Friday September 14th will most likely not be remembered by most Americans for any special reason. If you happen to be an advocate for promoting clean, green, renewable energy like solar and wind then there’s a good chance that you’ll know it was the day that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ‘No More Solyndros Act‘.
It’s fair to say that the Solyndros scandal didn’t help the reputation of renewable energy, especially in light of the controversy that developed after Solyndros declared bankruptcy in 2011 after receiving a $535 million loan from the DoE (Department of Energy) in 2009. The plight of Solyndros is well known and more than a little unfortunate considering they struggled to break even after witnessing so many cheaper Chinese manufactured solar panels flood the market.
The wicked irony here is that these alternatives from China were cheaper because they had been heavily subsidized by the Chinese government. All is not lost (for the time being that is) because the ‘No More Solyndros Act’ still has to pass the Senate, and a decision on that isn’t expected any time soon. If the Republican sponsored bill does pass the senate the DoE will not be able to approve loan applications that were filed after 2011.
GreenerIdeal.com recently posted a very informative article by Jerico Espinas that stated “All loans sent in before this deadline can only be approved after a review by the US Treasury Department. This move, which was originally meant to add more controls in the loan application process, essentially shuts down the DoE’s ability to give out loans at all.”
Espinas’ article went on to add that the effective closure of the DoE’s loan program will have serious implications for the future of the renewable energy market in the United States. If clean green renewable energy producers can’t get the financial assistance they need to develop how are they ever going to compete with coal, oil and gas.
More worrisome, however, is the fact that the fossil fuel market still continues to received millions of dollars in federal government subsidies. The link to big oil money funding the GOP and the ‘No More Solyndros’ act would only be ironic if it wasn’t underhand and greedy, or the fact that Congress knows that the government investment in dirty fossil fuels is ‘safe’. If this bill is passed it will be a crushing blow for the future of clean, renewable energy. At a time when countries like Japan and Germany are turning to green energy why can’t we? The Republican led Congress can provide us with the answer to that question – money and greed.
Add a little disdain for the environment and there you have it. In years to come when the finite fossil fuel reserves are running low it will be interesting to see if the GOP turn their fundraising focus to renewable energy. By then hopefully clean, green renewable energy will be everywhere. In the meantime let’s hope the Democrats regain control of the Senate sooner rather than later.