T Nation

Green Jobs Failure


A company that served as a showcase for the Obama administrationâ??s effort to create jobs in clean technology shut down Wednesday, leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers obligated for $535 million in federal loans.

How does it feel people ? Half a fucking BILLION wasted.


There are about a million of these failed projects.


Not to mention, even when run perfectly, green jobs programs destroy net jobs.


Europe learned this early on. For every green job created, between 3-5 jobs are lost.


but why we would we want to learn from history or other peoples' experiences. Progressives can make it work without any modifications to the failed system.


Liked Investor's.com's comment about the green solar failures of late.

"The Administration's Solar Eclipse"


"According to a 2008 report by the Department of Energy, the average subsidy per megawatt hour for all energy sources in 2007 was $1.65. For wind and solar, it was $24 per megawatt hour.

As in countries such as Spain, this gross misallocation of resources has succeeded only in stalling our economy as unemployment and debt grow. In Spain's case, it was found that for every "green" job created, 2.2 jobs were lost in the rest of the economy.

Imagine if the $535 million in loan guarantees given to Solyndra had been given to those working to unlock massive oil and gas deposits trapped in extensive shale formations throughout the United States.

Instead, the Energy and Interior departments and the Environmental Protection Agency, at President Obama's direction, make war on fossil fuels through regulation, moratoria and environmental restrictions.

We can't keep being promised that the sun will come out tomorrow."


The aims are good; but the technology simply isn't there.

I liken it to trying to make computers of the 60's and 70's (that took up whole floors of buildings) viable for the population as a whole. They may have worked for large corporations, the defense department and in research; but that was about all.

"Green" Technology needs a Bill Gates/Steve Allen or a Steve Jobs to come along in order to make it economically viable.



No, it needs to be viable before it can be marketed. BUT if that were true, the free market would handle it with no need for the government. Any time the government steps in to "help" a sector it means that that market isn't viable and shouldn't be supported. Meaning government support is ALWAYS a bad thing.


Where do these "lost jobs" go?

Instead of thinking of them as lost jobs perhaps it is merely freeing up unnecessary labor for something more productive?


Right, because nothing is as productive as unemployment.


In other news, Obama puts the kibosh on some new EPA regs: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-halts-controversial-epa-regulation-143731156.html


No, what???

(We said the same thing).



I was just saying if it's viable a guy like bill gates would get his hands on it and run with it. Viability has to come before businessmen. They don't make it viable.



Solyndra, and Evergreen before it, simply had typical 'American' manufacturing problems for their PV panels. I've been bidding on solar work lately and we would never use American PV panels because of price and delivery problems. We like to be competitive so we can win a job, and then be able to actually deliver on the project once we get it.

Most installers in a competitive environment use Tier 1 PV panels made in China...much cheaper with more dependable delivery.

And I'm talking about public bids that have a 'Buy American' clause as a contract requirement. It's typically very easy to get around that clause because of the aforementioned delivery problems that plague American manufacturers.


Yes, it IS depressing. As an American, I HATE that we are being outdone by fucking China (apologies to asian americans...don't mean to offend).

I don't have a problem with investment in American green-energy companies per se, but obviously the core problem with the US vs. China manufacturing issue should have been addressed and solved prior to throwing $500M at Solyndra. I mean...did they have a plan to be competitive? What was it?

(A friend-of-a-friend actually works in the Finance Division of the Department of Energy in DC. He researches companies the DOE wants to lend money to. I usually see him during the holidays and he'll have some explaining to do over the spiked eggnog this year!)


We cannot compete with the wages in China, we had a bridge in California built in China, shipped here, and then assembled, all to avoid higher costs.


Of course you can.

Just now with unions, minimum wage laws, anti discrimination laws, environmental regulations that are bureaucratic and inefficient, high school dropouts that can barely read and write and pretty much the highest corporate taxes in the civilized world.

Well that and regime uncertainty and a government that seems to be hell bent on taking this country down.

Does that sound like "hey, lets build a factory there" ?

Not to me.


In the short term perhaps there is unemployment but that is a necessary clearing of the market.


Exactly. The more expensive the government makes it to do business the more jobs will go overseas.