Bookmark and Share

Solyndra rises from the Dead to Sue the Chinese Government, Banks and Solar Companies for its Death

1 Comment


Solyndra which is one of the worst solar bankruptcies in recent time; and caused a major media backlash against Green Energy and the Obama Administration, is back. The thin film solar company which raised more than a billion dollars from private investors and the Government, met an ignominious end some time back. It also lost upwards of $500 million in taxpayer money which it had borrowed to build a CIGs solar panel factory. The company’s founder and DOE came under Congressional investigation on possible wrong doing. Now Solyndra’s lawyers are suing the who’s who of the Chinese Government and solar industry for causing the company’s demise. Solyndra’s lawyers say that the solar panel companies, polysilicon players and the Government colluded with each other so that panel prices crashed by more than 80% in the last 4 years. The company accuses major Chinese solar companies like Suntech, Trina Solar of raising money from American stock markets to kill US based solar companies.

The accusations which have come soon after the DOC announced AD and CVD duties on Chinese made solar cells is frivolous. There was no cartelization as members of a cartel do not drive the prices of a product below cost, in fact they drive it higher. While Chinese solar companies did receive generous bank loans, land and other utilities from the Government, Solyndra also received a massive $535 million loan from the US Government. Solyndra was a business failure mostly due to its own deeds, blaming and suing the world will not help.

Solyndra Shutdown Story (from our archives)

In my previous missive I had opined that the US Solar Energy Policies were misguided as President Obama visited a Solyndra Factory and the US Department of Energy gave a huge $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra without any substantial due diligence or competition. Note that established solar companies like Evergreen Solar are literally crying for government support without getting any. Now Evergreen Solar has planned to shutter US factories to open a solar plant in Wuhan, China with Chinese Government support. Same thing is happening with other solar companies like Energy Conversion Devices, Sunpower and others. US Loan Guarantees to Abound Solar and Abengoa also seem to be a waste while massive US Treasury Grants and Aid are creating Solar Thermal White Elephants in California. Note the billions of  dollars in discretionary aid would be spent much better on R&D and subsidies to existing US solar companies which are losing out to Asian competition.

Solyndra has never got its cost economics right as was evident from its failure to do an IPO. The company has raised almost a billion dollars now without much to show for it. With a billion dollars, company  like First Solar could double its capacity to 1 GW. Instead Solyndra has decided to reduce its foretasted capacity to 300 MW by 2013 from 600 MW. This would make it an extremely small player in an hugely crowded and competitive solar market in 2013. Giving guarantees to small startups without transparent bidding and competition is costing millions of dollars to US taxpayers. There has been no accounting and no responsibility for the huge potential losses that DOE is going to incur because of supporting the wrong horse.


Solyndra, which sought bankruptcy protection in August 2011, is seeking compensation “for the loss of the $1.5 billion value of its business and more which defendants destroyed,” lawyers for the company said in a complaint filed today in federal court in San Francisco. The defendants schemed with each other, raw material suppliers and certain lenders to flood the U.S. solar market with solar panels at below-cost prices, the Fremont, California- based company said in the complaint. An energy trade association, China’s energy administration, Chinese banks and Chinese polysilicon manufacturers are named as co-conspirators in the lawsuit.

Also Read about Cheap Solar Panels – Five Most Affordable Solar Panel Brands on GWI.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

One Response so far | Have Your Say!