the Realities of Renewable Energy. Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert light directly into electricity.
Sunlight causes electrons in a semiconductor junction to make a quantum leap from one energy state to a higher one.
Most systems convert about 15 percent of the solar energy into electrical energy, with higher efficiency rates coming at
much higher costs. Given the varying sun angles, clouds, and the darkness of night, PV arrays produce less than
20 percent of their full-sunlight capacity. PV arrays can be valuable in sunny locales where grid power is not
available, such as isolated African villages, and for highway warning signs and remote cell towers. At present, the
cost of electricity from PV is far in excess of the wholesale cost of electricity from conventional sources, and the grid-PV
industry cannot survive without massive subsidies.
The governor wants to make New York a "national leader" by having renewables provide 50 percent of the state's electricity by
2030 — a goal also known as "50 by 30" — while keeping unprofitable nuclear plants running. [...] The
50 by 30 mandate will require the expansion of solar- and wind-generated power production on a massive and unprecedented
scale — without providing needed improvements to an already strained electric transmission system. The PSC
also failed to consider the added conventional generating capacity needed to back up renewables when the sun isn't shining
and the wind isn't blowing.
Clouds gather in rooftop
solar's biggest U.S. market. California for years has required utilities to purchase excess rooftop solar
power, paying homeowners in credits that lower their utility bills. But this so-called "net-metering" mandate capped
the number of people who qualified for the most attractive incentive.
Question Cost of Chile's Renewable Energy Revolution. The renewable energy companies that are promising the
cheapest electricity in Chile's history may have overreached themselves as banks and investors balk at the risks. [...] The
early signs of trouble are already there. Four of the five companies that won contracts at an earlier auction in 2015
won't be ready to supply the electricity next year as pledged, despite having won contracts at an average price of $79.30 a
megawatt-hour, compared with the average $47.50 a megawatt-hour at this year's auction. Solarpack has transferred its
contract to supply 100 gigawatt-hours to First Solar Inc. and will not build the two solar plants it had planned.
Ibereolica SL won a 195 gigawatt-hours contract, but will not be ready until April 2017, four months later than expected.
Solar Companies Struggling to Stay Afloat. According to a report by The New York Times, many people who
have installed solar panels on their homes in the hopes of saving money on their electricity bills while protecting the
environment are not experiencing the savings they were promised when they signed up, and many have yet to receive an adequate
explanation from solar power companies that reveals why the savings have not materialized. The Times story
focusses on the deteriorating relationship between Fort Worth, Texas-based solar panel installer Global Efficient Energy
(GEE) and its customers. "I am surprised and pleased the Times has addressed this issue," said Marita Noon,
executive director of the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy. "I addressed it in my report Solar Power in the
U.S., and I can assure you GEE is not the only company with unhappy customers.
Generated Less Than 1% of U.S. Electricity in First Half of 2016. Solar energy accounted for less than one
percent of the total electricity generated in the U.S. during the first six months of 2016, according to the U.S. Energy
Information Administration's (EIA) latest Monthly Energy Review. Table 7.2a of the report shows that the U.S.
generated a total of 1,951,350 million kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity from January through June of this year.
But solar-generated electricity made up only a small fraction of the total.
Intermittent Renewables Are Harming the Grid. [Scroll down] In fact, I have come to the rather astounding
conclusion that even if wind turbines and solar PV could be built at zero cost, it would not make sense to continue to add
them to the electric grid in the absence of very much better and cheaper electricity storage than we have today. There
are too many costs outside building the devices themselves. It is these secondary costs that are problematic.
Also, the presence of intermittent electricity disrupts competitive prices, leading to electricity prices that are far too
low for other electricity providers, including those providing electricity using nuclear or natural gas. The tiny
contribution of wind and solar to grid electricity cannot make up for the loss of more traditional electricity sources due to
Mojave Desert solar plant kills 6,000 birds a year. A macabre fireworks show unfolds each day along I-15 west
of Las Vegas, as birds fly into concentrated beams of sunlight and are instantly incinerated, leaving wisps of white smoke
against the blue desert sky. Workers at the Ivanpah Solar Plant have a name for the spectacle: "Streamers."
And the image-conscious owners of the 390-megawatt plant say they are trying everything they can think of to stop the slaughter.
