In a recent interview with Platts Energy Week TV, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), incoming chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, discussed his plans to revise government loan programs that he claimed don’t do enough to boost innovative green energy projects.
“Right now they’re not doing enough to encourage innovation,” Wyden said. “You can have a young person with a promising idea, maybe they got a little bit of private sector support, they got people who buy their product on day one — they’re essentially dumped in the same bucket with Solyndra that didn’t really seem to have much that was innovative.”
That is a bit of revisionist history. In fact, Solyndra’s cylindrical solar panel design was widely hailed as innovative before it went bankrupt in August of last year. President Obama’s reelection campaign even used the term to describe the defunct solar company.
Industry observers once heaped similar praise on Solyndra. It made MIT Technology Review’s list of the nation’s 50 most innovative companies. The Wall Street Journal included Solyndra in its list of the top 50 venture capital-backed firms. The Cleantech Group put the company in its top 10 in 2009.
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