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Don’t Be Fooled By the Solyndra Bankruptcy Circus — Solar Is Booming

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 10:45 AM
Original message
Don’t Be Fooled By the Solyndra Bankruptcy Circus — Solar Is Booming

Don’t Be Fooled By the Solyndra Bankruptcy Circus — Solar Is Booming

By Michael Grunwald

I doubt the facts are going to matter much now that Republicans have latched onto the Solyndra solar “scandal,” and even if they did matter, I’d be the wrong guy to defend the Obama administration (and some of the world’s top venture capitalists) for making the same honest mistake I made. 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.

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.

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?

Like every other U.S. energy source, solar is federally subsidized. The loan guarantee program has been a particularly crucial driver for unusually large or innovative projects, like Project Solar Strong or a 250-megawatt solar generation plant in the Mojave Desert that just finalized a $1.2 billion loan guarantee on Tuesday, and will provide clean renewable power for more than 50,000 homes. Last week, the Obama administration approved a $150 million loan guarantee to 1366 Technologies, a Massachusetts firm with a new manufacturing process that could cut the cost of silicon wafers 50% and make solar even more cost-competitive.

more


Solar Stunner: America is a $1.9 Billion Exporter of Solar Products (Think Progress)

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Tikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. It sure is in my So Cal community....
Two new installations seen on our daily walk this last month...


Tikki
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golfguru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. Look closely and you might see "made in china" label n/m
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. NPR was hammering on this story as well as John King at CNN
and implying that Obama was in a big scandal over this.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. When Obama wins the next election, the Repubs will try to impeach him over that company. n/t
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Except this was Bush's baby...
We can't forget it.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Except that Repubs and their base won't care or understand the issues.
Sooner or later, they'll call it embezzlement, count on it.
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Pryderi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. Oh c'mon. Let's be honest with ourselves. The approval was done by the Obama administration.
White House Visits

White House visitor logs show that Kaiser had 16 meetings with Obama aides, 11 of them in 2009. His first recorded visit to the White House was March 12, 2009, when he met separately with Austan Goolsbee, a senior economic adviser to Obama, Pete Rouse, a senior adviser to the president, and Heather Higginbottom, deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council. The next day he met with Jason Furman, a member of Obama’s National Economic Council.

That month, the Energy Department awarded Solyndra the $535 million loan guarantee to commercialize its cylindrical solar panels.

In June, Kaiser met with senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, policy adviser David Pope and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. His most recent meeting covered by the White House logs was on April 11 of this year, with Rouse.

Christian Gronet, the chairman of Solyndra, met with Greg Nelson, from the White House office of public engagement on Sept. 22, 2009. The visits cited in the White House logs were reported yesterday on the Daily Caller website.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-08/solyndra-s-cal...
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TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-11 06:34 AM
Response to Reply #20
26. Yes it was his baby
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

What critics fail to mention is that the Solyndra deal is more than three years old, started under the Bush Administration, which tried to conditionally approve the loan right before Obama took office. Rather than “pushing funds out the door too quickly,” the Obama Administration restructured the original loan when it came into office to further protect the taxpayers’ investment.

Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/13giD
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-11 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Exactomundo!
This is being swept under carpets all over the place... even on DU. Pathetic.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-11 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #20
28. Right... because it says so in the news...
Let the actual time-line of events be damned.
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laugle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-11 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
31. Geez, thanks for some
truth and sanity. The spin around here is getting scary.........Bush turned down the loan and Obama re-structured it to PROTECT THE TAXPAYERS! LOL......

This deal stinks,with red flags all over the place, and who do you think will be left holding the $535 million dollar bag.........TAXPAYERS.........
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Pryderi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. Jon Stewart hammered him tonight too. Looks like influence peddling. Big Obama Donor gets half a
billion dollar loan from the govt. that goes bankrupt. Obama Administration was warned Solyndra loan was a poor risk.

