The Solyndra debacle is giving solar energy a bad name. Fossil fuel companies are jumping on the I-told-you-so bandwagon. But the reality is, solar energy has done what other industries have not: provided jobs and lots of them. The Huffington Post has two commentaries the point out that fact--one from Brian Keane, the president of SmartPower; the other by David Fenton, CEO of Fenton, Inc.
Keane's main point is that we can't ignore the numbers. Solar energy employs people in all 50 states. In the past year, solar employment grew nearly 7% while jobs for the rest of the nation grew only 0.7%. Fenton's take on it has more to do with how the homeowner can use solar to save energy and reduce their costs. In about a dozen states, you can lease solar panels at no cost and see an immediate drop in your utility bill.
Is solar really a failure, then? See the excerpts below.
New Job Growth Numbers Tell the Larger Story of Solar
Posted: 9/20/11 10:40 AM ET
By Brian Keane, President, SmartPower
"Let's face it: Solyndra wasn't a winner. But it was the company's inability to keep up with rapidly declining solar panel costs -- not its focus on clean energy technology -- that led to its demise.
Nevertheless, the associated job losses and pique of political scandal have overshadowed the real story of the U.S. solar industry. The larger picture shows that solar businesses are growing -- and creating boatloads of jobs..."
To read more, click here.
Solar Through the Looking Glass
Posted: 9/18/11 10:04 PM ET
By David Fenton, CEO, Fenton, Inc.
"The bankruptcy of one company -- Solyndra -- is being used by oil and coal company agents to portray solar electricity as a failure. It's an outrage how this story is being spun upside down while solar's success is ignored...
Ok so the government, starting under President Bush, made a bad bet on Solyndra, which was hurt precisely by the rapidly falling prices of other solar technologies. But it was only 1 percent of the DOE loan program -- every venture capitalist makes bets that fail. Meanwhile, the small government subsidies to solar have enabled booming demand and rapid price reductions. I feel like Lewis Carroll -- the world is truly upside down. Success is failure.
And dare I mention that this technology, when widely adopted, might save New York from building sea walls from climate change or save Rick Perry's state from becoming toast? And that solar creates seven times more jobs than fossil fuel investments? And that its cost can never go up, as the fuel is -- oh my goodness, another free lunch statement -- free?
Isn't it ridiculous that we let the dirty fuel propagandists have the upper hand, and that someone has to intervene to keep the discussion honest? Or maybe we should just give the Saudi Arabia of the future to China."
To read more, click here.
Image courtesy of www.sierraclubgreenhome.com.