Move Over Solyndra: Four More Government-Funded Flops

Posted: Sep 15, 2011 9:15 PM

Well, well, well. It seems Solyndra isn't the only company to have crashed and burned, despite a massive injection of stimulus money. FoxNews reports that at least four other companies received government funding, and subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Adding insult to injury, two of these companies were supposed to create (or was it save?) "green jobs."

Evergreen Solar Inc., indirectly received $5.3 million through a state grant to open a $450 million facility in 2007 that employed roughly 800 people. The company, once a rock star in the solar industry, filed for bankruptcy protection last month, saying it couldn't compete with Chinese rivals without reorganizing. The company intends to focus on building up its manufacturing facility in China.

SpectraWatt, based in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., is also a solar cell company that was spun out of Intel in 2008. In June 2009, SpectraWatt received a $500,000 grant from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of the stimulus package. SpectraWatt was one of 13 compaines to receive the money to help develop ways to improve solar cells without changing current manufacturing processes. 

The company filed for bankruptcy last month, saying it could not compete with its Chinese competitors, which receive "considerable government and financial support."

Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman also took to the papers to bemoan our failure to keep up with China's cheap, high-quality solar panels. His argument? We didn't sink enough money into these failed ventures. After all, the Chinese government subsidizes the heck out of their solar panel industry!

Oh yeah, and there hasn't been substantial demand for solar panels, so no one is buying the commodity we're producing expensively anyway. Minor detail.

More damning evidence that the "stimulus" didn't stimulate anything, except perhaps Debbie Wasserman Schultz's imagination.

*Blog post by Kate Hicks