Solyndra, a U.S. based solar power solutions provider that employed 1,100 people filed for bankruptcy in August of this year. This is an unfortunate situation for those employees that were working to help make a difference with their unique solar panels; it is also a hit to the renewable energy industry. The bankruptcy produced a political nightmare for the Obama administration as accusations and investigations ensued, questioning the level of involvement the Whitehouse had in backing government loans. The major news agencies are covering this story heavily, bringing the green energy conversation to the forefront during prime time – a silver lining indeed.
Pushing the political & economical issues aside we can focus on the positive side effect of all this coverage. Discussions and debates surrounding solar power have been in the spotlight giving the average American a healthy dose of sustainable living tips and talking points. Solyndra’s website also indicated that factors in their bankruptcy were the “global oversupply of solar panels and severe compression of prices.” There must be obstacles for the consumers to adopt solar energy if there is an oversupply since the demand of renewable energy is at an all time high.
A report by Energy Business Daily highlights two obstacles that American’s could tackle to help ensure another Solyndra does not happen again. First there is a stalemate in congress which slows down any progress on moving 80% of the U.S. energy produced to green & clean sources, a challenge laid out by President Obama. The other is local regulations that can raise the prices on solar power installation by up to $2,500. Researching and applying for the appropriate permits to install solar panels takes time and money, streamlining this process and removing barriers can make clean energy more affordable. Speaking up and petitioning your local, state and federal representatives to modify these regulations can make it easier and cheaper to get solar panels on every house and business in the U.S.