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Thread: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    I doubt that the bankruptcy was the fault of the Obama Administration or Congress. It may be the case that solar energy is not ready for public consumption at this time.
    You don't believe that **** do you? How about all those govt loans they received to prop up a business that couldn't compete with China?
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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    You could very well be correct and that is why I asked the question as I did. But that makes me wonder whether it is wise to give these risky businesses guaranteed loans of over half a billion dollars.
    Fair question to be sure. The way I see it, they're relatively high-risk, high-reward investments. If you're more risk averse, you might think that is a bad investment, but if you're more risk tolerant you might think that is a good investment. The benefits for everybody to rapid development in the green energy sector are hard to overstate. We need to minimize the impact of global warming, we need to get on to another source of energy before oil becomes prohibitively expensive, green energy is likely to be a big boom and being out in front of that might be the only real solution to our economic troubles, etc. But, yeah, risking loans on individual startups probably isn't the best way to push us along that path. Maybe we should just be focused on buying actual green energy plants or something, I don't really know.

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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    Demand for alternatives is there, but supply is not high and prices are often non-affordable. It's because the industry is new, and without major government backing it won't take off. If the U.S. doesn't figure this out, it will lose an opportunity at a burgeoning new market. Europe and even Asia are starting to take advantage of this.
    I can understand why supply is not high since so many go bankrupt. Prior to taxpayers paying for new industries to be born, how did new industries come to be?

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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    I can understand why supply is not high since so many go bankrupt. Prior to taxpayers paying for new industries to be born, how did new industries come to be?
    Things are a bit different now. It's a global market. If America wants to stay ahead of the curve it needs to boost innovation. This means trying more and failing more.

    Otherwise we'll just trade foreign oil dependency for foreign solar panel/wind turbine/home fusion generator dependency.

    Companies that make televisions, computers, and cell phones have gone bankrupt too, is that evidence that those industries are failures?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Fair question to be sure. The way I see it, they're relatively high-risk, high-reward investments. If you're more risk averse, you might think that is a bad investment, but if you're more risk tolerant you might think that is a good investment. The benefits for everybody to rapid development in the green energy sector are hard to overstate. We need to minimize the impact of global warming, we need to get on to another source of energy before oil becomes prohibitively expensive, green energy is likely to be a big boom and being out in front of that might be the only real solution to our economic troubles, etc. But, yeah, risking loans on individual startups probably isn't the best way to push us along that path. Maybe we should just be focused on buying actual green energy plants or something, I don't really know.
    High risk? Maybe.
    Benefits hard to overstate? Same can be said for drilling and refining oil.
    Minimize global warming? Dubious. Does global warming exist? Most likely. Has global warming existed in the past? Yes. Were fossil fuels used at the time of the last warming? No.

    Where we differ is how we get to energy independence. Apparently, you believe that alternative energy is the only path to independence. In the long run, it may be, but there are other ways to achieve independence. First, let me say that I have nothing against alternative energy nor do I have anything against fossil fuels. I think we should proceed in developing aternative energy while continuing to drill and refine petroleum products.

    I don't believe any energy source should receive funds from taxpayers. The government should not be picking winners and losers. We need all sources of energy. We do not need to be spending money for energy as the best energies will rise to the top if they are indeed the best.

    We have enough domestic product of fossil fuels to last us until alternative energy sources can be developed and made financially sound. Let's drill and refine which will hold down pricies until alternative energy sources are ready to provide broad coverage for a decent price.

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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Things are a bit different now. It's a global market. If America wants to stay ahead of the curve it needs to boost innovation. This means trying more and failing more.

    Otherwise we'll just trade foreign oil dependency for foreign solar panel/wind turbine/home fusion generator dependency.

    Companies that make televisions, computers, and cell phones have gone bankrupt too, is that evidence that those industries are failures?
    Let them fail or succeed on their own. If alternative energy is truly the solution, investors should be flocking to invest in it so they can make even more wealth.

    We don't need to depend on foreign countries for oil.

