Yet another DOE-backed solar panel company bites the dust

posted at 6:01 pm on June 28, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Good grief. I feel like these ailing Department of Energy-backed loan guarantees are so laughably many that they’re barely even worth noting anymore, but you’re darn tootin’ I’ll continue to do so as long as President Obama keeps acting like it’s the federal government’s divine right to pick and choose winners in the energy market on the taxpayers’ dime.

Abound Solar, a company that President Obama has specifically touted by-name as a poster child of the glorious green future, was supposed to “creat[e] more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.” …Not quite. The company has been on the rocks for months, and now they’re officially bankrupt:

Abound Solar Inc., a U.S. solar manufacturer that was awarded a $400 million U.S. loan guarantee, will close its doors and file for bankruptcy because its panels were too expensive to compete with Chinese products, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

Abound, based in Loveland, Colorado, borrowed about $70 million against the guarantee, the Energy Department said today in a statement. Calls to Abound executives weren’t returned today. …

U.S. taxpayers may lose as much as $30 million on the loan after Abound’s assets are sold and the bankruptcy proceeding closes, he estimated.

This article tries to spin the situation to suggest that the company’s failure is the result of too much unfair competition and global oversupply, and we should therefore direct our ire at China. No — just no. This is the fault of the Obama administration. Maybe if we had just left the decision to develop solar (or not!) up to the private sector, we would’ve quickly figured out that investing in solar energy was a bad idea. People are much more judicious when they’re making bets with their own money, since they personally have to feel the loss, than the federal government is in floating free taxpayer cash to their politically-profitable pet projects.

Speaking in Iowa yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden criticized Mitt Romney for having the audacity to oppose sending more taxpayer money down the tubes with subsidies for green energy:

Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday lashed out at Mitt Romney in Iowa for the second straight day, this time taking issue with the Republican’s reluctance to embrace tax credits for wind and solar energy. …

“We are importing less oil than [at] any time in the last 16 years,” Biden said. “But we think you got to bet on it all … You had our good friend Mitt Romney saying he dismissed wind and solar by saying they’re ‘two of the most ballyhooed forms of alternative energy.’ Tell that to the 7,000 workers manufacturing wind power here in Iowa.”

Get this through your heads, big-government environmentalists: If it’s a good idea, the free market will take care of it, and take care of it to the degree that there’s a demand for it. If the private sector declines to get too involved in it, that should probably tell you something pretty significant.


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Absolutely criminal.

tom daschle concerned on June 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I want Carter back.

The Rogue Tomato on June 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

You’d almost get the impression that this solar panel business is unprofitable. Almost.

Bitter Clinger on June 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

It’s not their money so why should TFNP and his creepy administration giving a flying donut, they will simply keep shoveling our money into the “green” toilet and bragging about it.

Bishop on June 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

“We are importing less oil than [at] any time in the last 16 years,” Biden said.

Yeah Joe, and the same could be said for other countries, BECAUSE OF THE DOWN ECONOMY. Ya stupid #%^$&#@!!

U.S. taxpayers may lose as much as $30 million on the loan after Abound’s assets are sold and the bankruptcy proceeding closes, he estimated.

Well it all depends. If Barry has any political campaign bundlers in there as investors, you can be sure that they will be paid off first.

Just ask George “Solyndra” Kaiser.

GarandFan on June 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

He kinda sucks as a venture capitalistsocialist.

Fallon on June 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

The business performance of these companies reflects the basic thermodynamics of solar panels. That is, it takes more energy to build a solar photovoltaic panel than you will get out of it in a normal service life, per this: http://www.tinaja.com/glib/pvlect2.pdf

ZenDraken on June 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM

It’s vitally important that this type of companies succeed.

Therefore the government should mandate – err tax – us to ensure their success.

PackerBronco on June 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

You’d almost get the impression that this solar panel business is unprofitable. Almost.

Bitter Clinger on June 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Holy smokes Bullwinkle you’re right!

itsspideyman on June 28, 2012 at 6:12 PM

How many unsaved jobs does this make?

txhsmom on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

“Just shut up and pay your TAXes, losers.” – John Roberts

Pork-Chop on June 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Whats the tally up to now?

cajun carrot on June 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

With all of these solar companies going broke, you’d think that the sun just went supernova or something.

ShotGlassMan on June 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Yet another DOE-backed solar panel company bites the dust
=============================================================

*************** TYPICAL ******************************

Have a great Night everyone,catch y’all tommorrow
——————-:)

canopfor on June 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

No worries – with the newfound power of the government to tax us for not buying something from private parties, all we need to do is pass a law saying everyone must buy a certain number and kind of solar panels made only in America, or pay a fine, er…tax, of $100000.

