If Solyndra, a California-based solar panel manufacturer, filed for bankruptcy in 2011, the U.S. government was left with more than half a million dollars in unpaid debts. The bankruptcy was a major embarrassment for the Obama administration, which touted renewable energy companies like Solyndra was like the wave of the future and had invested billions of dollars in government loan guarantees to promote it. The Chinese government, however, had overtaken the United States in the provision of loan guarantees and daughter … Read more »

If Solyndra, a California-based solar panel manufacturer, filed for bankruptcy in 2011, the U.S. government was left with more than half a million dollars in unpaid debts. The bankruptcy was a major embarrassment for the Obama administration, which touted renewable energy companies like Solyndra was like the wave of the future and had invested billions of dollars in government loan guarantees to promote it. The Chinese government, however, had overtaken the United States a world leader in the provision of guarantees and subsidies for solar manufacturers and contributed to the country’s nascent solar manufacturing industry. Chinese dominance in the solar market, ultimately triggered a high-stakes trade war between the U.S. and China, but neither country could contain the massive downturn in the solar market, which began in 2012. The case provides a detailed account of the complex and often competing agendas on climate change, industrial policy and free trade, which fueled the politically charged trade battles between the U.S. and China. Against the background of global environmental challenges that contains information on the case of the Obama administration’s signature energy development program and the factors that led Solyndra collapse. It also records the rise of solar industry in China and trade complaints by the United States against China at the World Trade Organization and the subsequent Department of Commerce decision to impose sanctions against Chinese solar panel manufacturers. CERTIFICATE 1992.0
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Robert Lawrence,
Anjani Datla
Source: Harvard Kennedy School
Release Date: 16 May 2013. Prod #: HKS757-PDF-ENG
Shaping the Future of Solar Power: Climate Change, Industrial Policy and Free Trade HBR case solution