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Thread: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

  1. #61
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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Your opinion of SBA loans to restaurants is irrelevant; that you acknowledge they exist is relevant to the point/counterpoint, and disproves your earlier claim:
    Well, if this is your note for cheering, be my guest. I have continuously said that guaranteed loans are not good and taxpayers should not be punished for bad decisions. Cheer on!

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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Can you provide some examples, or are we supposed to take your word for it?
    Sure. Would you like to take a look at student loans and the non-payment of those?

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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    This is an interesting topic for a number of reasons. It seems that conservatives would very much like to see the government (small government?) engaging in more protectionism. But they also seem to oppose things like SBA loans which are designed to make some of our fledgling industries more competitive, which seems to be quite a contradiction. In this case, the SBA has been working to boost our domestic solar cell manufacturers. What has doomed some of them, like Solyndra and Evergreen, is massive investment in crystal cells by China's government, which has driven down prices. In other words, the SBA loans were a form of protectionism -- just too little too late.

    On the other hand, American manufacturers of a competing solar cell technology -- thin film -- are doing pretty well. Thin film has not been so effected by China's actions. Thus it was just announced that an Indian firm (Reliance Power) has just taken out an $84 million loan to purchase cells from America's First Solar -- our most successful solar manufacturer. The contract is expected to double or triple in size in the coming years. Thin film panel makers Abound Solar and GE are also doing pretty well. The consolidation in the crystal panel market will eventually make that sector more competitive.

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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    We should be fine. Explore, drill, and refine oil and gas to supply us for the next 75 years or so and get us off foreign oil. In the meantime, develop alternative energy to replace fossil fuels.
    Two problems with that. First, if we continue to escalate our consumption of oil and gas at anywhere near the current projections we will run out well before 75 years. Second, if we do that we get into the absolute worst case scenarios for global warming. Like major ice sheets in Antarctica melting -> no more Florida.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    So, is it your suggestion that we increase the prices of our current energy sources so that alternative energy can compete? That doesn't sound like a financially sound idea to me.
    Not necessarily. That would be one way to do it. Other ways include subsidizing green energy or research, carbon taxes, etc. I don't have strong opinions about which way is the best. What is important is that we address the problem asap. Any of those would work, I don't know which is best.

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    Well, then we have fossil fuels to keep us humming until that day arrives and we do not crush the American public with high cost energy.
    If we just keep humming along until the day arrives we will be totally screwed. You can't just flip a switch and be off oil. It takes decades of conversion and we need to start yesterday if we want to get it done in time. The economic impact of a long transition is many times smaller than the economic impact of a sudden transition. The sudden transition scenario pretty much means becoming a third world country.

  5. #65
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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    The solution there is via regulation, such as implementing stricter requirements into new building codes. This avoids the incurring the cost of retrofit on older buildings, and better amortizes the up front cost on newer buildings.... and over time, eventuall implements energy savings universally as older buildings fall into disuse or are demolished for bigger and better construction.

    However, this will run afoul of the over-regulation crowd (and we all know who they are), foaming at the mouth on radio and TV about the government controlling their lives, who consider it a God-given right to waste as much energy as they desire (or pollute as much as they desire), with zero regard to the long term implications for the country as a whole.
    We already have regulations for newer buildings. The work I do is for buildings 10 years or older for which the current regulations didn't apply. The new regulations are good and we follow them for all new construction.

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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    This is an interesting topic for a number of reasons. It seems that conservatives would very much like to see the government (small government?) engaging in more protectionism. But they also seem to oppose things like SBA loans which are designed to make some of our fledgling industries more competitive, which seems to be quite a contradiction. In this case, the SBA has been working to boost our domestic solar cell manufacturers. What has doomed some of them, like Solyndra and Evergreen, is massive investment in crystal cells by China's government, which has driven down prices. In other words, the SBA loans were a form of protectionism -- just too little too late.

    On the other hand, American manufacturers of a competing solar cell technology -- thin film -- are doing pretty well. Thin film has not been so effected by China's actions. Thus it was just announced that an Indian firm (Reliance Power) has just taken out an $84 million loan to purchase cells from America's First Solar -- our most successful solar manufacturer. The contract is expected to double or triple in size in the coming years. Thin film panel makers Abound Solar and GE are also doing pretty well. The consolidation in the crystal panel market will eventually make that sector more competitive.
    The news regarding thin film is good news. I hope they sell a ton of it.

