Another solar manufacturer closes up shop, shedding 800 “green jobs”.
It is indeed tough to compete with Chinese manufacturers, as the news report suggests. What wasn’t made clear is that even in situations like ARRA funded projects requiring solar panels made in America, Evergreen still couldn’t compete. Even with their high prices, Evergreen Solar has never turned a profit. The Boston Globe reports that Evergreen “since its founding in 1994 has run up a deficit of over $685 million.”
Perhaps less government funding would force companies to operate more efficiently and develop a more sustainable business culture.
There’s been some very good people at Evergreen. But perhaps it would be helpful, if along with hiring all the brilliant college professors, scientists and lobbyists, some of these over-hyped green technology firms hired some stars in fields like budgeting, production, procurement, sales, marketing, cost control and other basic business functions.
Just two months ago, another government funded solar company with inflated claims of superior technology shut the doors to one of its plants, facing market reality rather than the sunny rhetoric of government grant applications.
The clean energy sector would be better off it the government got out of the game of picking winners and losers and let at least some level of competitive market forces shape the growth and development of healthy businesses.