published Monday, November 28th, 2011

A solar power money pit

The scandal over the bankrupt, federally funded solar panel manufacturer Solyndra keeps growing.

Taxpayers are on the hook for a half-billion-dollar loan to Solyndra, which went under in August.

But other revelations are just as troubling. As Solyndra was collapsing, its managers were getting bonuses of up to $60,000. And its $733 million facility had costly "touches" such as a conference room whose high-tech glass walls could be made smoky gray at the touch of a button, hiding those inside.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, a Solyndra manager likened the new facility to the Taj Mahal. And a Solyndra engineer told The Washington Post, "After we got the [federal] loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right."

Meanwhile, the company, backed strongly by the Obama administration, spent more than $1 million lobbying lawmakers in Washington while its solar panels went unsold.

Congress is looking into this boondoggle, but there appears to be little appetite in Washington for shutting off the subsidy spigot to impractical alternative energy.

That's unhappy news for taxpayers and for our massive federal debt.

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nucanuck said...

Virtually all of the planets retrievable fossils fuels will have been consumed within a 200 year period if we continue on our current exponential consumption path. Somewhere aroud 2050 it will all be gone.

Deny it. Scream liar, won't change the exponential reality that our descendents are going to live with much less energy per person...even if we go all out to develope alternatives now. Post fossil humans are going to have a very different life soon and abruptly, based on our current behavior.

November 28, 2011 at 3:04 a.m.
rolando said...

More taxpayer ripoff Solyndras in our future is not the answer?

November 28, 2011 at 7:58 a.m.
nucanuck said...

rolando, the Chinese are quickly beginning to dominate the renewable energy technologies of the future. Because of several obvious factors, some level of subsidies will be requires during the development phase for renewables.

What is your suggestion to keep the US in the hunt for our energy future?

November 28, 2011 at 11 a.m.
rolando said...

Of course the Chinese are grabbing the new technology, nucanuck. Can't say as I blame them.

Problem is, for every industry we ship overseas, the highly skilled jobs go with it. Leaving us with the MacJobs. They build the stuff; we install it. Not much skilled labor required on our part; the illegals here will do well.

We have no future in energy or most any other industry of consequence. Not even the military/industrial complex; we import all the techy stuff. Did you see the report on the high rate of chip failures in our newest extreme high-tech fighters? One guess where the chips are made.

We are a nation of consumers, nothing else. Actually, I don't think we will ever recover to amount to anything. We are the UK/Canada in the making.

If/When the Muslims take over here, it will get even worse. Keep you place in Vancouver, by all means.

But all that is everything you preached about and supported a couple-thyree years ago, nucanuck...what changed? You got what you wanted, right?

November 28, 2011 at 4:46 p.m.
nucanuck said...


So you're willing to concede all future technology to the Chinese? I'm not, and neither are the majority of North Americans. Subsidizing future technology by government should be considered investing in our future by my book.

By the frequency of your comments about where I choose to live in retirement, you seem preoccupied about it. What's the big deal? You lived all over and then retired in Chattanooga. We decided to pick a temporate climate which headed us toward the Northwest. After carefully weighing the possibilities, we decided Victoria had the best mix of size, culture, and climate. It happens to be in Canada which made things a little more difficult, but if I walk down the street I can see the US.

I can report that capitalism is alive and well in Canada. The taxes are higher, but we get good value and the people are more willing to invest in the common good.

November 28, 2011 at 5:48 p.m.
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