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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Impossible, as any intelligent review of the situation will clearly show.

    Now if you want to reduce consumption of crude by 50% (by, say, a 25% reduction in fuel consumption bolstered by 25% changeover to an alternative, perhaps such as natural gas), then you have outlined a possibly achievable goal. Otherwise, this air-headed drill-our-way-to-oil-independence populist mantra that is often heard from the right is too ignorant to even contemplate.
    Impossible? Intelligent? Air-headed? Too ignorant?

    My! My! If your argument is so strong, why do you have to use such invectives? It could lead one to believe that your argument might be very weak.

    Perhaps, you under-estimate the amount of energy to be discovered. Perhaps, we can have efficient and cost-effective alternative energy in a few years. If solar is viable, it should not take 75 years to develop it and have it as a viable product.

    As you probably know, the "sky is falling" with regards to availability of petroleum goes back nearly 100 years:

    • 1906 -- Fears of an oil shortage are confirmed by the U.S.
    Geological Survey (USGS). Representatives of the Detroit Board of Commerce
    attended hearings in Washington and told a Senate hearing that car manufacturers
    worried "not so much [about] cost as ... supply."


    • 1919, Scientific American notes that the auto industry could
    no longer ignore the fact that only 20 years worth of U.S. oil was left. "The
    burden falls upon the engine. It must adapt itself to less volatile fuel, and it
    must be made to burn the fuel with less waste.... Automotive engineers must turn
    their thoughts away from questions of speed and weight... and comfort and
    endurance, to avert what ... will turn out to be a calamity, seriously
    disorganizing an indispensable system of transportation."

    Untitled Document

    We know that we are not going to run out of domestic petroleum tomorrow or for years to come. We have large resouces that are untapped. We certainly should do well supplying our own petroleum for the next 75 years and if we need additional, we can purchase it from Canada, our friendly neighbor to the North. In the meantime, I would hope that alternative energy will finally be advanced to the stage that the American public will willingly accept its use in daily life.

    My question to you is, when will solar be a viable cost-efficient product for the American public?

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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Two problems with that. First, if we continue to escalate our consumption of oil and gas at anywhere near the current projections we will run out well before 75 years. Second, if we do that we get into the absolute worst case scenarios for global warming. Like major ice sheets in Antarctica melting -> no more Florida.
    Two problems with what you have said. First, as I stated in my last posting, the "sky is falling" argument about running out of oil and gas is over 100 years old. In 1919, we would not make it another 20 years. Nearly 100 years after that statement, we have oil and gas and we have many untapped resources. Second, the last time we had global warming, we did not use fossil fuels and yet it warmed. If we have global warming today, we could devastate our economy over a false pretense that cutting the usage of fossil fuels will solve the problem. History shows that global warming occurs without fossil fuels.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Not necessarily. That would be one way to do it. Other ways include subsidizing green energy or research, carbon taxes, etc. I don't have strong opinions about which way is the best. What is important is that we address the problem asap. Any of those would work, I don't know which is best.
    I know which is best. Let the market work without the government distorting the market.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    If we just keep humming along until the day arrives we will be totally screwed. You can't just flip a switch and be off oil. It takes decades of conversion and we need to start yesterday if we want to get it done in time. The economic impact of a long transition is many times smaller than the economic impact of a sudden transition. The sudden transition scenario pretty much means becoming a third world country.
    We started decades ago. It is time for the alternative energy companies and its advocates to put on their big-girl panties or big-guy briefs and start producing a viable, efficient, and cost-effective product that the American public wants. It's time to stop the bellyaching and begging the taxpayers to foot their bills. We have time to make the transition. Just do it!

    History of Solar Power | View timeline

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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    Sure. Would you like to take a look at student loans and the non-payment of those?
    I was thinking of business loans, since that is the topic, but since I did not specify I'll give you that one.

    Got any more?

  10. #70
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    Re: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy

    The argument that we are running out of oil is quite valid. Why do you think oil has become so expensive? Speculation? That's part of it, but the bigger part is that there is insufficient supply to meet demand and it's pretty clear that demand is only going to outstrip supply at a faster rate going forward.

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