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  • 'Solyndra Was Just the Beginning': Experts Predict Solar Industry Collapse

    Industry analysts are predicting a massive bout of bankruptcies for hundreds of American solar firms as the market for solar panels, inflated by zealous government backing, begins to cool down.

    The fallout could be dramatic, CNN reported Wednesday. “Of the few hundred or so solar panel makers worldwide, just 20 to 40 are expected to remain standing in a few years time, said Mark Bachman, a renewables analyst at Avian Securities.”

    “A combination of slack demand and massive oversupply” is leading to rapidly declining prices for solar panels, CNN reports. The supply side of that equation, at least, has been exacerbated by a federal government that gives lavish incentives to startups looking to sell solar panels. Given that solar remains a more expensive alternative to fossil fuels, a lack of consumer demand is perhaps unsurprising.

    But the impending bankruptcies of so many solar companies will almost assuredly ensnare companies backed by taxpayer financing. Solyndra was the most high profile federally-backed company to go under. Evergreen Solar also received support from the Energy Department.

    Those two will not be the last to go under, analysts say. “Solyndra was just the beginning,” another industry expert said. “We’re going to see a lot of companies go bankrupt.”

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    29 Responses to 'Solyndra Was Just the Beginning': Experts Predict Solar Industry Collapse

    1. workinglate says:

      Imagine that – a government underwritten industry collapsing because it isn't viable on it's own. Maybe this is why the US taxpayers shouldn't be in the venture capital business.

    2. Another mess Obama got us into.

    3. joe says:

      us not going to subsidize like europe and china do not need a government owned utlity

    4. Just imagine if you can. . .anything that the government has done in the last 50 years that was successful. . . no. . making our debt and deficit monumental doesn't count.
      Government doesn't create jobs to build the private sector; it creates jobs to erode and demolish the private sector.

    5. workinglater says:

      how do you suppose the internet or gps would have emerged if it werent for gov;t?

      • Stirling says:

        someone in the private sector would of come up with the idea, based on a need of the consumers and the ability to make a "profit" for it's investors. The Market would support and foster it's growth with capital and dare I say it, it would succeed based on it's merits, not the government.. And lastly the American Taxpayer would benefit by having more money in their wallets to willingly pay for the product. Take Apple and Steve Jobs and his idea of IPods, IPads, etc which are a perfect example of what needs no government intervention to succeed in todays world.

      • Nuts4GolfinNM says:

        Ahhh, but those two industries were initially developed for gov't use, not for the commercial market, and they were very small scale early on. This is VERY different then the solar industry, which is totally propped up by taxpayers.

      • saveamerica says:

        Why do you suppose they wouldn't have emerged without government? You're question admits the problem. Government obstructionism. and as Nuts4GolfinNM clearly states it was initially for government use now government can use it against us all who use the Internet or gps.

      • Gps came about for the to have accurately aimed military weapons not because the fed wanted turn by turn directions. The internet came about due to universities creating a new form of data communication. You must be a big goverrnment, socialized medicine person. Move to France.

      • Steve Holland says:

        Interesting point. We are fortunate that the defense department put up gps. It had to work and be reliable for military use. Thus a strong military was the basis for the advance. Same with the early Internet protocols. I believe that was DARPA that helped with that. That said, if you you look at Internet standards you will come across the RFC system. These papers set the standards for internet function. They are formally known as request for comments. The vast majority of the RFCs are from industry. I can't remember the last time I came across an RFC that was from a .gov or .mil domain.

    6. Linda says:

      Wonder if the MSM will cover it?

    7. bruce says:

      First Solar are producing about 2 GW of modules per year, just where are they gonna sell that supply? No wonder Gillette got fired.

    8. Its early here says:

      Not sure that the comment about GPS and the Internet is actually pertinent. Neither the Internet nor GPS were "commercialized" with Federal money. In both cases, the new core technologies were developed with Federal money for Federal purposes that justified the investment purely in terms of the Federal ROI. Let me say that in English: Federal military applications made Federal investments in what later became the Internet and in GPS worthwhile. Those transformational core technologies were subsequently further developed to the point of commercial viability by private sector investment.

      • Its early here says:

        Nothing like that is true of solar. Core solar technologies were
        developed years ago; Federal investment is not (and probably cannot)
        develop transformational technology in the solar arena that will justify
        the Federal investment on the basis of a Federal ROI, inless the concept
        of ROI is stretched so broadly as to become meaningless. Rather,
        Federal investment in solar seems intended to alter artificially solar's
        private sector ROI.

