President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures

Transquesta 2012/10/19 07:34:59

President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures

Ashe Schow

October 18, 2012 at 8:25 am

It is no secret that President Obama’s and green-energy supporters’
(from both parties) foray into venture capitalism has not gone well. But
the extent of its failure has been largely ignored by the press. Sure,
single instances garner attention as they happen, but they ignore past
failures in order to make it seem like a rare case.

The truth is that the problem is widespread. The government’s picking
winners and losers in the energy market has cost taxpayers billions of
dollars, and the rate of failure, cronyism, and corruption at the
companies receiving the subsidies is substantial. The fact that some
companies are not under financial duress does not make the policy a
success. It simply means that our taxpayer dollars subsidized companies
that would’ve found the financial support in the private market.

So far, 36 companies that have received federal support from
taxpayers have either gone bankrupt or are laying off workers and are
heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that
received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of
Energy. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was
actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also
does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and
subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received
from taxpayers even higher.

The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:

  1. Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
  2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
  3. Solyndra ($535 million)*
  4. Beacon Power ($69 million)*
  5. AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
  6. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
  7. SunPower ($1.5 billion)
  8. First Solar ($1.46 billion)
  9. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
  10. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
  11. Amonix ($5.9 million)
  12. National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
  13. Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
  14. Abound Solar ($374 million)*
  15. A123 Systems ($279 million)*
  16. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
  17. Johnson Controls ($299 million)
  18. Schneider Electric ($86 million)
  19. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
  20. ECOtality ($126.2 million)
  21. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
  22. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
  23. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
  24. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
  25. Range Fuels ($80 million)*
  26. Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
  27. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
  28. LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
  29. UniSolar ($100 million)*
  30. Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
  31. GreenVolts ($500,000)
  32. Vestas ($50 million)
  33. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
  34. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
  35. Navistar ($10 million)
  36. Satcon ($3 million)*

*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and
losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very
reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies’
business models and deciding if they are worthy. When the government
plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are
connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to
“invest” in green energy.

The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened
to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are
linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been
made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax
credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since
either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.

Read More: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/18/president-obam...

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Top Opinion

  • cddjmikey 2012/10/19 10:27:45
    As Romney said in the first debate, Obama doesn't pick winners and losers, just losers !! Sounds about right, let's get rid of this loser !

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  • Giantsfan 2012/10/25 16:04:30 (edited)
    And yet the government still picks winners and losers by giving $4 billion a year to oil companies. In 2011 coal had $561 million in tax liability reductions and that's down from $3.3 billion in 2007. In 2008 $557 billion was spent to subsidize fossil fuels globally as compared to $43 billion for renewables. Yes it seems it's not only our government but world governments that are picking winners and losers don't you think.
  • charles nelson 2012/10/25 01:02:12
    charles nelson
    Just don't blame global warming on him. That Rebubies terrain.
  • Fariborz-Zak 2012/10/22 06:54:50
    good move
  • Captain-Morgan 2012/10/21 05:45:44
  • Cat 2012/10/20 04:00:22
    Like Romney said, Obama only picks losers.
  • AdmrlLocke 2012/10/19 19:40:54
    Isn't saying "President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures" pretty much redundant? :-D
  • Transqu... AdmrlLocke 2012/10/19 19:52:52
    Yeah. . .but I just cut/pasted the title of the article. :-)
  • AdmrlLocke Transqu... 2012/10/19 19:56:15
    I was just sharing a little humor. Very little. :-P
  • Aksana 2012/10/19 19:30:28
  • dispatcher 2012/10/19 17:00:25
    With all the money wasted in his green energy plan & to get back large donations into his campaign this country could have put that money to the KEYSTONE PIPELINE, digging in Alaska northern territory, or even the oil sand that are in CO,WY,UT AREAS...
  • bob h. 2012/10/19 15:55:01
    bob h.
    Heritage.org. AHhahahahaha
  • bob h. 2012/10/19 15:54:01
    bob h.
    romney has the right idea. Invest in Chinese & Russian oil companies. Forget these American losers. Put the money in Swiss and Cayman Banks. American banks keep failing. Green energy? Forget it, burn Chinese gas.
  • Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆ 2012/10/19 15:04:40
    Results, everyone. Results. They're in, and they're all bad.
  • bob h. Temlako... 2012/10/19 15:56:44
    bob h.
    You call Heritage.org results??? Doesn't take much to keep you happy, does it.
  • Giantsfan Temlako... 2012/10/25 16:12:10
    The results are only 5% of renewable startups have failed as of now and that's a much lower percentage than normal startup businesses (non energy) which has a much higher failure rate. The failure rates for regular businesses are 25% for the first year, 36% for the second year and 44% for the third year.
  • RJeffreySavlov 2012/10/19 14:31:41
    A must read and absorbe.
  • Flamingolady 2012/10/19 14:20:24
    When we went to Hawaii several years back, we drove around a large area with rusted out windmills. They sat there, not moving, looking as awful as anything rusted out could look. This is what happens with all these ideas of energy that is unsustainable and reckless. The idea may be a good one, if only, if only the wind blows steadily, and if the windmills don't rust, and if this and if that. We need cold fusion, and that is another topic for another day.
  • bob h. Flaming... 2012/10/19 15:57:28
    bob h.
    A rusty windmill? That settles it, stop all research.
  • sammanilla Flaming... 2012/10/19 17:00:22
    There's a reason why windmills were used everywhere hundreds of years ago until more efficient energies came along. Then they were abandoned or used for decorative purposes.

