Monday, December 01, 2014

Solar eclipse

Hit and Run: "Government-Backed Green Energy Goes Bust"
The recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidation filing of the Toledo, Ohio-based solar-panel manufacturer Xunlight Corp. has attracted barely any national attention.
Maybe it’s gotten to the point—after Solyndra, Evergreen, Abound, and Satcon—that the failure of another government-backed alternative energy company is a dog-bites man story. It’d be newsworthy if any of them actually ever succeeded.
Ho-hum.  Good intentions and all that.


Renewable obloquy said...


Bloomberg News, Nov. 12, 2014:

The U.S. government expects to earn $5 billion to $6 billion from the renewable-energy loan program that funded flops including Solyndra LLC, supporting President Barack Obama’s decision to back low-carbon technologies.

...The results contradict the widely held view that the U.S. has wasted taxpayer money funding failures including Solyndra, which closed its doors in 2011 after receiving $528 million in government backing.

...“The whole point of insurance is that there should be claims against the insurance,” [said Joe Aldy, a former special White House assistant for energy and environment]. “If we only go after projects we know are going to succeed, all we’re doing is subsidizing people for what they’d do anyway.”

As a fiscal assessment, the $5 to $6 billion figure is certain to be disputed if it hasn't been already. Nevertheless, evaluating these types of lending programs based on their profitability or lack thereof misses the longterm big picture. The loans are targeted to cut pollution, create jobs, boost growth, subsidize new domestically-owned technologies and advances, and reduce our overseas energy needs. Some of this success, if any, would also have military defense implications. We don't need to turn a profit on the deal to turn a profit on the deal.

Example: Your post was uploaded on "Cyber Monday." It's useful to have an internet.

siacd999 said...

Look up the term "lemon socialism". That's what we got here, and it can also be found in government-healthcare.

Eric said...

Fun fun fun.

First: "This claim was credulously reported by Bloomberg Businessweek" And how!

Second: "DOE’s report does not address this issue, except in a footnote in a table (cut and pasted above) revealing that its $810 million of “interest earned” was “calculated without respect to Treasury’s borrowing cost.” In other words, DOE reports gross interest received, not the net interest taxpayers have earned after subtracting Treasury borrowing costs. The incomplete figures in the table seem to suggest that DOE has eked out a $30 million profit on its lending ($810 million in interest less $780 million in loan losses). But when we account for Treasury borrowing costs, taxpayers are actually well behind."

Things are always less expensive when you don't count how much they cost.

Finally, when your profit argument has collapsed, it's time to pull out the moral argument: "lending programs based on their profitability or lack thereof misses the longterm big picture."

We've been waiting since the Carter Administration for the big breakthrough to free us from fossil fuels. THIS could be the year!

Renewable losses said...

B-B-But, but...the military defense implications!