Located in Fremont, Ca., solar energy startup Solyndra LLC has announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week--the third solar company to do so in the last month.
Immediately laying off approximately 1,100 employees, a press release tied the Solyndra bankruptcy to the company's inability to compete with its overseas rivals, despite being the recipient of a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.
Is this a sign of hard things to come in the alternative and clean fuel industry?
The Obama administration doesn't think so, and stands behind its assertion that clean-energy jobs are America's future. However, Solyndra's bankruptcy indicates that the U.S. is not faring well on the solar energy front.
Hit by European solar subsidy cuts, the company explained that, in the short term, it was unable to compete with China's Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd., which Reuters reports receives billions in low-cost loans annually.
Solyndra also couldn't withstand competition from national powerhouse First Solar Inc., which is also struggling to make a profit.
A highlight of the President's push towards renewable energy, the Solyndra bankruptcy also brings heightened scrutiny to the 2009 stimulus.
In July, GOP lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee began to question Solyndra's loan guarantee, and, according to Bloomberg, those same lawmakers have already begun to use the bankruptcy as a rallying cry against "dubious investments."
Washington's continued response to Solyndra's bankruptcy will be one to watch in the coming months, as it could very well change the course of alternative and clean energy investment.
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