In a world of heightened tension between Democrats and Republicans intensified by a seemingly endless fiscal crisis, the Solyndra bankruptcy has been a crisis of its time, prompting shock and escalating rounds of blame.
Republicans blame the Obama administration for heavy government spending and fiscal imprudence while Democrats point out that it was in fact the Bush administration that initially singled Solyndra out for government financing. Caught in the scapegoating is a saturated solar manufacturing sector that is struggling to stay afloat as prices for PV panels drop and renewable tax credits run out at the end of the year. Read more on renewable energy financing: After Solyndra: Renewable Energy Financing 3.0.
Some industry insiders say turmoil will overtake the industry if the tax breaks expire as slated. The energy industry is like a car traveling 65 miles per hour down a highway, said Neil Auerbach of Hudson Clean Energy Partners at a joint hearing of the House Ways & Means' subcommittees on Select Revenue Measures and Oversight this week. Read the full story: Chaos Predicted If Renewables Tax Breaks Die.
Though they plead the fifth this morning at a House committee meeting this morning, Solyndra executives issued a statement this week claiming there had been no wrongdoings.
"The company believes that the record will establish that Solyndra carefully followed the rules of the competitive application process, starting in December 2006 under the Bush administration and continuing under the Obama administration," the statement said. Read the full story: Solyndra Breaks The Silence With A Statement.
An FBI investigation, already underway, will make its own conclusions.
Meanwhile, to kick off the season as an already-busy summer closes away, AOL Energy has been combing through industry statistics and facts, to bring you Top Fives from across the industry. The AOL Energy Top Fives in all categories are not about capturing the most dollars spent or partnerships made, they instead mark out the the energy industry's top players and the way they are interacting with its volatile but promising future: Energy Law Firms, Energy Regulators, International Energy Partnerships, Clean Energy VCs And Principals, DOE Recovery Act Loans, Electric Vehicle Partnerships, Marcellus Developments, Oil-Company Backed Renewable Energy Ventures, Solar Projects, Energy Legislators and Developments In Renewable Energy.