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Jeremy Hobson: Executives from Solyndra are planning to
plead the Fifth when they testify before a House committee today. Lawmakers are looking at how the company got its half a billion dollar government loan, and whether the approval process was sped up because of connections to the Obama administration.
Marketplace’s Alisa Roth reports on the ripple effects of all this for green energy.
Alisa Roth: Solar energy has been growing, even during the downturn.
Peter Fox-Penner is an energy industry consultant at the Brattle Group. He says ironically, it’s that growth that helped do Solyndra in.
Peter Fox-Penner: The failure of Solyndra, regrettable as it was, is a clear indication of the tremendous success the solar industry has had in achieving economies of scale and lowering the price of its product.
Among other things, the solar industry in the U.S. has been facing more competition from China. Even so, Fox-Penner says the future of solar power is too bright for a little scandal to darken it.
But what’s almost certain is that green energy companies will have a harder time getting government loan guarantees, and that could scare off some investment in the sector.
I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.