        • Its early here says:

          This approach is very bad for at least two reasons:
          (a) in a Federally-supported environment, solar's ROI remains
          commercially viable only as long as Federal money flows in to support
          it. In today's world, that can't last very long; and (b) this Federal
          distortion of the marketplace discourages or crowds out other
          technologies that have more inherent commercial viability than solar,
          depriving us all of the benefit of those technologies simply because
          solar was favored by the government for reasons that are, economically
          speaking, entirely arbitrary. So the Obama administration scores a
          double hit with its solar policy: it sets up a commercially non-viable
          industry for eventual, and probably rather quick, failure, and it
          discourages development of better ideas. Give that President an A!

    9. Jeff Haas says:

      There are two problems with the statemtent that solar and renewable energy sources are "a more expensive alternative to fossil fuels". First, we are passing off the environmental costs of using fossil fuels to future generations. It is an embarassment that the US is the only major nation which has not recognized that climate change is real, that it is caused or exacerbated by human activity, and that we owe it to our children and grandchildren to do something about it. What are the costs of the BP oil spill, acid rain, air pollution, and the other impacts of burning coal and oil? Second- the carbon fuel industries receive subsidies much higher than those given to renewables!

      • Rich De says:

        It is an embarrassment? What do you expect from a country that refuses to see the good of socialized healthcare, won't even join the rest of the world to use the metric system, and heck, even dates things wrong. No other first world country uses month-day-year. There is no consistency of order there. It should be year-month-day, or day-month-year. Not to go too far off-topic, but if the rest of the first world nations do something, it seems like the US has to grandstand and say, well, we're different! No matter how illogical it is.

        • Stirling says:

          "if the rest of the first world nations do something." – This is where your arguement falls apart completly.. America is NOT and should not be like the rest of the world, we were founded on a unique set of principles and personal freedoms that are the Envy of the world. Socialized Central-Planned economies have stagnated under the weight of their bearucracies, why would we want to do the same? Don't be a Leming, be a leader..

        • Bobbie says:

          to "refuse" is one thing to know is another! America had the best in the world when people took care of their own. what's wrong with your personal healthcare that you have to make it social? and what the heck is your complaint about month-day- year? what makes year- day- month any more logical or significant? how terrible a country writes it the way they want!! but I'm sure America will be the one to make the world feel better to ease the pain and do it the way the weak wants America to give into their way. America's way is much too difficult to expect anyone else to catch on! such petty!

    10. James Desmond says:

      I've developed a "Free Market Solar Power" research blog that has included citation to this article: https://sites.google.com/site/freemarketsolarpowe

      In it I include ideas for developing a grid-tied, residential Solar PV market sans subsidies.

      It includes a report on my own 10KW, Solar PV array — at the dollars and cents level, cost-per-watt, etc.

    11. Phillip says:

      PV power is mostly about pushing the power generation from the huge power plants that no one wants in their backyard to power generation at the end-user. This will ease the need to update the current power grid which slows down the need to build larger power substations or the need put up more high tension power lines through our neighborhoods. PV was here before the US government started getting involved in it. President G.W. Bush saw the need to stimulate it and his father is a fossil fuel millionaire. Should the US Government be "de-facto" angel investing in this industry? Probably not. But energy consumption is increasing and no one wants to build more large power plants anywhere of any type, whether solar, coal, oil, natural gas,… We can not maintain our society without a large supply of energy.

    12. Stevenotts says:

      1913…The Automobile Industry is is set to Completely Collapse!…going from 200 manufacturers down to 20 or 30. Sound familiar, read a history book jerktards. Oh wait…that doesnt sound like collapsing, sounds like an industry about to reorganize and emerge stronger. Its business you morons, its why you didnt find this article on Altavista, or AskJeeves.com. Bottom line, most Americans can power their entire house with the space on their roof…no batteries needed. I've had em for two years and am seeing a 18% IRR. I'll invest in that any day. Just wish I used more electricity so I could slap some more on my roof. later suckers, enjoy paying that electric and gas bill every month (yeah, electric water and forced air heating for free as well)

      • DwayneS says:

        Where do you get your power at night? From the power company ! Your system is not self supporting.

    13. Paul T says:

      As for "guvment", they cannot (WILL NOT) even fix the US Postal Service with
      the obvious solution of delivering mail ONLY on Mon Wed and Fri!

    14. Armin says:

      The way Solar Pannel are sold to the puplic sector is not working, the way of selling has to be corrected!

    15. stewart says:

      they should cal this the oil foundation

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