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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
3. This being the most ignored portion of the story...
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. And
evidently, someone wants to keep it that way.

Solar is booming!

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GSLevel9 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Without the subsidies... It's a net loser. If the gov't does something stupid like pitching $5000
Towards the purchase of a new car... Lol... You will see a thriving automotive sector. It's FAKE!!!
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Yeah,
I love the arguments over subsidies. Only the airlines and oil companies should get them.

Given that this is a newer industry designed to reduce dependency on oil, growth, even if stimulated by subsidies, is a win-win.

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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Pet Peeve Alert!!
Edited on Thu Sep-15-11 12:20 PM by JuniperLea
Let's not forget the Queen Mother of all ridiculous Bush Era Tax Manipulations/Breaks/Subsidies!!!

snip...

It's one of the many loopholes buried within the fine print of the tax code: Business owners who purchase heavy luxury SUVs, those weighing over 6,000 pounds, get to take deductions up to $25,000.

Now some members of Congress are pushing to close the so-called Hummer Tax Loophole. Led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., the Ways and Means Committee passed an energy bill last week that is expected on the House floor next month.

"We're allowing people to buy a huge expensive gas guzzler and get a benefit that was never intended for them," Blumenauer told ABCNEWS.com.

He explains that the provision in the tax code was originally intended to allow farmers and small-business owners to recover the cost of buying trucks and heavy-duty working vehicles. "But that was before the explosion of huge SUVs like Cadillac Escalades and now we're providing a tax break for a luxury car."


http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=3326593&page=1

I'll never forget hearing Pubbies swooning over this... idiots...

:puke:
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Here's a good piece
The Phony Solyndra Solar Scandal

Well here's a surprise: conservatives and oil interests are pushing deceptive and destructive stories about President Obama and clean energy. Imagine that! Their intent (as always) is to turn people against President Obama, clean energy, national energy policy, stimulus to help the economy, and government in general. It's what they do. Here is some information to help you push back on the latest whipped-up, anti-green, anti-government, anti-Obama "scandal."

<...>



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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Excellent stuff on this thread!
I'm using it at this moment to good effect in another discussion board!
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TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-11 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #16
25. More here
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GSLevel9 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. oh god yes... the mother of all bullshit subsidies... nt
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
8. Normally, this would be a nothing story, but someone is pushing it.
I expect it will be the basis of the idiot right calling for impeachment.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. They will push it until...
Someone edifies them on the facts... This was Bush's baby... see link posted above showing the time line.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Republicans Use Solyndra to Bash Obama’s Plan
Republicans Use Solyndra to Bash Obama’s Plan

House Republicans used a hearing on Solyndra LLC’s slide into bankruptcy to attack the Obama administration’s stimulus plans, past and proposed, showing the issue may linger as a political liability for the White House.

The Fremont, California, solar-panel maker won a $535 million federal loan guarantee in September 2009, the first awarded by the Energy Department, using funds from that year’s stimulus package. The company filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 6, and the FBI raided its offices two days later.

Republicans released a report at a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel hearing yesterday that they said showed White House officials sought to rush a decision on the loan award, and that Energy Department officials failed to see signs of the rising risks in supporting the company.

Solyndra is a “poster child” of the first stimulus and a reason to oppose Obama’s proposed $447 billion package intended to create jobs, Representative Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, said at the hearing.

<...>

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
9. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. What if solar energy received the same subsides as fossil fuels?
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golfguru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
24. Except fossil fuel (oil & coal) are making tons of money
Their subsidies should be revoked ASAP.
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-11 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #13
27. You're going to ruin a perfectly good argument with facts...knock it off.
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Bennyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
21. Kickedandrrr'd
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golfguru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
23. Jon Stewart comments on Solyndra (link)
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sfpcjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-16-11 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
30. Nice post. Thanks. - read this too from Washington Post yesterday

"Five myths about the Solyndra collapse" - Washington Post
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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