Friday, January 20, 2012

Why I Can't Take "Green" Businesses Seriously

CBS San Francisco is reporting that Solyndra has a whole bunch of expensive glass tubes that were part of their cutting-edge photovoltatic technology.  They are just destroying them and putting them in dumpsters:

At Solyndra’s sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass tubes used in solar panels last week. They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters.
Forklifts brought one pallet after another piled high with the carefully packaged glass. Slowly but surely it all ended up shattered.
Worst of all, CBS interviewed someone who wanted to buy them, but Solyndra preferred to spend money destroying them and throwing them away instead.  A keenly sharp comment on the article:
Bankrupt subsidized green company fails to recycle glass. 
 Remember that "green" corporation really means a scheme for redistributing money from the middle class to politically connected rich people.  That's why Democrats support green businesses with these sort of government aid programs.


  1. Might this be a destroying evidence sort of thing? I've always wondered about the theory behind their product (why is a cylinder good???) but never bothered to investigate. Perhaps one reason they failed is that their "cutting-edge photovoltatic technology" doesn't deliver the goods (price/performance, at minimum)?

  2. What exactly are those "expensive glass tubes" so necessary for Solyndra's "green" business?
    Are they perhaps destroying them so no one can tell they're made of snake oil and unobtanium?

  3. "destroying evidence" has a fair amount of plausibility to it.Just the destruction alone suggests how false are the greenies' claims of environmental virtue.

  4. Windy, as I understood it the photovoltatic material was wrapped around the cylinder, or perhaps the cylinder enhanced the utility of the photovoltatics (e.g. they could direct light from the sides to them). They were the company's product and I assume if you put one out in the sun and hooked up your voltmeter to it the latter would show some action.

  5. I believe these are just glass tubes without any semiconductor material deposited. These are highly specialized glass parts with a high energy content, and I seriously doubt they could be used for any other PV application without also using Solyndra IP. Melting them down for another non PV use is probably more costly than virgin glass. And they cost money to store properly. I think Solyndra is an example of crony capitalism and some very bad decision making, but this decision likely doesn't even make the Top 50 on the bad idea list. See for details.