The world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, China’s SunTech, appears to be going into bankruptcy.
What I see here is a series of problems, caused by business and political concerns, that that created the problems both that led to SunTech’s bankruptcy and that will impact the employees and investors, and indeed, the entire global economy.
There is no question that solar power must be an important element of the global energy supply of the future – more important than it currently is. But I don’t mean “important” from a business or financial perspective. I mean “important” in terms of providing necessary energy to help ensure the well-being of humans and the rest of the planet.
The overcapacity that has apparently led to SunTech’s bankruptcy did not arise due to science or engineering. It arose from business goals intended to support the ridiculous goal of never-ending “growth” and the goals of a variety of politicians who are only interested in getting and maintaining their own power.
Now that SunTech is bankrupt, its employees and investors will suffer – some more than others. This, too, has resulted from narrow-minded ignorance and financial greed.
While the writing was on the wall as soon as the industry reached overcapacity, there is always hope for the future. I’ve become convinced that the principles of social business, originally intended only for small businesses in developing nations, should be applied everywhere. You can find the principles listed here.
Some will certainly say – cynically, IMHO – that such a scheme would never fly because of “human nature.” I prefer to remain uncommitted to such a prediction; I would rather try and fail than just not try – because if it does work, things would get better pretty much everywhere.