I was actually proud that Obama decided to 'invest our money' in Solyndra because I'd seen that technology on TV a year before and was incredibly impressed by it's potential.
|A Leisurely Stroll with Good Friends|
|Good Times...Bad Times|
(at least we got good seats)
Scientific American reported on the idea in 2008, in this article, complete with pointed, positive references to Solyndra themselves.
Shame is, with all his potential power, Obama didn't have some intelligent patent lawyers look into the company, because it turned out that Solyndra's technology was SO good that, as soon as its competitors saw the gaping loophole that they hadn't decided to copyright their product properly to protect investors, they grabbed it for themselves, and only then, WE ALL LOST.
The technology is based on a simple idea that you could generate a LOT more energy PER AREA by simply wrapping a long tube in the same old solar panel, then paint the surface they're mounted on white to reflect any sunlight missed back up onto the underside of the cylinder.
I'm no genius myself, but I've had some ideas I'd considered acquiring patents for, so I'm familiar with the United States patent website that I know this idea would be considered an 'adaptation-type' patent--a pre-existing idea that was made better by a simple adaption.
In this case, it was wrapping the original product around a tube--that's all.
So, it was inevitable that other companies charged after the idea as soon as they found out they could, and began producing it in-house themselves.
Patents may be expensive, but any company mass-producing such a progressively advanced version of the traditionally costly-to-manufacture 'energy of the future' should have undertaken some serious efforts to legally protect their product. Solyndra's problem was, they didn't.