As sure a sign as any that the renewable energy industry is becoming a dominant force in global economics is the recent offer by German-based SolarWorld to buy GM’s European subsidiary. The move, which sent SolarWorld’s stocks downward and shocked much of the economic world, shows the clout with which you can expect many global clean energy players to start acting.
The subsidiary is Opel, which includes four manufacturing plants. Many investors found the offer a bit silly and sent SolarWord’s stock price down 21 percent in the aftermath. General Motors’ answer? Opel is not for sale. The thing is, Opel is not having the same financial troubles that GM is having stateside. Perhaps because they haven’t been foolishly peddling SUVs and trucks as much overseas.
Here is what SolarWorld had to say:
“With the restructuring of the product pallet, the traditional German auto builder would offer in future especially electric and hybrid automobiles and newest technology combining extended-range electric and combustion motors highly efficiently.”
In other words, SolarWorld intended to create the world’s first ‘green’ automotive company. Meanwhile, riding the storm resulting from their refusal to adopt a fuel-efficient focus in the U.S. (perhaps they are afraid to see a German solar company do what they should have done many years ago), GM and the other auto giants are suing for clemency from the American taxpayer.
Will Congress bail the “Big 3” out? That is still unclear. Should the answer be no, however, we may eventually see the SolarWorld offer back on the table.
A quick note on the auto bailout: The glaring difference between the $700 billion banker bailout and the proposed auto industry bailout (aside from a huge difference in money) is that the “Big 3” does not just represent corporate negligence but also 1.4 million jobs and a real economic infrastructure in this country.
As much as I hate to see these gas-guzzling CEOs get their way, their collapse would be far worse for the economy than the banker bailout—which has been largely squandered or hoarded and absolutely ineffective in terms of revitalizing our economy. This is our chance to force a definitive, ‘green’-powered plan from GM, Chrysler, and Ford. If we give them the money I don’t want to see even one more SUV commercial on television. And by the way—30 mpg is no rEvolution.