Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Green Jobs Permanently Gone Due to Expensive Technology

Green Technology is not ready to go mainstream. There are more green companies going bankrupt or "belly-up." The bottom line is that the technology is too expensive to make. The technology needs more research and refinement. If green energy is expensive to make, the technology would be unattractive to the consumer after a cost mark-up is added to it. Hence, electric cars and CFL light bulbs are not in public demand.

(Mercury News) Solyndra, a Fremont-based solar panel manufacturer that flared then sputtered, abruptly ceased operations on Wednesday and immediately laid off all 1,100 of its workers.

The shutdown marks a high-profile collapse of a company that received more than $1.6 billion in federal and private funding in recent years.

"This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate," Brian Harrison, Solyndra's president and chief executive, said.

The company received $535 million in taxpayer money from the U.S. Department of Energy and $1.1 billion in private venture capital funding.

Solyndra workers who were laid off on Wednesday were dismissed without layoff packages.

Solyndra was founded in 2005 by Chris Gronet, a veteran of Applied Materials who earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University.

President Barack Obama touted Solyndra as a poster child for clean energy after the company received the federal funds.

"Companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future," Obama said during a 2010 visit to the company's Fremont headquarters.

Although Solyndra was buttressed by VC and federal money, the company struggled. Among the challenges that doomed Solyndra: Low-cost Chinese manufacturers backed by large subsidies from the government are building massive factories that have rapidly driven down the price of solar panels and shifted more than 50 percent of production to China.

Yet analysts also noted that Solyndra had failed to curb its manufacturing costs. Industry watchers pointed out that Solyndra's solar tubes were still about two or three times as expensive as the standard costs for solar manufacturers in the United States.