The Downfall of Uni-Solar and the Future of Solar Energy As We Know It


These stories were produced by PBS and are reproduced here as part of The Climate Desk collaboration.

It seemed like a classic “feel-good” economic story. A Midwest factory town loses its biggest employer but reinvents itself as a pioneer in green energy. In 2006, Uni-Solar, a solar panel manufacturing company came to Greenville, Mich., to open up shop. It brought hope and excitement to a beleaguered city. But now, is its economic future—based on the power of the sun—thick with clouds?

 

So what does Uni-Solar’s bankruptcy mean for the promise of a future filled with solar energy? For answers, we turn to David Biello, an associate editor of Scientific American. He’s been reporting on energy and the environment for more than a decade and has been following developments within the solar industry.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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