Why We Should be Funding More Solyndras (editorial by NCF’s Mark Paul)

MIT Technology Review, November 19, 2020

The US bet big on a solar energy firm that went bankrupt. But if every public investment paid off it would only prove we’re not aiming high enough.

Glass tubes used in solar technology developed by the green energy company Solyndra were displayed in an art exhibit at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden in 2012.
Glass tubes used in solar technology developed by the green energy company Solyndra were displayed in an art exhibit at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden in 2012.
PHOTO BY JAR ON FLICKR
President-elect Joe Biden won the US election in part by running on an ambitious climate platform promising to invest heavily to avert climate catastrophe while creating millions of well-paying jobs. But the question of how Biden’s proposed nearly $2 trillion in green investment will get spent, and what other measures the government will take to put the green economy on the fast track, is still up for debate.

Some politicians are now championing industrial policy as the way forward. Under industrial policy, the government makes investments that the private sector is unwilling or unable to make, and which will help the country achieve certain socially desirable goals. In short, industrial policy is a form of government planning to create or support strategic industries. It was most prominent during WWII and again in the early 1980s, and today has become a central pillar of the Green New Deal.

Read the entire opinion piece here.


Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college the state's Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in liberal arts and sciences, a master’s degree program in data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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