Demand Treasury Report on Investigation of Solar Companies. The Obama administration gave Solyndra more than
$535 million in federal loan guarantees as part of the administration's green-energy initiatives, but the company declared
bankruptcy in September 2011. Solyndra was not the only green-energy company to collapse after receiving federal tax
credits, subsidies, or loan guarantees. In 2012, Abound Solar declared bankruptcy after receiving more than
$400 million in federal loan guarantees. Abound Solar had knowingly sold underperforming solar panels for years,
and when it closed its doors, it left behind piles of toxic, defective solar panels that were later covered in concrete and
buried. Spanish green-energy giant Abengoa, which has received more than $2 billion in federal and state taxpayer
support, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States in late March. In April, SunEdison — one of
the most government-subsidized companies in the United States and the self-proclaimed "largest green energy company" —
filed for bankruptcy. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are investigating
its financial dealings.
House GOP to Energy Department: Where
are the green jobs? The 2009 stimulus package gave $15 billion to the DOE's 1705 loan program. However, the
program suffered from three major bankruptcies[:] The first major bankruptcy was Solyndra which got a $535 million loan
guarantee and filed for bankruptcy in August 2011. It was especially controversial since the company had substantial political
connections. Solyndra investor and billionaire George Kaiser — an Obama supporter — as well as other Solyndra
executives and board members donated $87,050 total to President Obama's election campaign. Next, Beacon Power declared
Bankruptcy in October 2011 after receiving a $43 million loan guarantee along with another $29 million from the federal
government and the state of Pennsylvania. Abound Solar declared bankruptcy last year after drawing down on $70 million
of a $400 million loan guarantee. A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation later revealed that Abound was selling
underperforming solar panels.
Solar Power Survive Without Government Subsidies? Sunworks CEO Jim Nelson is not getting caught up in the
political and environmental debate over clean energy versus fossil fuels, but rather focusing on the economics of solar
energy. "I don't see solar as a clean energy play and something that we ought to worry about as far as culture or
what's in vogue or a cool president or whatever else. It's really about economics. If the economics of solar work,
then it's a competitive business that ought to be paid attention to," Nelson told the FOX Business Network's Charles Payne.
Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources. The LCOE-E framework allows for cost comparisons that
are relevant for today's energy policymakers. For example, when all known costs are accurately included in the LCOE
calculations, we find that existing coal ($39.9), nuclear ($29.1), and hydroelectric resources ($35.4) are about one-third of
the cost of new wind resources ($107.4) on average and one-fourth of the cost of new PV solar resources ($140.3). By
increasing the transparency of the costs associated with policies favoring new resources over existing conventional resources,
we hope to inform policymakers with the best available data and raise the level of the electricity policy debate.
Millions on Delayed Solar Power Projects. The Department of Veterans Affairs has spent more than $408 million
to install solar panels on its medical facilities in recent years, despite many of the projects experiencing significant
delays and some of the systems not becoming operational at all. The VA has failed to effectively plan and manage these
solar panel projects, resulting in significant delays and additional costs, according to a report released by the agency's
inspector general last week. The watchdog conducted an audit of 11 of the 15 solar projects awarded between
fiscal years 2010 and 2013 that were still in progress as of May last year. The investigation, which was completed in March,
found that only two of the 11 solar panel projects were fully completed.
Blinded By The Sun
. We are constantly being bombarded with feel-good stories about wind and solar power generation and, indeed,
billions of dollars have been expended worldwide on these boondoggles. This has produced little in the way of
practical, base-load power, it has certainly spawned an endless supply of studies telling us how good renewables will be for
the economy. This alleged benefit is said to be over and above those technologies' CO2-curbing potential. Trouble
is, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) tells us that, in 2010, renewables made up only 20% of global electricity
production, of which 16% was from hydroelectricity. Wind power contributed 1.4% and solar less than 1%.
Votes To Abandon Most Green Energy Subsidies . Germany's legislature voted Friday [7/8/2016] to sharply cut
back on subsidies and other financial incentives supporting green energy due to the strain wind and solar power placed on the
country's electricity grid. Germany's government plans to replace most of the subsidies for local green energy with a
system of competitive auctions where the cheapest electricity wins. The average German pays 39 cents per kilowatt-hour
for electricity due to intense fiscal support for green energy. The average American only spends 10.4 cents per
Low Energy. [Scroll down] In the late 70's,
everyone new that in the future, cars would be electric and be charged by solar panels. Every house would have a rooftop solar
generator. Fossil fuels would go away entirely. The fact that none of this happened did not stop the dreamers from dusting
off the solar fantasy again in the 2000's. I'm not sure, but I think the last big solar panel plant in the US shut down last year.
and Solar Power Simply Don't Work. [Scroll down] The problem we have in Australia is when we talk renewable energy
we are talking wind and solar only — low value, expensive, unreliable, high capital cost, land hungry, intermittent energy.
