Here’s a good article in Scientific American that delves into some of the technical aspects behind the failure of Solyndra. By largely steering clear of the politics and focusing on the science, the piece is actually hopeful, as follows:
Solyndra turned out to be an answer to a problem that no longer exists: expensive silicon solar panels. That means Solyndra’s bankruptcy is actually good news, like Gronet promised-electricity derived from sunshine is getting cheaper. “Today, PV is about 18 cents per kilowatt-hour at the utility scale, without subsidies,” says Ramesh of SunShot, which will bid to make solar electricity cost-competitive with coal and other fossil fuels on a budget that is less than 20 percent of Solyndra’s loan guarantee. The falling price of highly refined sand may have doomed Solyndra, but it may also help fulfill the promise of solar power.