Solyndra Successful and Innovative?
In addition to the government loan, Solyndra was the largest loss in the history of the venture capital industry.
The now-defunct Solyndra did manufacture solar panels that were deemed an innovative product by solar installers in key markets, including Europe, using a cylindrical tube as opposed to flat solar panel design.
Former President George W. Bush created the government loan program that eventually funded Solyndra. The government created the program to promote "innovative technologies."
MIT Technology Review and The Wall Street Journal tagged Solyndra in 2010 as a "50 Most Innovative Companies in the World" and "Top 10 Venture-backed Clean-Tech Companies," respectively.
Solyndra's major flaw -- and the blind side of the government in supporting the company -- was the failure to recognize that the solar market was moving rapidly in the direction of lowest-cost, commoditized solar panels, as opposed to higher efficiency premium panels. As Chinese low-cost solar manufacturing ramped to a scale that created overcapacity in the global solar market, premium manufacturers like Solyndra were unable to bring a compelling business case to the market.
It has yet to be determined whether the Solyndra scuffle will affect the broader electorate's voting behavior in November.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
Additional reporting by Eric Rosenbaum
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