Another Subsidized Solar Flame-Out?

I feel bad for the folks at Schott Solar who just got laid off. But I also feel bad for New Mexico taxpayers (like me) who have been sold a pig in a poke by Governor Richardson and other politicians who have repeatedly thrown money at unproven technologies and business models. In the case of Schott Solar, we’re talking about $130 million.

The truth is that the slowing economy is but one of many factors negatively impacting Schott. Competition from cheaper producers in China is another. The real issue is that Richardson does not have his own money at stake and he is no expert in solar power or investing. Hopefully Schott is able to re-group and limp its way to the next economic recovery, but that $130 million taxpayer investment is looking mighty precarious at this point.

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6 Replies to “Another Subsidized Solar Flame-Out?”

  1. Do you know how many high tech companies like Schott there are across the US? Is China’s labor cost the real reason for the failure or is it that they do not have to invest in R&D like most of our companies? I think alot of our Intellectual Property gets apopriated by chinese companies.

    1. I have no idea how many high tech companies there are like Schott. Quite a few, I’d imagine. It is hard to say that there is a single reason for Schott’s struggles. The economy is certainly one. Also, labor costs in China are much lower than the US. I’m not sure what, if anything, has happened relating to intellectual property and our solar industry.

  2. Afternoon Paul: Great speaker on education last month. Keep it up. What $130mm are you talking about?

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