In the wake of the Solyndra case, and the bankruptcies of Evergreen and SpectraWatt, questions about the solar industry as a whole, both present and future, have been raised by business, energy and political commentators. Particularly with the current administration’s sincere hope and commitment to solving the U.S. employment crisis with green energy jobs, some articles have pointed out that green energy is unrealistic, uneconomic and unready. It appears the administration has been so committed to putting an agenda into place, that the audacity of its hope was naïve and careless.
Neither the solar industry nor those in the know about the solar industry are discouraged by the recent news—with the exception of those who are making a living off of the government’s propensity to subsidize companies in the mainstream of a political agenda. The industry knows it is approaching grid parity at unprecedented speed. Stephen Chu, despite Solyndra, has provided excellent leadership to the industry by focusing on innovation that leads to reduction in cost and increases in efficiency.
If the industry continues to hold to the strategic imperative of reaching grid parity -and puts aside the desire to swill at the government subsidy trough – great glory, profit, and universal goodwill will be achieved. This is not news to the drivers of the industry, but it may be to others. The process cannot be forced. It must happen through the natural process of innovation, in which the government has a legitimate role, and by letting the forces of the free enterprise economy lead maturing innovations to market.
In our next offering, we will point out some of the advances that key leaders in the Solar Industry are making that will continue to make solar the fastest growing and most promising industry in the global marketplace.