May 24, 2017

Shadiness In The Solar Sector


The Wall Street Journal reported on yet another instance of shadiness in the solar industry, this time showing that one of the largest U.S. solar energy companies, Sunrun, was manipulating their sales data:

Former managers at one of the largest U.S. solar-energy companies say they manipulated a key sales metric around the time of the company’s August 2015 initial public offering. The former managers of Sunrun Inc. RUN +1.84% say they were told by their superiors to hold off on internally reporting hundreds of customers who canceled their contracts during a roughly five-month period in the middle of 2015.

Bankruptcies and corruption are nothing new in the solar industry, with the most famous example being Solyndra, where taxpayers were left holding the bill after the federal government awarded them public money, only to see the company fail.

Solyndra had received $527 million in federal loans authorized by a program in the 2009 stimulus act. Many in the GOP say that President Obama’s bid to create “green jobs” has been a failure. That could make it hard for solar to fight for any new federal help.

Even today, the “green” industry continues to stay propped up by billions in taxpayers subsidies.