Another U.S. Solar Firm Goes Bust
The unexpected announcement raised questions about whether taxpayers would be responsible for the entire $535 million in loans that the company used to build a Silicon Valley factory. The wisdom of loan guarantees granted to the company by the Obama administration had already been questioned by government auditors and been the target of a subpoena from House Republicans.
The start-up venture has long been an administration favorite, and its Fremont, Calif., factory received visits from both the president and Energy Secretary Steve Chu. Both used their visits to praise the company for creating jobs and leading the way into a new economy fueled by green energy businesses.
The company was backed by venture capital from Tulsa billionaire and Democratic fundraiser George Kaiser. Its political connections had been been criticized by Republicans, who questioned the administration’s focus on the company.
Is it a stretch to assume that Solyndra has a similar problem as Evergreen? As Sexton points out:
Evergreen’s spokesman conceded that the source of the company’s problems is price competition from China, not demand at home: “Make a couple of phone calls and see in the solar projects around the state, where the panels are coming from. They’re not coming from a U.S. supplier.’’
If not, then have we already lost the solar industry to China?