Navy losing money on solar panels, audit says
WASHINGTON — The Navy is unwisely losing money on new solar energy panels installed with stimulus funds at Lemoore Naval Air Station and other California bases, auditors say.
Lemoore was among 10 Navy and Marine Corps bases in California to have new solar energy systems installed even though they won’t be cost-effective, the Pentagon auditors found.
Don’t miss this: Washington Post editorial: “the government ‘is a crappy vc’…all solar-energy ventures are risky. Fossil fuel technologies are more cost-effective for the vast majority of uses”
Solyndra: A bad bet Obama should regret – The Washington Post
When a profit-making venture blows half a billion taxpayer dollars, the president should be more upset about it. Much of the criticism Mr. Obama is taking over Solyndra is political. But not all of it.
The important lesson is that the government “is a crappy vc” — venture capitalist — as then-White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers put it in an internal e-mail.
Doubling Down On Solyndra
Scandal: As the Energy Department’s loan chief leaves a sinking ship, the president says that people thought bailing out a failing solar panel maker was a “good bet.” Next time play with your money, not ours. (IBD)
Upton, Stearns Comment on Explosive White House Documents on Solyndra
WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) responded to documents the committee received late today from the Obama administration regarding the investigation into the $535 million Solyndra bust. (Energy & commerce)
Energy loans official leaves in wake of Solyndra
The Obama administration said on Thursday its top energy loans official was stepping down, following a widening probe into the embarrassing collapse of a solar panel company that got $535 million in federal support.
Jonathan Silver, a venture capitalist who had also worked for the Clinton administration, was leaving because the loan program had allocated all its funding, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.
Silver’s resignation comes, however, as Republicans in Congress probe the White House’s role in backing government loans given to Solyndra, a California solar panel maker, in 2009.
Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in August, and is under investigation by the FBI. (Reuters)
Solyndra II, And More Green Jobs Failure
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 22:22 John Hinderacker, Powerline
Emails released by a Congressional committee show, almost unbelievably, that the Obama administration was poised to lend Solyndra another $469 million loan during the summer of 2010, even as auditors “warned the company was in danger of closing due to its rapidly mounting debts and expenses.” Analysts in the Office of Management and Budget greeted the proposal for a second loan with gallows humor. (GWPF)
Solyndra e-mails: Dept. of Energy was poised to approve *another* $469 million for firm
Solyndra: House seeks more Obama White House emails, as revelations continue – The Washington Post
The Obama administration’s Department of Energy was poised last summer to give Solyndra a second major taxpayer loan of $469 million, even as the company’s financial situation was growing more dire.
The Energy Department was actively pushing to provide the second loan guarantee to the troubled solar-panel manufacturer in April and May 2010, when Solyndra’s auditors warned the company was in danger of closing due to its rapidly mounting debts and expenses, according to complete e-mails just released by a House committee investigating the original loan.
Solar Sales May Drop for First Time as Rates Cut, BNEF Says
Oct. 5 — Sales of solar panels may decline for the first time in 2012, leaving manufacturers with mounting inventories and excess capacity, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst.
“New capacity in 2012 is likely to be flat if not lower than this year after significant drops in subsidies in key European markets,” Martin Simonek, a solar analyst at the London-based research firm, said in an interview. “That demand during 2011 has been stronger than last year has helped many companies stay alive. Next year will be different.” (Bloomberg)
Ontario’s Power Trip: The $4,000 electricity bill
Electricity rates will double, making them among the highest in the developed world
By Glenn Fox and Parker Gallant
While attending an Energy Probe board of directors meeting almost a year ago (we are both directors), several of us around the table — as might be expected — discussed the Ontario government’s Green Energy Act and wondered aloud about the hidden costs associated with the act. Some speculated that the act might lead to a doubling of Ontario’s power rates. Could that possibly be true? (Financial Post)
GOP Aims to Taint Bluedog Dems With Solyndra Scandal
By JOHN MCARDLE
During the 2010 election cycle, Republicans earned a surprising amount of traction with an attack ad that hit Democratic incumbents for supporting stimulus spending that ended up funding windmill manufacturing in China.
In 2012, Solyndra could be the new Chinese windmills.
Solyndra and a Billionaire’s Guilt Trip
Was this solar energy company absolution for George Kaiser’s oil money?
By WILLIAM MCGURN
On Wall Street this week protesters dressed as “corporate zombies” are lashing out against corporate greed. If the unfolding Solyndra scandal is any clue, however, maybe someone should ask about the high price we pay when corporate leaders indulge their feelings of guilt.
No one has spoken more frankly about guilt than billionaire George Kaiser, whose family nonprofit was Solyndra’s largest stakeholder. Mr. Kaiser first went public with his guilt in a Rotary Club speech two years ago. There he explained his charitable giving this way:
“It starts with a sense of guilt we should all feel,” he said. “We got to where we are by dumb luck.”
By dumb luck, Mr. Kaiser means that he was born to a caring father who founded an oil business, now known as Kaiser-Francis Oil. Mr. Kaiser took the company over in 1969 and also bought a bank that is now the BOK Financial Corporation. Together oil and banking have made him one of the world’s wealthiest men.
Now, you might suppose that a billionaire whose wealth comes from the progressive world’s two most villainous industries might find himself on the outs with an administration that routinely attacks billionaires, oil companies and bankers. You would, however, be wrong. In fact the record shows that Mr. Kaiser—a top Obama bundler during the last presidential campaign—was welcomed to the White House 16 times over the past two years.
That’s where the now-bankrupt Solyndra comes in. (WSJ)
Merkel suggests cutting solar subsidies further
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday solar energy subsidies should be reduced, and it could make more sense in the future to draw solar energy from places like Greece, where the sun shined longer. (Reuters)
Renewable energy: Subsidy cuts cause crisis of confidence
By Peter Wise
A winning combination of natural advantages, powerful utilities and public policy has made Spain a world leader in renewable energy. But a government decision to make retroactive cuts in one of the guaranteed subsidies that have helped drive this green revolution raises serious questions for the future of Spanish energy policy.
The retroactive cuts in the subsidies paid to producers of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy announced last December came “at the worst possible moment, given the severe economic crisis affecting Spain”, says Miguel Salis, chief executive of N+1 Eolia, which manages Spain’s largest independent wind and solar PV operator. (Financial Times)
Larisa Brass: Battery-powered energy creates health risks overseas
The global proliferation of green technologies, including electric bicycles and solar panels, has been touted as good environmental news, but it also has some nasty side-effects.
Energy Department approves $1 billion in solar energy loan guarantees
By Andrew Restuccia
The Energy Department announced Wednesday that is has finalized more than $1 billion in loan guarantees for two separate solar energy projects.
The decision comes several weeks after Solyndra, a California-based solar manufacturer that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration in 2009, filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers, setting off a firestorm in Washington. (E2 Wire)
What Solyndra Fiasco?
The Department of Energy keeps shoveling out taxpayer money.
Solargate: Worse and Worse
Saturday, 24 September 2011 17:04 Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest
The Solyndra scandal threatens to blow up into the first truly major scandal of the Obama administration. This is, as Via Meadia readers know, bad news for the administration on several levels; besides the obvious ethical issues, the Solyndra scandal makes the President appear incompetent or worse when it comes to job creation. The scandal supports some key Republican attack narratives and as long as it is in the news the Democrats will suffer.