Solar Policy: Solyndra Attacks Are Already Starting

So I’m sitting on my couch with my wife, watching the morning weather forecast and enjoying my coffee, when this … thing comes across my TV during a commercial break:

This is the third of fourth morning in a row that I’ve had my quiet time with my beloved spoiled with an ad that is dishonest, overblown and ridiculous (I’ve already spoken about this cooked up Solyndra scandal on a couple of occasions and criticized anyone who uses Solyndra as a metaphor for the entire solar industry.

I live in South Euclid, Ohio. Keep this in mind: The Ohio primary is not until March 6. Let me repeat that date: March 6. So we have two months left before the primary, and I’ll be looking at this ad for the next two months. If I hadn’t just upgraded my TV, I have no doubt I would have put a brick through it by now.

The ad doesn’t come out and say Solyndra was a solar company, but the ad does start off by saying, “We all know about Solyndra.” But what most people know is the product of lies and distortions just like the ones perpetrated in this ad. The longer this ad runs, the more potential damage it will do to the solar industry as a whole.

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but this is not a fight that the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) can fight on its own (although they’re doing a pretty good job — make use of their explanation of the “scandal” to explain it to your customers — it’s the fourth PDF down). It’s time to call your representatives in Congress and explain that the industry has created 100,000 jobs in the past few years and that it’s still poised to grow even further — and is not indicative of the health of the industry as a whole. If we don’t defend the industry, no one will. The future of the industry remains in your hands.

(A little side note about the organization that is funding this ad and others like it: Americans for Propserity, which thanks to the Citizens United  Supreme Court decision does not have to disclose its funders), is funded in part by the Koch brothers. Who are the Koch brothers? They are the owners of Koch Industries, which started off as a crude oil refiner. Safe to say they have a vested interest in keeping renewable energies like solar from taking hold. I’m just sayin’…).

  • T Proios

    Apparently the author is missing the point – It’s not the solar industry, it’s the lack of due dilligence that the DOE and this administration has totally failed to do and has lost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars with no results. The Solar industry is indeed thriving, put the grants and loans where they will do the most good for R&D.

  • Sam

    “Solyndra Attacks Are Already Starting”. Yes, of course, why has it taken so long? Obviously, Solyndra was a scam. Anytime government tries to force an idea, for political expediency, before it’s time, with hugh sums of money you will have corruption. It shouldn’t be defended but dissected with truth. That is the only way the solar industry can slowly evolve and only then based on realistic cost analyses, performance and market penetration. Yes, it will be very slow growth but that is better than no growth as a consequence of Solyndra like fiascos.

  • JimK

    Eugene is absolutely right about subsidies… for ALL energy companies. I saw the possibility of solar in the 70’s and have always thought the engineering effort required to fully develop renewable energy was a slave to government subsidies. A real on-again off-again proposition with a lot of false starts and rip for corruption. If the government stayed out of it, the technology would have advanced much faster and the price would have dropped accordingly. Just look at other technologies that have their roots in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and compare those to the current state of solar. Enough said.

  • john

    “that’s not the droid your looking for”…

    So, what your saying is it’s OK to steal 1/2 billion dollars of tax payer money, just don’t associate it with solar power??

    Keep burying your head in the sand, while dems and republicans alike are robbing us blind!

  • http://www.alterracorp.com Eugene Wilkie

    I have been in the industry for over 20 years and dealt with having to mitigate the misconception in the early days that solar does not work and it is a scam. Now that we have proven ourselves it has the big boys scared. They lost as some of us were too stubborn to walk off as we knew the truth. Here is my thought take away all subsidies for petroleum, coal and our industry. Make the entire field even. We will beat them hands down. I am always surprised that the media in the renewable industry has not done an add campaign exposing the amount of subsidies those boys have been receiving for years and still receive.