    I understand that companies can and do go bankrupt in any industry. What I don't understand is why taxpayers should have their hard-earned tax dollars thrown down a rat hole. If solar is the answer to the future, let them prove it. If they can prove it and they can show that it is a financially viable product, it will make it on its own.

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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    High risk? Maybe.
    Benefits hard to overstate? Same can be said for drilling and refining oil.
    No, they aren't comparable. A big part of the reasons the benefits for green energy are hard to overstate is because oil is going to get too expensive for practical use. Countries that are ahead of the curve on green energy are going to make a bundle selling the technology to other countries and their own economies will thrive when the economies of countries that aren't ready are struggling to keep from collapsing.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    Minimize global warming? Dubious. Does global warming exist? Most likely. Has global warming existed in the past? Yes. Were fossil fuels used at the time of the last warming? No.
    It's not dubious... 97% of all climatologists agree that it has been scientifically proven. The other 3% are a mix of those who think it is still an open question and deniers... 97%. That's more than the percentage of biologists that believe in evolution...

    That the temperature has changed in the past has no bearing at all on AGW. That's like saying "I don't believe taking a bullet to the head can kill a person because people died long before guns were invented".

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    I don't believe any energy source should receive funds from taxpayers. The government should not be picking winners and losers. We need all sources of energy. We do not need to be spending money for energy as the best energies will rise to the top if they are indeed the best.
    Well, in most situations I agree with that philosophy, but there are blind spots that the free market has. One of them is that it is inherently short sighted. In order to compete companies have to focus almost exclusively on the next quarter. In some cases as far out as the next year. In some really unusual cases they focus on 5 years out. But 20 years out? No way. A company can't survive waiting 20 years for a profit, so investments that won't really pay off for 20 years get underinvested in even if they have great returns.

    An interesting tidbit. Everybody who knows anything about it agrees that nanotechnology will absolutely revolutionize the way human beings live. Probably more even than electricity did. Unimaginable benefits. There really are very few, if any, scientists that disagree with that or don't think it will be possible. Ultimately it will astoundingly profitable. But nonetheless, it's a terrible investment for an individual investor right now. Even with heavy investment it is 20 years out, so investors would be smarter to invest in stocks that are escalating in value now because they are likely to make profits in the short term and then only jump on the nanotech bandwagon when it's close to fruition. So, it gets very light investment from the private sector and instead of being 20 years out it is 80 year out. In my view, investing in the long term is one of the legitimate roles of government. That's how we got the internet. That's the theory behind investing in education as well.

    I think the same applies to green energy. It will be profitable, that's a certainty, but it might not be for a while to come still. Government investment gets us over that hump.

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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Green energy is a newish industry. We'll presumably see 100s or 1,000s of green energy businesses go under as it sorts itself out. Nothing unusual about that. That's how biotech is, that's how software is, that's how all big booms work. That's how innovation works. For example, did you know that early on there were over 500 automobile manufacturers in the US? Something like 495 of them went out of business in the first couple decades.
    well said.

    and before that, an element like those currently posting threads about how alternative energy will never go anywhere were arguing that the automobile would never replace the horse.

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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    well said.

    and before that, an element like those currently posting threads about how alternative energy will never go anywhere were arguing that the automobile would never replace the horse.
    Two things:

    First, the people talking about the cars vs. horses were long dead before any discussion of alternative energy.
    Second, I don't know why you injected your comment into this conversation. No one here has said anything about alternative energy never going anywhere.

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    re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Green energy is a newish industry. We'll presumably see 100s or 1,000s of green energy businesses go under as it sorts itself out. Nothing unusual about that. That's how biotech is, that's how software is, that's how all big booms work. That's how innovation works. For example, did you know that early on there were over 500 automobile manufacturers in the US? Something like 495 of them went out of business in the first couple decades.
    Warning: Trying to explain basic economic and business principles to a far-rightie can be futile.

    They are more obsessed with proving Al Gore wrong than really understanding how the world works.

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