Happy Earth Day: Company Once Considered ‘Poster Child’ Of Clean Energy Files For Bankruptcy

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Apr 22, 2016 9:00 AM
Happy Earth Day: Company Once Considered ‘Poster Child’ Of Clean Energy Files For Bankruptcy

It’s one thing when government decides to run your business into the ground thanks the endless red tape, which is what President Obama is doing with coal. It’s another thing to go under because Americans simply want affordable energy, carbon emission be damned (and rightfully so), and don’t want to pay a lot of money. I know, how rational of them. SunEdison was once a $10 billion giant in the clean energy business. It has now filed for Chapter 11 protections, while also showing that clean energy isn’t the future. It’s only a great way to burn a lot of other people’s money (via CNN):

SunEdison hopes to clean up its balance sheet through a Chapter 11 restructuring. The solar company secured $300 million in financing to keep the business afloat. The new funds will allow SunEdison to continue ongoing projects, pay wages and benefits.

The decision to file for bankruptcy was a "difficult but important step to address our immediate liquidity issues," SunEdison CEO Ahmad Chatila said in a statement.

As recently as last July, SunEdison was still flying high, with its shares trading above $33. They began to collapse soon after and are today worth just 34 cents. Trading was halted Thursday minutes before the bankruptcy filing.

Companies in the solar industry have been hurt by the depressed price of fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, which make renewable energy more expensive by comparison. The Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN) has lost 50% of its value over the past year.

Yes, fossil fuels are more efficient and cheaper. And yes, America has centuries of energy from coal, oil, and natural gas. In fact, coal and natural gas constitute 66 percent of our energy generation. These are the very sectors that power our economy. To reduce their output, would only lead to fewer jobs, more expensive electricity bills, and the slowing of our economy. According to estimates, we currently have enough coal for 460 years of energy, natural gas for 120 years, and oil for 200 years. In fact, due to technological advances, oil isn’t going to run out out either. Concerning similar advancements, Energy for America estimated that we could have enough energy from coal for an additional 9,800 years, 580 years for natural gas, and 530 years for oil. So, tell me why are we indulging in this rather embarrassing clean energy venture that will never get off the ground thanks to Solyndra? I have no clue.