The entire premise that solar cell production would succeed in the US was never convincing. When we move complex sub 90nm products off shore for cost reasons, how does making macro diodes (solar cells) begin to make sense?
There will be start-up companies eager to lap up/exploit local or federal incentive dollars, but never with a serious intent of manufacturing here.
Well, if you look at how every solar company is struggling to make their product economically attractive, this is unlikely to be the first. 200watts per square meter. that's 2kw/hr day per square meter. Or $0.30/day payback.. Now, how much is that 1meter panel? Ya, payback is long which is why the companies need subsidies.
I think it's important not to draw too broad a conclusion from this one particular situation. This solar cell company failed. I'm not sure why, exactly, but there are many reasons that companies from all industries fail (mismanagement, bad technology, incompetent sales force, bad luck, etc.) There are many companies in the U.S. focused on solar and other renewable energy technologies. Some of them are doing quite well. As with any industry, there will be winners and there will be losers. In my opinion, you can't simply look at the fact that one solar cell maker filed for bankrupcty and conclude that "green" companies are not creating jobs or that President Obama's statements with regard to the promise of renewable energy for the U.S. economy will not prove to be accurate.
We keep hearing about radical new methods for manufacturing low cost solar cells. Was Evergreen Solar Inc displaced by a more innovative solution or were they a casualty of premature withdrawal of government subsidies?