    reason windmills hundreds years efficient energies abandoned decorative purposes
  • Giantsfan sammanilla 2012/10/25 16:18:44 (edited)
    Class act with that picture. The only ones moving backwards are conservatives. As Obama stated in the last debate Romney want's to go back to the 80's on defense, the 50's on social issues and the 20's on economic issues and you guys want to stay in the 20's and 30's in your energy policies. God, if you conservatives ever had to think of new ideas on your own to survive you'd become extinct. Thank goodness you have liberals to lead the way into the 21st century. You guys are stuck in the last century and fading fast.
  • sammanilla Giantsfan 2012/10/25 18:18:06
  • Giantsfan sammanilla 2012/10/25 20:34:57
    See what I mean about your intellect... Displaying photoshopped pictures is your biggest accomplishment. "Thank God for liberals and progressives" or you'd be living like the Taliban.
  • sammanilla Giantsfan 2012/10/25 20:59:34
  • Giantsfan sammanilla 2012/10/25 22:15:24
  • George Zook 2012/10/19 14:00:21
    George Zook
    any time you try to change the status quo there will be failures and successes .... I may be wrong but don't a large percentage of all business startups fall? sounds like business as usual to me ... and if it wasn't for the strategic importance of energy independence I doubt there would be energy funding by the governmen't
  • Todd Parsons 2012/10/19 12:50:40
    Todd Parsons
    LOL I was just going to post this same thing... you beat me to it!!! Amazing isn't it??? is this what he has in mind for "FOWARD"??
  • Bevos 2012/10/19 12:46:08 (edited)
    If OWEbama gets back in, we will be begging Greece for our money back. Not that, that will happen............ 11-6-12........ VOTEMOUT! VOTEMOUT! VOTEMOUT!!!
  • jmc07806-PWCM-JLA 2012/10/19 12:40:00
    Lets back a few more loosers we need to have the unborn in dept the instant they are born for the next several generations.
  • thefatguy 2012/10/19 12:35:40
    Where's the algae farms Obie promised us? I'm in the mood for sushi! LOL
  • Speaker of the Mind 2012/10/19 10:48:30
    Speaker of the Mind
    I am so sick of this >Idiot In Chief<
  • cddjmikey 2012/10/19 10:27:45
    As Romney said in the first debate, Obama doesn't pick winners and losers, just losers !! Sounds about right, let's get rid of this loser !
  • Charles R. Anderson 2012/10/19 09:16:43
    Charles R. Anderson
    It is the biggest scandal since the scandals of the transcontinental railroads in the 1800s. All brought to you by Obama and his Chicago personal enrichment gangsterism at the public trough.
  • Veritas CLM *First Sedition* 2012/10/19 08:03:52
    Veritas CLM *First Sedition*
    The federal government has absolutely no purview whatsoever to give loan guarantees, grants, selective tax breaks, or other forms of "stimulus" to industries they deem worthy. If the current view of government's role in the economy had come at the end of the 19th century, we would still have large industries in this country producing wagons, as well as buggy whips, all supported through taxpayer dollars. Just imagine all of the jobs we could have saved. Of course, we want to keep those wagon producers here in the USA, and avoid shipping those jobs overseas to places like India
  • sandra smith 2012/10/19 08:02:47
    sandra smith
    On a SMALL scale, solar power works in areas where there is enough sun and there are storage batteries, sufficient. On a large scale, the technology just isn't there, and throwing away good money after bad is STUPID! Get some reliable energy running NOW and stop trying to force this before the technology catches up to the demand and need!

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