Indiana Daily Student

Does the closing of Solyndra motion the end of the solar industry?

Obama gave the solar company Solyndra his stamp of approval back in 2009 when he allotted it $527 million in federal loans as part of the infamous stimulus package. The specific aim was to create green jobs.

It seems that nothing is going in the favor of the president these days. As Solyndra declares bankruptcy, the GOP uses its demise to call the Obama green jobs creation plan a failure.  

Does this mark the first major scandal of the Obama administration and the end of solar power? Or is this financial fiasco simply the result of a drop in the price of solar modules, which would actually be beneficial to the eco-minded U.S. consumer?

It is important to understand that Solyndra produced a specific commercial solar unit. According to Ken Zweibel of the Solar Institute, this technology was “unusual and unproven.” 

This, combined with the fact that Chinese competition has led to a 42 percent drop in the price of solar technology during the past year, puts the Obama administration in an embarrassing situation, but it does not suggest the end of solar technology.

This green technology is actually becoming increasingly accessible as prices continue to drop. This is damaging to highly specific Solyndra but potentially excellent news for Mother Nature. Our continued reliance on fossil fuels does not have only economic ramifications.

 It also comes at a huge diplomatic, human and environmental price. While British Petroleum is picking up the multi-billion dollar bill for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, fishermen, families and wildlife across the Gulf of Mexico are also paying the toll and probably will be for years, perhaps even decades, to come.

For those who are all too ready to disregard the environmental costs, consider this: we read in the news on a near-daily basis that we are running out of oil. Wouldn’t it be wise to believe this and continue to invest in green energy before it’s too late?

“Drill, baby, drill” is a temporary solution. Before you bash solar power as a liberal, hippie pipe-dream, remember this: there are no more dinosaurs dying to feed our ever-growing hunger for refined petroleum, but the sun is still shining.

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