It has become difficult to be optimistic about the success of emerging green energy companies after the appearances of “Green tech: where the jobs aren’t” by David Brooks, Austin American-Statesman, September 6, 2011, and “Number of green jobs fails to live up to promises” by Aaron Glantz, The New York Times, August 18, 2011.
Events leading to the demise of Solyndra were discussed in “In rush to assist a solar company, U.S missed signs” by Eric Lipton and John M. Broder, The New York Times, September 22, 2011. More information about some missteps taken appeared in “How did Solyndra spend all that money” by Megan McArdle in the Atlantic. Some recommendations appeared in “Lessons for government in energy firm failure” in the Austin American-Statesman, September 11, 2011.
Still another analysis: “Solyndra bankruptcy reveals dark clouds in solar power industry” by Anne C. Mulkern, The New York Times, September 6, 2011.
Earlier, problems arising from foreign competition, particularly from imports from China, were described in “Hold the accolades on China’s ‘green leap forward’” by Bjorn Lomborg, The Washington Post, April 20, 2011. It was noted here that China exported most of the solar panels produced there and reserved little for domestic use. This would make economic sense for China as long as domestic power from wind and particularly from fossil fuels remained less costly than from solar. It was also noted in the Lomborg article that China leads in the production of solar heaters, which are claimed to be cost effective. China apparently has already made a start in exporting solar heaters so competing in this area might not be easy.
An editorial in the recent Sunday Review section of The New York Times suggested that the solar industry in the United States is not doing badly, but this seems inconsistent with the assessment given in “President Solyndra and his mean green wealth-wasting machine” by Steven F. Hayward, The Weekly Standard, October 3, 2011, and the information in “Obama green-tech program that backed Solyndra struggles to create jobs” by Carol D. Leonnig and Steven Mufson, The Washington Post, September 14, 2011.
In view of what is happening, perhaps it is time to adopt a more balanced approach for bringing commercial development to Pflugerville with less emphasis upon green jobs.
The rationale for eventually adopting some extreme (and costly) measures nationally and perhaps locally for protecting the environment is based largely on man-made global warming (or climate change) theory. A very good expression of the case for skepticism has been put forward in “Climate skeptics don’t ‘deny science’” by Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe, September 24, 2011. This is a three-page article but the text is frequently interrupted by advertisements.
A No Tricks Zone blog entry dated September 26, 2011, that seems appropriate to mention here is entitled “Yale Paper Shows That Climate Science Skeptics Are More Scientifically Educated” by P. Gosselin.
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“Gassing Up: Why America’s Future Job Growth Lies in Traditional Energy Industries” by Joel Kotkin, Forbes, September 27, 2011.
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“German Economics Professor Concludes: Solar Subsidies Are Senseless” by P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, September 29, 2011. This pertains to the situation in Germany.