Hello again, another site update. I’ve been checking out a website called The Energy Collective for a while now and figured it would be worth becoming more involved.
The Energy Collective is an independent, moderated community of professionals focused on the complex challenges of meeting the world’s energy needs sustainably. Our members are our content contributors, and include leading scientists, activists, policy makers, executives and entrepreneurs.
Most recently, my report about Solyndra was submitted, accepted, and has remained on the front page of the site now for two days, as well as some of my comments elsewhere on the site showing up in the Featured Comment section. I’m sure writing for and working with The Energy Collective will be a great way to further my goal of fostering discussion about energy and its many influences.
In September 2011, Solyndra, a US-based solar panel manufacturer, declared bankruptcy. The Solyndra case illustrates the complexity of developing renewable energies. Many globalization factors influence the production and distribution of renewable energy, such as economics, politics, science and technology policy, and commodity markets, to name a few. The demand for energy continues to rise as populations grow exponentially and as countries further industrialize. In addition, concerns mount about the environment, energy security, and the general safety of energy production (especially following Japan’s nuclear meltdown). Thus, examining Solyndra provides useful insight into global affairs.
Heralded as a promising U.S. venture into the solar energy market, Solyndra failed as an economically viable operation. The roots of the manufacturer’s bankruptcy stem from the global energy and resource market: Solyndra’s market niche diminished when China expanded its prowess in the solar industry. Furthermore, the U.S. government’s analysis of Solyndra’s progress was flawed, and increased public skepticism of subsidizing solar energy companies.
Solyndra’s collapse raises many questions, such as should the U.S. government invest in new forms of energy, what political forces influence government decision-making, and how does the global economy affect green start-up companies.
This analysis will examine the lessons learned from Solyndra’s conception, initial success, and ultimate downfall.