Cash for Solar Clunkers – Big Government Not At Work

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Obama, as a big government guy, believes that the government needs to create the jobs that will lead us into productivity, especially if they are green energy jobs. Either that or he merely wants the government to run everything according to his ideology. Solyndra is a perfect example of big government not at work, as if the unemployment numbers didn’t tell us enough. After $535 million in Stimulus funds, Solyndra shut its doors.

Obama touting the out-of-business Solyndra  –

 

The CEO of Evergreen Solar chose to expand in Massachusetts because of the many state incentives ($58 million in tax money) according to his own statement in this video. Despite the heavy tax support, off to China they’ve gone, while filing Chapter 11 here, abandoning U.S. creditors.  The state expects to receive back just $13 million out of the $58 million. Read here: NY Times

The WH posted the following communication about Evergreen with lots of WH spin.
Massachusetts
To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Massachusetts families
Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action — proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since the bill went into effect, the ARRA has already helped put money back in the pockets of 95 percent of working Americans, created and saved jobs across the country and made key investments in our community to help kickstart the economy. To ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with overseeing the implementation of ARRA, and projects have already begun to come in under budget across the country. As the President prepares to introduce the details of his budget and further plans to revitalize the economy, here’s a look at how his policies have impacted Massachusetts in the first three months of his administration….
…Evergreen Solar Was Hoping to Hire 90 to 100 People for Its Manufacturing Plant. “Evergreen Solar, the Marlborough-based maker of solar panels, also is hoping to hire 90 to 100 people at a manufacturing plant in Devens, said Gary Pollard, vice president of human resources. The plant, which opened last summer, is expected to employ more than 800 when it reaches full capacity.” [Boston Globe, 3/6/09]

This government creating jobs is really working well if you live in a looney tune cartoon. The government fact sheets indicate that solar energy has created more jobs than not and is a fast growing industry, but it’s hard to separate reality from propaganda proliferation as illustrated above. Solar companies also broadcast their successes with some exaggeration. I do support solar, but presently, it is expensive, we are broke and the oversight of the distribution of funds is negligible.

If the WH really wants solar jobs, they need to reduce the subsidies for expansion and let the market place weed out the good from the bad. Forcing over-expansion too quickly with taxpayer dollars just doesn’t work. Whether it’s Stimulus money or state tax dollars, the industry is heavily subsidized with inadequate oversight.

Analysts like Pichel and JP Morgan analyst Christopher Blansett anticipate that more solar companies will file for bankruptcy.

“More will go under. However, this is a healthy process of weeding out,” Pichel said. “The ones with the best roadmaps will secure funding and potentially thrive. We think Miasole, Abound [Solar], and Solar Frontier offer the promise of keeping pace with polysilicon modules, but there are a host of other companies that are not well positioned.”

The most established thin-film company in the world is First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), which despite a weak second quarter, shows little signs of slowing down. Read here: Clean Energy Authority

Pichel might be right about it being a healthy process, but I’d rather these companies did it without this much taxpayer money when we are bankrupt ourselves. It feels like the government buying votes.

Some of the other solar photovoltaic companies that filed Chapter 11 in the last year are: Boulder’s Simple Solar, Solar PV, AstroPower, SpectraWatt, Fremont Solar Company, Robbinsville Solar (NJ), Read here: Stockuse


 

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