According to the Department of Industry and Science wind currently generates 4.1 percent and solar 2 percent of Australia's
electricity. But even this is highly misleading because it is such low value power. You could close it down tomorrow (which
it regularly does by itself) and it would make no difference to supply. If we talk about total energy, as opposed to just
electricity, wind and solar represent 1 percent of Australia's energy consumption. This despite billions of dollars of
investment, subsidies, creative tariffs, mandates, and so on.
Huge Investments, Renewable Energy Isn't Winning. For hydrocarbon doomsayers, there's good news and bad
news. In 2015, there were record investments in renewable energy, and record capacity was added, much of it in emerging
economies. Yet despite the huge investment, the global share of fossil fuels is not shrinking very fast.
Renewables such as wind, solar and geothermal still account for a tiny share of energy production, and there are factors that
may inhibit their growth in the next few years. REN21, the international renewable energy association backed by the
United Nations Environment Program, has summarized impressive developments in the sector in 2015. Total investment in
renewable power and fuels reached $285.9 billion, an all-time record, and renewable power capacity, including hydropower,
increased by 148 gigawatts — another record — to 1.8 terawatts. For the sixth consecutive
year, investment in new renewable capacity was higher than in hydrocarbon-burning power plants.
Investigates: Solar Panel Dangers. Firefighters may not rush into your burning home or business as
quickly if there are solar panels on top. "Any kind of delay can affect our ability to rescue people or our ability to
extinguish the fire," said Chief Jeffrey Winward of the fire department in Lowell, Massachusetts. Winward says crews
may take longer to assess a scene before going in because he'd rather see a structure burn to the ground than put
firefighters at risk of electrocution. "It is enough to seriously injure or kill someone," he said.
Demands Treasury Department Report on Solar Companies Investigation. The Obama administration gave Solyndra a
federal loan guarantee of more than $535 million as part of the administration's green-energy initiatives, but in September
2011 the company declared bankruptcy. Solyndra was not the only green-energy company to collapse after receiving
federal tax credits, subsidies, or loan guarantees. In 2012, Abound Solar declared bankruptcy after receiving more than
$400 million in federal loan guarantees. Abound Solar had knowingly sold underperforming solar panels for years, and
when it closed its doors, it left behind piles of toxic, defective solar panels that were later covered in concrete and
buried. Spanish green-energy giant Abengoa, which has received more than $2 billion in federal and state taxpayer
support, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States in late March. In April, SunEdison — one of
the most government-subsidized companies in the United States and the self-proclaimed "largest green energy company" —
filed for bankruptcy. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are investigating
its financial dealings.
and solar a waste of money for UK, Prof Sir David MacKay said in final interview. Wind turbines and solar
panels are a waste of money if Britain wants reliable low carbon electricity supplies through the winter, the late Professor
Sir David MacKay said in his final interview. [...] He criticised the "appalling delusion" that renewable sources of power
could simply be scaled up and paired with battery storage to provide all the UK's energy needs, citing the high costs and
large areas of land that would be required.
Dangers of Building Residential Solar Come to Light in Nevada. You might think that all solar companies are
essentially the same, installing solar systems on rooftops or open fields where there's an abundance of sunlight. But
the reality is that how solar companies do business varies widely across the industry, and knowing how a company is
positioned and where the industry is headed can mean the difference between making a profitable investment and a losing
one. Recent news that Vivint Solar, the second largest residential solar company in the U.S., is pulling out of Nevada
after just two weeks shows one of the risks solar companies face.
Runs Up Against the Limits of Renewables. At one point this month renewable energy sources briefly supplied
close to 90 percent of the power on Germany's electric grid. But that doesn't mean the world's fourth-largest economy
is close to being run on zero-carbon electricity. In fact, Germany is giving the rest of the world a lesson in just how
much can go wrong when you try to reduce carbon emissions solely by installing lots of wind and solar. After years of
declines, Germany's carbon emissions rose slightly in 2015, largely because the country produces much more electricity than
it needs. That's happening because even if there are times when renewables can supply nearly all of the electricity on
the grid, the variability of those sources forces Germany to keep other power plants running.
The Energy Return of Solar PV.
