Among those who follow the American renewable-energy industry, the recent bankruptcy of the California-based solar-energy firm Solyndra was confusing and dismaying. Isn’t “green energy technology” of the type this firm embodies – namely solar – the new boom industry, where fortunes are there just waiting to be made? The company had even received just over $500 million in a federal government-guaranteed loan last year – which the federal government, indeed, will now have to step in and guarantee.
But things are not so simple, and few know that better than Dana Blankenhorn, a long-standing blogger and analyst of IT, of open source software, and of renewable energy. It seems that others outside the US are also curious about what happened to Solyndra, to the point that the Washington correspondent for the left-wing French newspaper Libération, one Lorraine Millot, got in contact with Mr. Blankenhorn while writing an article on the subject, which is here.
It’s an interesting one, and as a favor to Mr. Blankenhorn (whose on-line work I’ve been reading for at least a decade) and as a service both to his readers and mine, I offer a full personal translation (i.e. no Google Translate – I don’t touch that stuff) after the jump. (more…)