Even better, Obama can just implement it by Executive Order.

Why the frownie faces?

blindside on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

You must purchase 25% solar energy mandate is coming.

Oil Can on June 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Is it too late to get hugo chavez, castro, or maybe even puting as our president? He’d be much more interested in freedom and making sure America does well than this communist traitor obama.

Wolfmoon on June 28, 2012 at 6:33 PM

“Just shut up and pay your TAXes, losers.” – John Roberts

Pork-Chop on June 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

That’s about the size of it.

He’s given us a modern version of the Dred Scott Decision on roughly the same subject or subjects as the case may be.

Chip on June 28, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Wolfmoon on June 28, 2012 at 6:33 PM

That’s ‘putin’, not puting. And NO, I do not capitalize the names of those I not only have no respect for, but I absolutely despise.

Wolfmoon on June 28, 2012 at 6:35 PM

This isn’t a bankruptcy, it’s another tax!

Marxism is for dummies on June 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Just wait and see what happens when the liberals start getting tagged with the costs of this, healthcare, more taxes, then MORE taxes, then penalties and interest posing as taxes.

What do you want to bet the dumb bastards blame Bush?

Wolfmoon on June 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM

After today we just have to hold on until November and minimize the damage in the “lame duck session”. After that sensible people can give the house a much needed cleaning.

duff65 on June 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM

It never was about producing ‘green jobs’ or helping the environment or making us energy-independent…just a huge money-laundering operation.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Sunshine is currently free, so they are starting from behind on any premise that they can profit from it in a traditional sense.

The only way to make any real money on it is to tax us for using it. And I think that the door for that new green energy tax just got opened reeeeeeal wide.

red villain on June 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

red villain on June 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

That ain’t getting’ thru the house or senate anytime soon.

txhsmom on June 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM

If Obama did this sort of thing in the real world of investing, he’d already be in jail.

Fiduciary responsibility is not, apparently, a requirement of good governance.

BobMbx on June 28, 2012 at 7:54 PM

How many unsaved jobs does this make?

txhsmom on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Obama has created a new category of employment status:

Contingent Jobs. These are jobs that are ready to be filled as soon as the technology is invented that needs the workers.

BobMbx on June 28, 2012 at 7:56 PM

IF… you added up just the amount of money that this administration has sent down the rat hole of “CLEAN ENERGY” most of America could have had free health care for years to come.

This has always been a money laundering gimmick. Fiscal rape is still rape!

ActinUpinTexas on June 29, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Obama has lost more money and supported more failed companies in three years than most CEO’s who are not in prison. Hasn’t “Staples” alone produced more jobs and had greater success than all of Obama’s enterprises combined? Is “Leading from behind” the placement of his head?

K Michael ODonovan on June 29, 2012 at 1:09 AM

How about this: Even if solar energy WAS economically viable, has anyone ever done an environmental impact study on blocking the sun from 1/3 of America’s land?

Would that completely destroy the environment, or just horrifically damage it?

Or is that another one of those “racist” questions?

logis on June 29, 2012 at 7:14 AM

Well sais Erika. I like that phrase you used: “politically-profitable pet projects.” That best describes these ventures.

Mr_Magoo on June 29, 2012 at 11:14 AM

No worries – with the newfound power of the government to tax us for not buying something from private parties, all we need to do is pass a law saying everyone must buy a certain number and kind of solar panels made only in America, or pay a fine, er…tax, of $100000.
blindside on June 28, 2012 at 6:28 PM

You must purchase 25% solar energy mandate is coming.
Oil Can on June 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Ditto those thoughts. Broccoli is a bad example.

We already use the tax code to incentivize people to implement better energy conserving instruments.

Coming next will be:
- Replace your furnace and air conditioner on a regular (5yr.?; 10yr.?) basis OR be taxed.
- Replace windows and doors on a regular basis OR be taxed.
- Install solar panels OR be taxed; trees blocking view of sun – have them relocated (DO NOT cut them down … OR be taxed).

And too bad for electric utilites:
- Provide customers with power in which 50% (75%?; 100%?) comes from wind and solar sources OR be taxed.

Carnac on June 29, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Carnac on June 29, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Oh Carnac. You’re such an alarmist. THAT would NEVER happen. ObamaCare is all about helping people, didn’t you know?

/do I really need a sarc tag?

Mr_Magoo on June 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Well if the solar industry is anything like the solar landscape lights I have, they suck bigtime! I buy six and a month later only two are still working. What’s up with that Mr. President?

Mr_Magoo on June 29, 2012 at 3:01 PM