Category Archives: Green Tech

Will SunPower be the next Solyndra?

SunPower Corporation

Solyndra’s body isn’t even cold yet and look at this! The solar company in Fremont, California, that filed for Bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration under dubious circumstances, hasn’t even been auctioned off and already it’s looking like we have another contender for a similar failure after receiving $1.2 billion in loan guarantees from the Obama administration.

Reports are now surfacing that SunPower isn’t perhaps in very stellar financial condition, either. According to the Daily Caller today……

The company, SunPower, received its $1.2 billion loan guarantee in September, immediately before the program’s deadline.

SunPower isn’t as financially sound as the public was led to believe when it secured a loan guarantee twice the size of Solyndra’s $535 million loan. Just this week — less than a month after taxpayers landed on the hook for SunPower’s $1.2 billion loan guarantee — company executives announced that they expect to lower their 2011 earnings projections.

The company also carries $820 million in debt, which is $20 million more than its market capitalization.

So why the largess from the Obama administration so soon after the Solyndra debacle? Well, as usual, let’s follow the money and connections……

Last October, President Barack Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and California Democratic Rep. George Miller toured SunPower’s plant in California. Both touted the company. Miller said SunPower was an example for “renewable energy” production and “America’s future economic growth.”

But, Miller failed to mention how his son, George Miller IV, is SunPower’s top lobbyist in California. Miller’s son was pushing for the $1.2 billion loan guarantee taxpayers are on the hook for now.

Sounds to us like more crony socialism is afoot. It will be interesting to see what happens at SunPower over the next few months. Could it be a Solargate II, with some CO2 Insanity tossed in for good measure? Time will tell.

Source: Daily Caller

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Solar Panel Propaganda

Solar panels, touted by many to be a renewable energy panacea that will rid the planet of all those nasty coal-fired power plants, may be a bigger boondoggle than we already thought. We’ve already complained that they do not appear in many instances to provide a return in investment.

It now appears that the time they provide energy before replacement is required is dramatically less than claimed. Thus shortening not only the life of the panels and the electricity generated, but also reducing the return on investment.

If you listen to the mostly-Chinese manufacturers, solar panels work great. They can be expected to degrade about 0.5% a year. So that is how we build the economic models to finance, insure and subsidize the larger solar systems.

In the real world, we are just starting to find out how bogus many of those predictions are. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that panels can degrade as much as 4.5% a year. Or more. Put that in your pro forma and see what your banker and insurance agent — or Congressman — say about that.

While we see claims that average solar panels will last 25 to 30 years, the aforementioned claim of 0.5% per year means that solar panels should last an astounding 200 years (100% ÷ 0.5%). At the realistic rate of 4.5% per year they will only last about 22 years before replacement is needed (100% ÷ 4.5%), which is not even the 25 to 30 currently claimed by many and not even remotely close to 200 years.

It gets worse folks. They don’t only degrade, it appears they also can literally fall apart and it doesn’t take very long.

In Italy last year, “they discovered that after one year in the field, over 90% of the (solar panels) from a one megawatt project began to delaminate and ended up on the ground.”

That is a lot of wasted money. 90% down the tubes after being used for only one year. No return on investment and very little ‘free’ electricity generated. All that is left is an eyesore that is a pile of toxic waste, wasted tax dollars and perhaps a tax deduction for a business loss.

We are adverse to the lies about what renewable energy costs and what it’s capabilities are. We’re also adverse to the physical and financial messes left when solar and wind-power are abandoned. We’re extremely adverse to the rush to install solar and wind-power without having full knowledge about the effects. Look at the carnage left in the previous two links to see what we’re talking about.

California seems to be leading the rush off the proverbial cliff via the implementation of AB32, California’s cap & trade law, that mandates power providers to generate 33% of their power from renewable (green) sources by a not too distant 2020.

With many large solar projects planned in California, it would seem to be a logical move to slow down and find out what our money is being spent on and what the return on investment will be as opposed to rushing in head first, only to find another government mandated, costly boondoggle. To know what happens to government mandated boondoggles one only has to look at the Solyndra and Evergreen Solar fiascos.

You can safely bet that when these solar energy plants fall apart at the seams, the taxpayers and energy consumers of California and other states will get stuck paying for the bill. It’s probably also a safe bet that the messes left at abandoned solar and wind farms will be there for decades as a reminder of what happens when the government gets involved in what should be private enterprise.

Source: AOL Energy

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Solargate: Let the excuses begin!

$527 Million Tax Dollars Down the Tubes?

We have barely heard that the Solyndra executives testifying before Congress will invoke the 5th Amendment and we already have propaganda being put forth by Solyndra.

In announcing that Solyndra executives would invoke their Fifth Amendment rights when they appear before Congress this week, a spokesman for the bankrupt solar energy company laid the blame for its demise at the feet of the same Department of Energy that invested $527 million into the failed enterprise.

Sure folks, the same agency that gave Solyndra $527 million when they probably shouldn’t have are now the same agency who pulled in their horns when asked to guarantee more investors and caused Solyndra to shut down and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Come on now, you can’t have it both ways!

