Solyndra’s problem has resonated across the solar power industry. Its filing of bankruptcy was followed by a FBI raid of its office. Alternative energy proponents say that the company, which has received $535 million worth of federal loan, had a bad business plan.
The company’s fall became a PR nightmare for clean energy advocates who tried for years to get federal subsidies and tax credit extensions. They fear that the news about the industry’s growth will be overshadowed by Solyndra’s problem.
Solyndra failed to compete in the fast-growing global market as well as the drop in selling prices. Analysts stated that companies in the clean energy industry were given unnecessary political baggage. They blamed the officials for predicting about the creation of green jobs that were impossible to achieve.
Industry experts said that renewable energy supporters are suffering from unlikely expectations and budget issues. Politicians depend on green jobs programs, which have unrealistic goals to begin with. They don’t focus on the incentives for clean energy.
To make matters worse for the solar power industry, the Republicans are trying to milk the issue for all it’s worth. A month after it filed for its bankruptcy, the FBI raided Solyndra’s office as part of the probe by the Energy Department’s inspector general. The house legislators are looking into the links of the company with President Obama, who once visited the company’s headquarters in May 2010.
Not every GOP member are going after the alternative energy industry. Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich were eager to sign a wind turbine blade that would be installed outside a debate hall in Ames, Iowa.
Last Monday, the Republican National Committee published a 15 page research memo that showed the opposite of what the media reported with regards to Solyndra’s problems. The memo included quotes from the president that praised the company.
More data will be made public on Wednesday when the subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing with regards to its probe on the loan guarantees for Solyndra. Renewable energy advocates are uncertain as to what to expect from the Democrats, who didn’t want to be involved in the investigation.
The wind energy industry said that they don’t rely much on loan guarantees and Solyndra’s issues don’t affect them. The American Wind Energy Association is still waiting for the legislators to extend a production tax credit that would expire in 2012.