Green Business Models vs Climate Models

The spectacular failure of the Greens' business models in connection with their insistent predictions of the certain success of bankrupt Solyndra and similar now-failed solar cell manufacturers forces one to wonder why anyone would now trust their climate models? 

The modern business practice of forecasting production costs for new semiconductor manufacturing installations such as the Solyndra plant relies on variations of the "Cost-of-Ownership Model" developed by SEMATECH.  And yes, Solyndra's photovoltaic cells relied on copper-indium-diselenide semiconductor materials as the key active layer in their device.  This excerpt from provides a nice introduction to "Cost-of-Ownership" analysis and forecasting of production costs

"Applications of Cost-of-Ownership

With a few significant details, users can determine the life-cycle cost of owning a manufacturing tool. While the examples shown below are based on semiconductor manufacturing almost all manufacturing processes are faced with these same issues.

At A Glance:

Using cost-of-ownership (COO) has significant benefits for the end user. It is neither complex nor hard to do. With a few significant details about purchase, operation, utilization, and performance, users can determine the life-cycle cost of owning a semiconductor tool. Over the life of the system, equipment reliability, utilization, and yield factors may have a greater impact on COO than initial purchase costs. COO was developed for wafer fabrications tools but can easily be extended to other applications. These new applications are broadening the impact of cost modeling analysis and providing a metric for improvement for the semiconductor industry.

With equipment costs rising every generation and manufacturers increasingly sensitive to the cost per wafer, SEMATECH began developing a cost-of-ownership (COO) model in 1990. Since then, COO standards have been developed with Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), and a commercial COO model has been prepared through a joint development project"

Interpreting the jargon  here, a "tool" refers to an individual piece of process equipment necessary to accomplish one in a sequence of production steps.  There are hundreds of production steps that must be completed successfully in order to fabricate microchips on silicon wafers.   Thus the costs contributed by each tool (step) must be added together to get the total production cost.  One of the last fabrications steps is to cut the wafer into individual chips with a dicing saw.  Yield refers to the number of good chips  -- or alternatively solar cells -- left over when the defective ones are scrapped.  Scrapping large percentages of work-in-process inventory after completing hundreds of steps can be VERY COSTLY so "Yield" is an extremely important cost factor. 

So we see that there are state-of-the-art production-cost forecasting tools (similar to Excel spreadsheets) readily available to Solyndra, the Dept. of Energy, etc., etc. for the purpose of predicting manufacturing costs of solar cells.  Subtracting anticipated production, administrative, marketing and other costs from forecast revenue provides a strong sense of the profitability and, yes, the "sustainability" of a manufacturing enterprise.  This constitutes a business model.

Yet the Greens get it spectacularly wrong every time!  And as I've noted here previously, modeling the behavior of the earth's climate is vastly more complicated. 

So the next time that someone chastises you about your "carbon-footprint" and claims that the "science is settled" on predictions of Anthroprogenic Global Warming based on climate-models, ask them "How is it that the same crowd gets their business models so wrong?" 

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