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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A "green economy" icon goes down

Not too long ago, Evergreen Solar was a big part of the booming U.S. alternative energy sector -- and funny thing, it's gone kaput. But don't worry, Portland -- SoloPower's coming! Any day now. (By the way -- where?)

And Vestas? No worries -- the next big thing. Jobs galore.

Comments (6)

"The city also tossed in a $5 million loan guarantee, from the Oregon Department of Energy’s State Energy Loan Program, backed by parking meter revenue."

Looks like SoloPower has not recieved the parking funds yet; maybe McCoy had it stashed at his apartment.

Naive leftists express dismay when reality crashes into fantasy and say 'let's try again - harder.'

Saying 'we told you so' gets very exhausting.

As a lefty, I'd prefer to place emphasis on the naive part. I'll be blunt: we're mostly rubes up here, ripe for the taking. Sam and his cronies could not tell a silicon wafer from a Triscuit if they bit one. As an unconventional lefty I'm very leery about funding a project with public money when the private sector won't touch it. But just looking at http://www.solopower.com/company.html should have raised enough red flags. Of course Pacific Power dumped a million dollars into this rathole a decade ago: http://www.blacklightpower.com/

But we don't talk about that either. And the Oregonian, in time, will purge the Solopower affair just as it did the Blacklightpower affair. Nothing to see here, move along....

Wouldn't it be great if most of these "green" energy projects lost their government funding tomorrow? We would then find out how few of them have a sustainable business model. The same for the ethanol piggies. As I understand it, a small number of the larger ethanol producers operate at a profit. Time to dump the marginal operations that can't exist without government money..

The issue with most of these green jobs is that without the tax subsidies they are real money losers since they can't compete with Chinese manufacturers.

In addition, a lot of these jobs are barely above min wage and are the assembly jobs that really don't offer much in the way of creativity.

Of course, as Randy is wont to say, why let facts get in the way of a good story?

BTW, the wafer comments by the Wunderlich (?!) Securities guy have no basis in technology. EvergreenSolar succeeded in getting Edge Defined Growth of silicon into production -- an economical, continuous production technique. It is good only for photovoltaic cells -- so, yeah, it is a non-standard size and Intel could not use it. Irrelevant. But is was produced for pennies on the dollar compared to the batch process wafers that SEH and Wacker deliver to the microchip biz. My contempt for bureaucrats betting on things they don't understand is exceeded only by WallStreeters who bet against things they don't understand.

(Examine the difference in silicon processes -- don't worry, you don't need to be / won't become a nerd.)


Eliminating all that slicing and polishing you don't need to solar cells allows shortcuts:


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