September 17, 2011


Belmont Club サ Why Solyndra Failed

It failed due to competition from a superior product. Meet the solar panel of the future. No more utility bills. Low maintenance. However, a tarpaper shack or equivalent hovel is required.

Posted by Vanderleun at September 17, 2011 2:15 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.


I've recently begun working on an island in the middle of the Indian ocean. I paid $6.78 for a gallon of gas today. I don't find this price all that out of line as everything has to be imported, especially energy, onto the island.

As I read about the Solyndra bankruptcy and the related commentary, I am struck by how indifferent the current administration is to the plight of poor people. To unleash our energy producers in the US to drill and mine would have foreign policy implications that would be staggering. Increased supplies of U.S. oil, natural gas and coal coming on line would benefit the entire world, not only the U.S. The government has forgotten their simple supply and demand models. An increase in the production of U.S. energy would shift the supply curve out, creating a new market equilibrium at a lower price. Hopefully much lower.

The poor in the U.S would save money on their energy expenditures. (Don't tell them I said this, but if they reduced the price of energy, they will free up income for increased taxes.) But the real leverage would come in Africa, South America and Asia. Imagine the improvements in the quality of life if the cost of energy were significantly reduced.

Not only would they have money for more soda bottle skylights, they might be able to use more energy for things like better sanitation and food preservation.

The government wouldn't even have to piss away half a billion dollars to make it happen. They just need to stand aside.

Posted by: Mike at September 17, 2011 3:20 AM

God bless you Mike, it's not about the truth. It's about making George Soros richer.

Gerard, does Immelt know what they're doing with these bottles. It's time to make it a crime to use a 2-liter for anything but it's intended use. Blame it on the Altoids thing.

Posted by: Casca at September 17, 2011 5:44 AM

Mr. Vanderleun, I thought this was a wonderful idea; I tried it. Alas, the assholes on the condo board went berserk, sued me and then to make matters worse called in the codes enforcement officer for Spartanburg County, SC and they fined me too.

So much for these 'green ideas', helping the environment and saving money.

Yes, the powers that be want to declare this as an 'electrical device' since it is solar and all solar is part of the Obama Green Initiative therefore subject to Federal Regulations.

I'm now due in Washington to appear at the Dept. of Energy for using unapproved devices. The EPA is next.

The next time you're overcome with cleverness, please confine this to yourself. I'll appreciate it. Thank you.

Posted by: Peccable at September 17, 2011 7:22 AM

The simple design solutions are always the best. The bottle, water to defuse the light, and bleach to control darkening organics. We once were a country that thrived on simple, elegant designs. Now we have technology and politicians who don't understand it, financiers who only see profit potential, and people who are out of work and can't afford it!

Posted by: Tom at September 17, 2011 7:24 AM

This is an elegantly clever idea, if you can successfully seal around the bottle. I think UV degradation would be a bitch, though. I give it a year before needing replacement, but it'd be a year of free light.

Posted by: Joel at September 17, 2011 9:08 AM

Mike, if only the government could stand aside. I fear it is no longer in their DNA. Perhaps exposure to all those hydrogen bomb tests mutated it. (Now there's a concept I might use.)

Peccable, I feel your pain but I won't share you cell.

Posted by: vanderleun at September 17, 2011 9:18 AM

Poor Peccable, don't you know that it is illegal to curse the darkness, but you aren't allowed to light a candle, either?

Posted by: Jewel at September 17, 2011 9:48 AM

There is a slightly more advanced technology that is acceptable to building codes, and though it costs more than a soda pop bottle with bleach and water, it does a fabulous job of lighting up dark areas during daytime. It is called the Solatube. It's a tube of polished, reflective aluminum with a round glass panel on each end. I have two in my home and they work very well. A similar, but less expensive, version would last longer than the bottles and work well in the tropics.

Mike is so right. The modern world floats on a sea of energy. The more reasonably priced and secure that energy is, the better the economies function. Drill, drill, drill, mine, mine mine!!

Posted by: Jimmy J. at September 17, 2011 2:22 PM

Hot Air hedder: Solyndra Green is People!

Posted by: Jewel at September 17, 2011 11:38 PM