Dark Days for Solar Power

From the Washington Times:

Ever heard of the Solyndra solar-cell plant in Fremont, Calif.? Most people haven’t. That’s a shame, considering how much taxpayer money has been poured into it.

Solyndra is in serious financial trouble. Despite getting a $535 million bailout – part of the taxpayer-funded “stimulus” – the company subsequently announced it would lay off more than 17 percent of its work force. It also had to close one of its manufacturing plants about a year after it got the money. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is launching an investigation.

That’s understandable. After all, it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way for Solyndra and other solar-cell producers. President Obama and Sen. Barbara Boxer both campaigned at the plant, touting the “green jobs” that would flow from government investment in companies that produce renewable energy.

How that bit of economic magic was supposed to occur is a mystery. Solyndra’s production costs are more than six times those of other producers. Even with strong backing from Washington, the company had to cancel a $300 million initial public offering after a bad audit from PricewaterhouseCoopers. As the New York Times noted in an article on Solyndra, “the project spotlights the risks of government intervention in a dynamic market.”

Read the rest here.

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