Lets hear what Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) has to say about Solyndra.

I’m particularly concerned because the CEO of Solyndra met with me in July and said they were doing very well economically, they were going to double their revenues. Then a month later they declared bankruptcy. That makes me wonder what kind of misrepresentation they might have made to the administration.”

Misrepresentation sounds too nice to me, but I guess Representative Waxman wants to investigate more to see if he should be using the term fraud or not.

It will be interesting to see if anything turns up at the hearing besides I’ll take the 5th Amendment for $527 million Alex.

Yes more CO2 Insanity, something that seems to almost be akin to perpetual BS motion.

Source: New York Times 

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Solargate: Solyndra execs will take the 5th Amendment

$535 Million Tax Dollars Down the Tubes?

In a what doesn’t surprise me in the least move, Solyndra executives have announced they will be taking their 5th Amendment right when testifying before Congress this week. For those unaware, below is the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

While I’m not one of their attorneys, I’d suspicion the part highlighted above is what they’re referring to. This could mean that they have done something illegal and won’t be ratting on themselves before Congress, or perhaps they could be using this to cover for others involved with Solyndra, or both. In either event I find it very reminiscent of testimony by alleged Mafia members during Congressional hearings in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

I’d say you can rule out Attorney General Eric Holder doing anything about this because it certainly appears that, based upon e-mails made public, that Solargate at the very least will lead to some Obama Administration officials and potentially it could even lead to President Obama.

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Solargate: Solyndra Private Investors Get Paid Back Before Taxpayers

In addition to all the other problems surrounding Solyndra,  we now get even more stupidification, also known as the taxpayers get screwed again. According to Associated Press:

 The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors – including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama – moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show.

Gee, talk about covering your buddies asses at the taxpayers expense, this is it. Why should the taxpayers take a back seat to Obama’s buddies? I also mention stupidification because of the next statement:

Administration officials defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work.

Now, please tell me who came up with this brilliant idea? The reality is that if Solyndra had been allowed to go bankrupt, like it should have to begin with, the taxpayers wouldn’t be stuck for $535 million dollars. Restructuring the loan to save a whopping 1,000 or so jobs for such a short time was braindead. It would have been much cheaper to use some common sense and let Solyndra fold.

Heads should roll, people should probably be jailed,  but we all know that probably won’t happen and if any do roll, it will most likely be some lower echelon government employee who becomes the sacrificial lamb.

You can read more of the Gore-y details by clicking on the source below.

Source: Associated Press

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Solargate: FBI executing search warrant at Solyndra

There is a new turn in the Solyndra debacle this morning. It is being reported by papers, radio and TV that the FBI is executing a search warrant at Solyndra and the Inspector General at the Department of Energy is also involved.

No word on what they’re looking for but I would suspicion it has to do with the $500+ million in loan guarantees provided by the government and Solyndra’s sudden closure last week, laying off about 1,000 employees without notice.

It makes me also wonder if there are any plans to do a search at Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser’s place as he is the majority owner of Solyndra, who is reported to be a large fund-raiser for Obama in 2008 and who was possibly instrumental in getting Solyndra the loan guarantees.

Update 1: This now has me wondering what exactly is going on.  Is this a raid to get evidence for a possible prosecution? Or, is this a raid to remove evidence that may come back and haunt the Obama administration? The way things are going these days (Operation Gun Runner and Operation Fast & Furious), I certainly would not be surprised if this turned out to be some move by Attorney General Eric Holder to sanitize things for the President. Reelection is coming up you know.

More later as things develop.

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Solargate: Solyndra Bankruptcy Announcement

Solyndra Suspends Operations to Evaluate Reorganization Options

FREMONT, Calif., August 31, 2011 – Solyndra LLC, the American manufacturer of innovative cylindrical solar systems for commercial rooftops today announced that global economic and solar industry market conditions have forced the Company to suspend its manufacturing operations. Solyndra intends to file a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code while it evaluates options, including a sale of the business and licensing of its advanced CIGS technology and manufacturing expertise.  As a result of the suspension of operations approximately 1,100 full-time and temporary employees are being laid off effective immediately.

Despite strong growth in the first half of 2011 and traction in North America with a number of orders for very large commercial rooftops, Solyndra could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to compete in the near term with the resources of larger foreign manufacturers.  This competitive challenge was exacerbated by a global oversupply of solar panels and a severe compression of prices that in part resulted from uncertainty in governmental incentive programs in Europe and the decline in credit markets that finance solar systems.

“We are incredibly proud of our employees, and we would like to thank our investors, channel partners, customers and suppliers, for the years of support that allowed us to bring our innovative technology to market.  Distributed rooftop solar power makes sense, and our customers clearly recognize the advantages of Solyndra systems,” said Solyndra’s president and CEO, Brian Harrison.  “Regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion.  Raising incremental capital in this environment was not possible.  This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate.”

Customers who have implemented Solyndra solutions can be assured that their systems will generate economical, clean, solar power for decades.

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Contact:  Dave Miller, Director Corporate Communications (510) 440-2979.

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