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Backstory: What Solyndra Can Teach Us about Green Technology Investment

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The bankruptcy of California-based solar-panel producer Solyndra made headlines last month when it was revealed that the company had received $527 million in federal loans and that the Energy Department had later agreed to restructure its government-backed loan in an effort to help the ailing firm. On today’s Backstory, Lisa Margonelli, director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation, explains what lessons the Solyndra bankruptcy can teach us about federal investment in green energy and how countries like Germany and China are bolstering their green energy sectors.

Guests:

Lisa Margonelli

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Comments [9]

Randy Schaeffer from Plainfield, NJ

Great interview - great perspective -- I especially liked her point that Americans have to think seriously about what they value more -- cheap prices or jobs at home.

Sep. 22 2011 02:07 PM
Randy Schaeffer from Plainfield, NJ

Great interview - great perspective -- I especially liked her point that Americans have to think seriously about what they value more -- cheap prices or jobs at home.

Sep. 22 2011 02:06 PM
Cris from NYC

I just learned more about intelligent energy policy during the last ten moments of this story than I have been able to figure out in the past 10 years. Lisa Margonelli for President! (Or at least please interview her again.)

Thanks for excellent work.

Sep. 22 2011 01:50 PM

When you cling to an obsolete, big korporate™ money paradigm, not much will change.

Big, dirty carbon economy will continue to limp along...

Sep. 22 2011 01:47 PM
Amy from Manhattan

But most venture capitalists aren't taking environmental effects into account, except as a selling point to consumers--which is why the gov't. is stepping in. Isn't that the point of the program?

Sep. 22 2011 01:45 PM

Why can't we have Lisa Margonelli running the show???

Sep. 22 2011 01:44 PM
barent

a lot of industry/lobby people had a vested interest in seeing this fail. it was set up to fall on its face. god help the bloody planet..

Sep. 22 2011 01:42 PM

Buying from China does create jobs. I work for an American company that does overseas manufacturing. The company is growing quite rapidly. Our customers are also able to grow their businesses by purchasing products from China. They save money which can then be used to hire. There is no way American manufacturing can keep up with the Chinese. In order for American workers to be treated fairly their wages will be too high to compete.

Sep. 22 2011 01:40 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The gain to the public (which mostly overlaps w/taxpayers) isn't monetary, but I'd say the reduction in greenhouse gas & other kinds of pollution is a valuable gain.

We've been hearing mostly about this 1 failure in the program, & it's been presented as if it were typical. Is it? How have other companies that received this type of loan guarantees done? And how much of Solyndra's failure is due to the cheapness of heavily gov't.-supported Chinese solar panels rather than to anything Solyndra did wrong?

Sep. 22 2011 01:33 PM

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