Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another $2.1 Billion in Stimulus Dollars Lost with Another Bankrupt Solar Company

The Obama Administration's efforts to pick winners and losers - in addition to providing taxpayer funds via their 'stimulative' efforts to promote their preferred 'winners', has paid "huge dividends" to the US taxpayer as we've seen with Solyndra.

Newsmax is reporting that in addition to the stimulus dollars paid to the bankrupt Solyndra, and other examples of crony capitalism, a German firm, Solar Millennium, received a $2.1 billion stimulus grant for it's US subsidiary to build a new solar plant in Blythe, California.  (Solar Millennium was not the only foreign company to receive US taxpayer funded grants, Spanish solar energy company Abendgoa Solar received $1.45 billion)

CNet has a story today that Solar Millennium entered insolvency proceedings in Germany in order to 'save existing assets'.  The entry into bankruptcy is the latest in a string of major failures that are plaguing the solar energy industry.
In the case of Solar Millennium, it appears that the rapid price drop of solar photovoltaic panels--estimated to be more than 50 percent in the last two years--is the primary cause for its financial shortfall.

The company designs and develops large-scale solar thermal power projects that use reflective troughs to produce heat in areas of abundant direct sunlight. The heat produces steam to drive a traditional electricity turbine.

Solar Millennium earlier this year had to abandon its initial plans to use solar thermal technology at the huge Blythe project in California, which will be 500 megawatts in the first phase. Industry analysts suspected that shift was because solar PV was substantially lower in cost, making it easier to secure financing from investors.

After the initial rush of press on the collapse of Solyndra, to which the Obama Administration provided nearly half a billion dollars, the charges of crony capitalism against the Administration dropped from regular attention.  This is despite the increasingly embarassing connections of Obama campaign donors to companies receiving US taxpayer funds in stimulus grants given by the Adminstration. 

Examples like the dual role of GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt in getting grants from the Administration at the same time he was an contributor and advisor to the Administration on job growth.
Or $510 million in stimulus loans and grants to companies owned by Steve Westly - a money-bundler for the Obama campaign?  Or a half million dollar tax credit given to a company employing the spouse of a former Assistant Secretary for the Department of Energy who was responsible for handing out $16 billion in stimulus money?  Or a half billion in grants that went to firms associated with John Doerr, who has donated over $800,000 to Democrats since 2000?

The mainstream media may not want to report on the malfeasance, corruption, and terrible judgment of the Administration particularly entering an election season- but these issues reflect on the President, his policies, and his ethics.

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