A new study by Ferroni and Hopkirk estimates the ERoEI of temperate latitude solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be
0.83. If correct, that means more energy is used to make the PV panels than will ever be recovered from them during
their 25 year lifetime. A PV panel will produce more CO2 than if coal were simply used directly to make
electricity. Worse than that, all the CO2 from PV production is in the atmosphere today, while burning coal to make
electricity, the emissions would be spread over the 25 year period.
ERoEI for Beginners. The Energy
Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI or EROI) of any energy gathering system is a measure of that system's efficiency. The
concept was originally derived in ecology and has been transferred to analyse human industrial society. In today's
energy mix, hydroelectric power ± nuclear power have values greater than 50. At the other end of the scale,
solar PV and biofuels have values less than 5.
from technology development for energy and sustainability. [Scroll down] Solar at present without
large-scale storage could only provide about 5% of the electricity needs averaged over a year and require city scale
areas. Only nuclear energy and fossil fuels are available now and only some form of carbon capture and sequestration
might make any difference to carbon emissions by 2050 for megacities. Once exceptions in the decarbonization project
are made for megacities, the integrity of the debate on decarbonization is lost. [...] The present renewable energy sources
cannot empower most of the world's large city population now, and will provide for a smaller fraction of the megacity
population in 2050. The initial schemes of large-scale projects such as Desertec have been abandoned by investors not
convinced by the returns or the required decades of political stability needed to secure those returns.
Solar Energy Is Bad for the Environment. Everyone knows that solar energy is unreliable and expensive.
The point that isn't made often enough (although Steve has written about it here on quite a few occasions) is that solar
energy is also bad for the environment. Which raises the question, what, then, is it good for?
No "Major Scandal" in Obama Administration?
Solar panel business Solyndra received more than half a billion dollars as part of the administration's green energy program, before going bankrupt.
Its executives took substantial bonuses before the layoffs began. And, a Solyndra investor was also a major bundler for Obama, demonstrating a
conflict of interest when the administration refused to turn over more documents as part of a Congressional investigation. And yes, the [Washington]
Post reported on its front page that the Obama administration had asked the company to "delay announcing it would lay off workers until after the hotly
contested November 2010 midterm elections that imperiled Democratic control of Congress." But NPR ran an article last year victoriously announcing that
"Now that the loan program is turning a profit, those critics are silent" — as if that had anything to do with the crony capitalism of the Solyndra scandal.
ideas that have spectacularly backfired. [#1] Solar power: Getting energy from the sun is one of the green
lobby's favorite ideas, despite the fact that solar power isn't particularly cost-effective or efficient. Now add another
downside to the list: bird killings. Turns out a solar plant in the Mojave Desert that reflects concentrated sun rays with
gigantic mirrors has become a virtual death ray for unlucky avian passers-over. Workers at the plant reportedly call the birds
"streamers" for the visible smoke that's produced when they vaporize above the plant. Estimates for the death toll thus far range
from 1,000 to 28,000. The plant cost $2.2 billion to build and activists are now urging the plant's owner to halt construction
on an even bigger solar fryer.
Solar Plant Catches Fire, But Taxpayers Get Burned. When Ivanpah started operations in 2014, the Department of
Energy hailed its "innovative power-tower technology" and credited $1.6 billion in federal subsidized loans — as
well as hundreds of millions in tax credits — for making the 4,000-acre solar plant a reality. It's been
pretty much downhill for Ivanpah ever since. The latest problem for the plant — which is owned by BrightSource
Energy Inc., NRG Energy and Alphabet Inc.'s Google — came last week when it literally set itself on fire.
Solar Plant Literally Incinerates Itself. The world's largest solar energy plant known for incinerating birds
just got a taste of its own medicine. A fire at the plant Thursday morning [5/19/2016], which may have been caused by "misaligned"
mirrors used to reflect sunlight at boiler towers, broke out in the facility's interior — literally scorching parts of the
plant. NRG Energy, the company operating the Ivanpah solar plant in southern California, was forced to shut down one of its
generating towers and is investigating if mirrors, or heliostats, failed and torched a boiling tower. Now, the plant, which got
$1.6 billion from the Obama administration, will only be able to generate electricity from one of its three towers.
basically had to pay people to use electricity Sunday. Germany hit a new milestone in renewable energy on
Sunday [5/15/2016], generating so much power at one point that customers were essentially being paid to turn on their lights
or charge their phones. Quartz reports that around 1pm Sunday, about 87 percent of the power being used in Germany was
coming from wind, solar, hydro, and biomass power plants. In 2015, the average was 33 percent. There was so much
power being produced that the cost of electricity briefly dropped to -$149 per megawatt-hour, according to the Independent.
