As President Obama recently unveiled a plan to push more veterans into solar power, our minds couldn’t help but turn to the lengthy list of failed and bankrupt solar companies: 112 across the U.S. and Europe declared bankruptcy, closed their doors or were acquired in suboptimal conditions between 2009 and 2014 alone.
The simple reason for this continued failure? The cost factor. The solar industry cannot compete with traditional fossil fuels in terms of cost and economy of scale, as the technology is still too expensive. It is still not economically feasible, especially without government subsidies or grants.
Despite the failures, it can be argued that solar companies closing down is a good thing, as it shakes out the ineffective poor-performing firms, leaving only the good ones. However, willing an industry to succeed, and pushing people towards an industry where jobs are demonstrably fragile, is definitely risky business.