Flash analysis: lessons from Solyndra’s fall

1 Summary

Solar technology startup Solyndra, which has raised more than $1.5 billion in private and government funds, has suspended manufacturing and laid off 1,100 full-time and temporary employees. The California company plans to file for Chapter 11 and is looking at options such as selling the business and licensing its novel process to make panels in the form of tubes lined with solar cells that use copper, indium, gallium and selenium to convert sunlight into electricity. The majority of the solar panels made today use silicon, instead, and have a flat surface.

We conducted a survey and asked GigaOM readers for their views on the fallout of Solyndra’s decision to file for bankruptcy and what the future holds for the company.

This research examines the survey’s results. It also includes an analysis of Solyndra’s struggles over the past two years to move into mass production, and to do it amidst difficult and volatile economic conditions. The forces Solyndra has contended with also have punished much larger players in the solar market and caused solar upstarts to reconsider their business plans.

We end this report with a collection of thoughts from survey respondents.

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