Solyndra: Not Indicative of the State of the Green Economy

Posted by Green America corporate responsibility director Todd Larsen:

The green economy in the US is strong and growing, but you wouldn’t know it from watching the news.  With attention focused on Solyndra, you would never know that there are thousands of solar and wind companies thriving in the United States.  Solar Power grew at a rate of 100 percent last year and generated net exports of nearly $250 million in solar products.  Similarly, most Americans probably don’t realize that 100,000 people are employed by the solar industry in the US, double the number from just two years ago.

Of course, solar is just one green energy industry that is producing jobs and exports for the United States.  Overall, the green economy in the US has grown to 2.7 million jobs, and these jobs generally pay better than other comparable jobs in other fields.   These jobs are being created in all 50 states, including some of those worst hit by the recession.  So, the next time you hear that government support for the green economy is money wasted, or that the green economy will never provide the jobs Americans need, you’ll know the real facts.


  1. I think I was 7 years old and we studied the “power of the future”. For god’s sake, that was 55 years ago and how far have we come? Not very far – whilst other countries are passing us by. Every President I can remember had promised “safe alternative energy”. We use more foreign oil now than ever! I would love to see an America free of that dependency!

    And now “They” have us convinced that those new swirly light bulbs are going to help
    so much – they contain Mercury! Oh yeah everyone is going to wait 7 years to recycle them. Who Is running this ‘show’?

    • Lucky you! The National Renewable Energy Lab has already crteaed an application to do pretty much what you’re looking for. It’s called pvwatts, and is linked below.What you do is click on the map for the city nearest you, then enter the size of your proposed array, it’s tilt, and orientation. You’ll get a month-by-month printout of the expected energy output. This is based on historical measurements over almost 40 years, so takes into account local climate, such as fog, rain, and altitude.If there is no reference city near you, you can still use another version of the program to do predictions for an arbitrary location.

  2. And how many millions of dollars of loan guarantees have been squandered by oil, gas, nuclear, etc. for YEARS without the same outcry?

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