Say it ain’t so, Joe Biden! In yet another example of (a) the failure of the Stimulus, (b) the failure of this administration creating those magical “green jobs” and (c) another example of the failure of this administration to deliver on advancing technology, we have this (from the Orange Country Register on Nov 11, hat tip, GorT, Sr.):
Listening to outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and incoming Gov. Jerry Brown, Californians might think the California economy’s salvation lies in so-called “green jobs,” which now account for about 3 percent of the state’s workforce.
What boosters of green jobs don’t usually mention is most of these jobs require substantial taxpayer subsidies and other special government treatment even to exist in a competitive market. It appears now that even a half-billion dollars in government aid is no guarantee of success.
Despite a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government, Solyndra, a maker of solar panels in the southeast San Francisco Bay Area city of Fremont, will close one of its manufacturing plants, lay off 40 permanent and 150 contract workers, delay expansion plans of a new plant largely financed with the government-guaranteed loan and scale back production capacity more than 50 percent.
Despite the hype and tax money, Solyndra seems unable to compete with Chinese manufacturers, whose prices are lower. This is the latest bad news for the company touted by Mr. Schwarzenegger and President Barack Obama as one of the green industry’s supposed shining lights. President Obama visited Solyndra in May, calling the operation “a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism.”
But, truth be told, Solyndra is more of a testament to taxpayers’ hard-earned money pledged to guarantee 73 percent of the cost of building its new facility. Closure of its older plant, located nearby, is a testament to the reality that, even if massively underwritten by taxpayers, renewable energy operations aren’t certain to find a profitable niche in the open market.
Shortly after the president’s visit, the company announced in June that weak demand in capital markets, high costs and “a prodigious cash burn,” as GreenEnergyReporter.com put it, forced withdrawal of plans for an initial public stock offering. In July, its CEO was replaced. The company found itself “struggling to justify the early hype by bringing down costs from $3 per watt to $2 per watt by 2013,” GreenEnergyReporter.com reported.
“The company is the most prominent of a wave of Silicon Valley solar start-ups that hoped to transform the economics of the industry,” commented TheEnergyCollective.com. But the market is oblivious to hype and government edicts. Solar module prices declined dramatically as low-cost Chinese manufacturers churned out a more conventional product at lower cost. Consequently, Solyndra has scaled back projected production capacity of 610 megawatts by 2013 to between 285 and 300 megawatts.
At the online blog GlobalEnergyMagazine, correspondent Dolores Fernandez wrote that Solyndra’s announced closure “was delayed until after polls closed on congressional elections.”
Many alternative-energy interests that stand to gain from taxpayers artificially propping up their industry and subsidizing their businesses campaigned aggressively to defeat Proposition 23 on last week’s ballot because they said it would prevent expansion of green jobs. The proposition, which was voted down, would have delayed California’s global warming regulations that promote renewable energy and penalize fossil fuel-based energy manufacturers.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.