Today in Cleantech

The fallout from Solyndra’s bankruptcy took another step this morning when the Executive Director of the DOE’s Loan Program, Jonathan Silver, appeared before a House Committee. At issue is how $75 million in private debt became senior to the federal government’s loan, as well as insinuations that Solyndra got the loan because one of its investors is an Obama campaign donor. The hearing comes on a day when Jeffries downgraded three leading solar companies—Suntech, Trina Solar, and JA Solar—amid concerns over falling demand and sinking panel prices. At the end of the day, Chinese competition and undifferentiated panel technology are killing U.S. companies. And with many claims that China is violating WTO rules by offering nearly free capital and free land to its solar companies, the irony may be not that the U.S. government did too much to help the solar industry, but that it didn’t do enough.