White House-Backed Solar Energy Company Collapses

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by obeygiant, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #1
    link


    oops
     
  2. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #2
    Oops? The not-so-free market that is the massively subsidized oil industry is still kicking, while a start-up in a more expensive (for now) energy field hasn't succeeded?

    How is this a good thing.

    Obeygiant. Yes or no. Is there more oil being created right now? Ok, is it enough to fuel our needs once we have depleted our stores of known fuel reserves?

    If not, then you are applauding the demise of one of the few companies that had a chance of helping.
     
  3. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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  4. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #4
    Really? For refilling the batteries in my Nissan Leaf? Yes it is. For supplying energy for other purposes... yes it is.

    For making plastic... yes, you are right, solar isn't very good at making a product that is completely unnatural.

    (edit) I don't own a leaf.
     
  5. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Solar is ok to supplement, but is no where near being a replacement to what we currently have.
     
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #6
    And it never will be, if we don't help it with it's first baby steps.

    The solar energy striking the Earth every day is not a small amount.
     
  7. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #7
    You own an ICE vehicle, you use 100% oil. You own an EV, you're still charging your battery off mostly coal and nuclear.

    That transition that's happening between ICE vehicles and EV's has little to do with solar and everything to do with auto manufacturers figuring out how to build a better battery.
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    The government SHOULD be funding this exclusively. Private enterprise can't possibly survive on something this new and underdeveloped.

    I notice the OP hasn't been back to give his opinion either.
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #9
    Hate to tell you this all but to get Solar Energy really going it has to be government funded.
    Right now wind energy is about break even in terms of cost per KWH. Solar energy it cost more per KWH than they can sell if for. The the profit in both is government subsidies and governmental funding. The market is just not there to push developing the technology there but we do need to develop it to get the cost down and make it better. Only way to do that is threw the government because long term we need the technology.
     
  10. Peace, Aug 31, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011

    Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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  11. IntelliUser macrumors 6502

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    Why does it matter?
  12. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #12
    They should at least be funding the R&D. Far as the greentech industry though, Obama has been pretty generous with subsidies. To put solar on the roof of your home costs something in the ballpark of $100,000. In a few cities, because of government, state, and municipal subsidies, that figure is down to $50K. For electric vehicles, between DOE subsidies and utility incentives, you can save up to $10K off the price of a Leaf or a Volt.

    Far as Solyndra, if the guys in charge don't know how to run a business, it doesn't matter how much money the government gives them. Notice how there are plenty of solar panel manufacturers that haven't gone out of business. Those guys must be doing something right.

    GE was able to take Obama's subsidies and become the number 2 producer of wind turbines in the world... which is why they didn't have pay any taxes last year.
     
  13. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #13
    This sudden collapse is certainly suspect for a company that reported a 2,000% sales increase only recently.

    I'm more saddened by the fact that this is yet another industry it seems America won't be competing in. Solyndra was supposed to hire a lot of Toyota and GM workers that were laid off when the local car plant closed a few years ago (a scant 5 miles from where I grew up), but if they can't cut it in the solar business while the Chinese (or the Germans, or the French, or the Indians) can, then that doesn't speak well to manufacturing returning to the US anytime soon.
     
  14. obeygiant thread starter macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #14
    I think you got me wrong here, this isn't a good thing.

    I really don't know the answer to those questions. But solar is a long way off from replacing oil in regards to energy. Not to mention to laundry list of products from insect repellant to plastic to medicines that oil helps make.
     
  15. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #15
    you make a good point. oil is still completely irreplaceable as a source for a large range of products, and will be for a while.
    but energy is not one of them, not in the long term, and probably not in the medium either.
    solar is very quickly approaching oil in terms of convenience, and a lot of the key research and the massive investments are done outside of the US, largely with public money (see china for example).

    unless we want to become importers of key technologies, instead of developers, a significant slice of public funding should go in RD for this. for example, why don't we convert the entire tax-break packages for the oil industry into loan/grants for alternative energy and start ups?
     
  16. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #16
    Obeygiant, I have to agree with Lee. You disappeared, as of the time of your OP and his post, for one hour and forty-eight minutes. What the hell? It's a Wednesday afternoon, and you went MIA on the PRSI for nearly TWO HOURS.

    Jesus Christ.
     
  17. obeygiant thread starter macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    My deepest apologies for not returning to the PRSI in a timely manner. lol :D
    This is actually my busy time at work, I've had a 2 month stretch of 15 hr days, so I can't get in here so often.
     
  18. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #18
    an interesting article on solyndra by the CEO of a competing company. here
    and one on the financial aspects. here

    of note: the loan program had already started under the bush administration (although the biggest chunk was in 2009)
    the DOE is high in the creditor's list, so they should be getting back most of the money
     
  19. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #19
    You guys gotta realize, oil is not interchangeable with solar. Solar is one of many methods used to generate electricity. Oil isn't used to generate electricity, it's the only fuel for ICE vehicles, which is the dominant vehicle on the road nowadays.

    The guys who have a vested interest in solar energy (utilities and electricity wholesalers) are not the same people who have a vested interest in oil (refineries and auto manufacturers).
     
  20. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #20
    you conveniently left out from my post that i pointed out in medium-long term.
    but yes, more than half of the oil consumption goes into fuel so a significant aspect of the tech development to use alternative energy has to be in the electric vehicles and batteries fields.
    but if we could wean ourself out of oil/coal as a font of grid energy it would be already a massive improvement
     
  21. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #21
    Where did you come up with those numbers from? They have no basis in reality.

    Link

    Solyndra used a silicon light approach as well as an inventive, but expensive design. They didn't fail for a lack of business sense but because their design had not yet been thoroughly tested AND most importantly, the cost of solar panels from China has been cut in half in the last year.
     
  22. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #22
    People need to come to grips with the fact that we have a $15 trillion dollar industrialized economy that isn't going to be run on windmills and the sun. Even if you tried, people aren't going to take a 500% increase in their electric bill and our government can't subsidize that for those who like to sit around drinking 32oz big gulps while collecting their government check.
     
  23. djjclark macrumors regular

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    #23
    Just put in a 6kW grid tie system in norcal. Total cost before rebates/tax credits was $38k. Final cost to me will be $24k which should be covered in 7 to 8 years. System was from Sunpower with their smaller all black panels which cost a little more then others so a $20k system is within grasp.
     
  24. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    This is the system I would would pick for families in the projects. I'm sure my socialist city of Chicago would spring for them.
     
  25. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #25
    Germany currently gets 20.8% of its total energy needs from renewables. The country has almost no water power, poor solar hours yet is the second largest exporting country in the world.

    How did they achieve this? By spreading the burden over all segments of the population and the economy. They're also in the process of eliminating coal and nuclear power. It's a brave gambit but they realize that the future doesn't involve being stuck in some utopian bubble from the fifties.

    It's too bad that so many Americans are unable to envision the future.

    The US became great because it was always willing to think outside the box. Now, all many Americans want is to be locked into one and never be let out. that's sad.
     

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