01/30/2011 1:05:53 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
It might behoove you to check whether any of the boosters on that project have relatives working for one of the suppliers or holding investments in same.

Got DA?

19 posted on 01/30/2011 1:12:25 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach


People should know by now that if it needs heavy subsidies its NOT good for the economy

20 posted on 01/30/2011 1:15:16 PM PST by GeronL (
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