Solyndra was a solar start-up that developed a state of the art, gold standard technological advantage over its rivals.
This was a game changing innovation that included solar panel design changes (that allowed for cheaper installation and maintenance) as well as raw material differences that brought down the cost of the product significantly at a time when silicon (the lead ingredient in solar panels) was selling for nearly $1000 per pound.
Several unforeseeable market forces came together in a perfect storm to drive it into bankruptcy. But had Solyndra been able to raise new financing, it would have survived, and would have thrived.
It can still license its technology out to existing players and make significant returns over time. Very, very smart people backed this venture, including major venture capital funds, private investors and big energy players.
It is a shame that the politics of green energy have conspired to bring down what should have been a great American success stroy. This company was killed by US Republicans as much as by market forces. In a simple analysis, massively flush Chinese firms using near-zero interest loans from government backed banks, flooded the market with cheaper, lower quality panels that were the result of hugely scaled up factories financed by government mandated loans.
This is basically a Chinese victory over America. They committed to financing a struggling, yet viable industry.
Lost in the debate is the fact that American innovation and technological advances were sacrificed by short-sighted politicians looking for cheap polical gain. That is what is killing the US in its competition against China.