Solar #Fail Today: Chu, Tax Credits, Selling To Themselves

Don’t worry, the Solydra loan was a good bet

(Business Week) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu told President Barack Obama in mid-2011 that loans in the department’s clean-energy program were sound, two months before the bankruptcy of recipient Solyndra LLC.

A draft prepared by Energy Department officials for Chu to brief Obama on June 27, 2011, also pushed to continue the program, slated to expire three months later, according to documents released today by the Republican-led House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

How’d that work out? Gotta love how the Smartest Administration Evah! was so utterly clueless to the economics of the situation.

(Business Week) A tax break passed by lawmakers four years ago to spur investment in solar energy has become a more costly deal for the state than expected, siphoning millions of dollars from Louisiana’s coffers above what had been estimated.

When lawmakers passed the Wind and Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit in 2007, fiscal analysts said they expected lost state tax income to be less than $500,000 a year.

But in four years of the tax break, the state has shelled out $37 million for the tax credit — more than 18 times the maximum estimate, according to data provided to The Associated Press by the Department of Revenue.

I’m shocked that a government program ended up being over 18 times more expensive than originally estimated. Aren’t you shocked?

(Washington Examiner) President Obama, as part of his “we can’t wait” for congressional approval initiative, announced that the Office of Management and Budget will expedite approval of a Nevada project owned by a solar company with a history of using taxpayer subsidies to sell products to itself.

First Solar’s “Silver State South Solar Energy project is a solar energy generation plant proposed on 13,043 acres of public land,” the White House said in an announcement of the initiative. “If approved, it would produce an estimated 350 MW of clean energy utilizing photovoltaic technology– enough to power approximately 105,000 homes – and help the State of Nevada meet its renewable energy goals.”

This is a company that, as The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney reported, relies on taxpayer subsidies while selling products to itself.

Remember, First Solar recently laid off 2,200 employees

Oh, and there’s more which I’m adding after writing the above and saving the draft. Not solar related, but, related to Obama’s green energy fiasco


U.S. battery maker A123 Systems, which got a $249 million green technology grant from the U.S. government three years ago, said on Wednesday that a Chinese auto parts maker is looking to take an 80 percent stake in the faltering company.

So, after wasting all that taxpayer money, China will take most of it over. Great.

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6 Responses to “Solar #Fail Today: Chu, Tax Credits, Selling To Themselves”

  1. Gumball_Brains says:


    over 13,000 acres for only 350MW of power? HOw many acres does it take for a coal, natural gas power plant? 15, 35? For nuclear power plant that can create at least that much, what maybe a square mile?

    The Palo Verde plant in Arizona has three reactors with the largest combined generating capacity1 of about 3,937 Megawatts (MW). Fort Calhoun in Nebraska had the smallest capacity with a single reactor at 478 Megawatts (MW).

    So, the smallest nuclear plant in America outdoes the most expensive massive unconventional outdated outclassed underpowered anti-ecological solar project!!!!!1!1!!1

    And yes, this is one of the most massive projects. So, how much money did we really end up giving to this company? Don’t forget this is on federal land. They don’t have to buy it and can lease it for dirt cheap. And, I bet that its written off or included as part of the loan.

    How can no one see the insanity in this? THis is lunacy!?! We are going more and more in to massive debt but we still insist on throwing money away at THE MOST expensive, most unreliable, most useless form of energy creation.

    Think of this from now on when someone proclaims the benefit of green energy. ALL they want is to line some crony’s pockets and steal your hard earned pay. It has nothing to do with reducing carbon, or especially reducing the carbon footprint!!!!

    Think of that…. over 13,000 acres covered in expensive toxic deep-mined rare earth metals …. all to reduce a carbon footprint?

    How many animals and shrub brush will be destroyed for this project? How fast was this moved through the Endangered Species Act? Why won’t they require an Environmental Impact Statement?

    If farmers can be forced in to drought-ridden bankruptcy for fish thousands of miles away, then surely this project can be stopped from killing local lizards and rare pond guppies.

    This is getting less and less farcical and more and more felonious. And the less that is being done only makes my blood boil more and more!!!!!! (where’s that angry blood-spouting emoti?)

  2. Vegasd8 says:

    Let’s agree that USA can never compete with China’s dollar-a-day salary levels and stipulate that they can build solar panels cheaper than we can in USA. Now, let’s stop competing in the manufacturing realm and just buy every solar panel that China can produce and have a ‘moon shot’ mission to install them on every rooftop in America. If we focus on the installation and integraqtion of solar panels into the power grid, that will be money better spent than susidizing every Solyndra loser that comes along.

  3. Gumball_Brains says:

    Close Vegas. But then why subsidize China? Why keep buying something that does not provide the price-point for power than the energy we have access to right now? Why pay China for our energy?

    Liberals whine and gripe and make a political stand to say, no more foreign oil!! Well, what about foreign solar? Why send oil dollars to china in the form of solar panels? Wouldn’t that money be better spent on power generation that could provide 2x-10x the power output? And cleaner? And greener than solar panels?

    I got no problem with people wanting to do this for themselves. The price per watt if done correctly isn’t that bad for an individual family. But, when you start ramping up, there is no storage or distribution. Thus, it is unreliable and not where it is needed. Even if you spend billions building these solar plants, you can’t rely on them so you STILL.. STILL need to build the conventional power source to be there when needed… such as at night or during any kind of weather event.

    If people want to do it. Fine. Just don’t use tax dollars for it. It’s not the reason why we have a federal government.

  4. I’ve alwqys thought the best way would be to do the R&D, particularly focused on storage, and push for energy independence for individual domiciles. Of course, lefties wouldn’t like that because it reduces government control over the power grid.

  5. john says:

    Teach American solar companies are under intense competion from Chinese solar companies whicj receive HUGE subsidies from their government. Because of these subsidies the cost per watt keeps dropping which is good forAmerican consumers but bad for American companies that must compete with the Chinese.

  6. Gumball_Brains says:

    Silly john, I do not get your point. Are you really proposing that our Federal Gov’t prop up the Chinese economy because their toxic heavily-mined solar panels are subsidized by the Chinese gov’t?

    So, you want them paid twice?

    Why do you propose pushing a small segment of our private commerce by Federal tax dollars?

    Would you also be supportive if it came out that Chinese chicken sandwiches were also heavily subsidized, thus driving up the price of American chicken sandwiches? Would you be for a federal economic stimulus\subsidy for Chicken Sandwich stores so people can buy cheaper sandwiches?

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