Int. J. of Business Continuity and Risk Management   »   2015 Vol.6, No.1



Title: The Solyndra case: an institutional economics perspective on the optimal role of government support for green technology development


Authors: Erik L. Olson; Harald Biong


BI Norwegian Business School, Nydalsveien 37, 0484 Oslo, Norway
BI Norwegian Business School, Nydalsveien 37, 0484 Oslo, Norway


Abstract: More than three years after its highly publicised bankruptcy, Solyndra continues to resonate as an example of well-intentioned government policies gone wrong. This paper examines the Solyndra case using an institutional economics perspective to determine if the government's relationship with the firm was optimal in achieving environmental and energy public policy goals while minimising risk. The analysis reveals several government deviations from theory prescribed best practice, and illustrates opposing theoretical governance prescriptions for stimulating future technological innovation at the macro and micro levels.


Keywords: photovoltaics; solar energy; solar power; Solyndra; transaction cost economics; TCE; agency theory; market failure; institutional economics; government role; green technology; technology development; government policy; environmental policy; energy policy; public policy; technological innovation.


DOI: 10.1504/IJBCRM.2015.070351


Int. J. of Business Continuity and Risk Management, 2015 Vol.6, No.1, pp.36 - 47


Submission date: 16 Feb 2015
Date of acceptance: 27 Mar 2015
Available online: 02 Jul 2015



Editors Full text accessPurchase this articleComment on this article