Another day, another solar energy bankruptcy

| April 5 2012
Hannah Thoreson

Solar Trust for America, a California-based clean energy company, has declared bankruptcy.  It had been granted a $2.1 billion loan guarantee by the Department of Energy, but it is unclear to what extent those funds had been disbursed.  The company backed out of the deal in August.

The company was developing the 1000-megawatt Blythe Solar Power Project in the southern California desert.  Blythe was to have been the world’s largest solar power plant, and now its status is uncertain.

As with Solyndra, government subsidies failed to make Solar Trust’s products competitive in price with Chinese photovoltaics.  This has been an endemic problem in the world of Western solar energy firms.  Manufacturing costs in the U.S., Germany, Italy and other countries that have chosen to subsidize solar power are simply too high.

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