What everyone is saying here is correct, but simultaneously it is also correct that a new invention will always be costing higher, so in this kind of cases the government should not let the company die with the technology, but instead they can transfer the technology to some of the university and they can work on making the technology acceptable price and performance wise.
lol, you think this is as easy as talking?
those politicians are as naive as you to make such kind of mistakes.
doubling solarcell efficiency ..uh .. should be more difficult than you imagined.
AMAT shut down it's thin film R&D since it efficiency can't pass (i can't remember 10or 12%)
Instead of using fancy mechanical design to improve "efficiency", shall the focus be on finding ways to improve energy harvesting? Thin film solar is at 20% efficiency. If a technology can double or even triple the efficiency of today's technology, I believe it will benefit us more, driving down the cost per watt.
They mess things up for those who come afterwards. In Britain a failed monorail project blighted government-backed projects for decades. It's not wrong for the govt. To have the odd punt but they do go overboard, don't they?
Gee, let think through this, the solar guys decided the right thing to do was to drive to price parity with the golden spot of one dollar per watt. So if you have any business sense the solar market moved from a premium price point to a commodity position which means lower gross margin that is only recovered with methods to provide high volume manufacturing. Now everyone is viewing the demise of solar as it has reached price parity, but a lot of over priced providers are going belly-up. I think a first year economics student could have seen this coming!
what i read was that their strategy to subsidize the solar panels so that they could popularize their product did not pay off. But this is quite a detailed article about what went wrong. Its true that Solyndra's elegant design provided some increased efficiency but when comparing it with the low cost power production by First Solar and others then Solyndra loses out by a lot.
"If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door." Well: sometimes. But for sure, if you don't have a better mousetrap, you won't be run down standing in your front yard. Solyndra's design was certainly clever, but it sounds like it just didn't have enough advantage over more conventional approaches. Space between elements? You can space any elements if you'd like with ordinary solar panels. The gaps are just differently distributed. Collected reflected light? If you didn't have gaps between elements, you wouldn't care, plus, you now have two surfaces to worry about getting dirty. At three times the cost of a US-built competitor, this was a gold-plated mousetrap, and steel does just as well. The real crime is that the Obama administration provided loan guarantees for this thing. It's not that they could possibly understand the market (who expects a community organizer or his academic advisors to understand markets?) but that administration members were skeptical enough to be wary. But the taxpayers didn't get a vote on this one... Oh, well. A half billion here, a half billion there, just chump change, right? At least the executives paid themselves bonuses before it all came crashing down. None of this situation makes good reading: the technical, business, or political aspects.