Can't Support the New "Solar Economy". [Scroll down] Analysts will tell everyone that solar leasing is a
bad deal for homeowners. For those who are truly dedicated to greening their home with solar energy, the good move is
to purchase the panels, not lease them. The leasing model is a complicated scam by the solar corporations as a way to
take minimal up-front risk and profit for years and years off of homeowners. What the net metering pricing fights have
revealed is that much of the solar leasing business model is unsustainable without central regulators setting artificially
high prices for net metering buy-back. When Nevada lowered their net metering prices from what's called the "retail
rate" (the rate that customers buy from the power company) to the "wholesale rate" (the bulk rate for power generation), many
solar leasing companies protested. Some exited the market entirely.
The Nuclear Reaction.
In 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called for a reduction of 32 percent in the 2005 levels of
carbon dioxide emissions. [...] The EPA guidelines were not written with global warming in mind. Nuclear power is already
the greatest source of clean electricity in the United States and could largely eliminate fossil fuels by 2030. The guidelines
seem designed to increase the use of solar and wind energy in the United States, though they will also increase the use of greenhouse
gas (GHG)-emitting natural gas. But wind and solar energy do not provide completely clean electricity. They are variable
renewable energy (VRE) sources, both low in concentration and intermittent. It takes resources to collect and concentrate them,
and even more resources to make them available on demand.
Why EU renewable energy figures are misleading:
requires 150% renewable energy to become fossil-free. The EU has a target of 20% renewable energy in 2020. In
2014, 16% was reached and thus, it has been concluded that the EU is well on its way to achieve the target. After all,
thousands of wind turbines are being built in our countryside and millions of solar panels are being installed on our
rooftops. I assume that many readers of Energy Post are aware of the 16% level that we are supposed to have
reached. But I wonder whether they have ever tried to find out how this percentage was calculated? I
did — and it turned out to be far from straightforward.
Vote for Mandatory Solar Panels on New Buildings in San Francisco. This week, a new law mandating the installation of solar panels
on new buildings was passed with a unanimous vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The new bill, which goes into effect in
January 2017, requires that all new buildings — commercial or residential — be fixed with solar panels if the building
stands at 10 stories or less. Builders are required to ensure that at least 15% of the roof on new structures be "solar ready,"
meaning they cannot be shaded or obstructed from sunlight.
What's the Point of a Solar
Plane? [Scroll down] Any regular reader knows full well that I only write mockingly of both wind and
solar and the people who promote such folly. And that is exactly what this round-the-world (assuming they make it) trip
is — folly. Mr. Piccard and his 60 man (and woman and probably other unspecified genders) team can
dream all they like of no fuel and no pollution until the methane-emitting cows come home, but the practical use of something
like this is exactly ZERO. So far the project has cost approximately $170 million. $170 million to develop a
mammoth aircraft which holds one person and that one person must be able to fly the thing and is relegated to a tiny cabin which is
not pressurized, or heated or air conditioned. There's some luxury accommodations for you. And it's taken them 12 years
just to get this far.
Capitalism and the Spigot of Government Subsidies. SolarCity got over $300 million in federal grants and tax
incentives, in addition to state and local subsidies meant to create an artificial demand for solar energy. In a funny
twist, the company even moved in to old office space from Solyndra, the bankrupt crony solar panel company run by large
donors to President Barack Obama's campaigns and subsidized by the infamous Department of Energy's 1705 loan program.
Renewables are useless: The Evidence is
Overwhelming. Al Gore has a problem. He seems to want people to believe that only climate skeptics oppose renewables. The
truth is, a small but growing number of prominent greens, openly acknowledge that renewables in their current form are not a scalable replacement
for fossil fuels.
Husband Invested in Solar Firm Weeks Before Lucrative Expansion. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's husband
bought up to a quarter million dollars of stock in a now financially troubled green energy company just weeks before it
announced a major 2014 acquisition that sent stock prices soaring, public records show. SunEdison told regulators last
week that it is eyeing bankruptcy under the weight of $11.7 million in debt. But in late 2014, investors were bullish
on the company, which manufactures and operates solar and wind power facilities. Its 2014 purchase of wind energy company
First Wind "further bolstered the reputation of the company," wrote one market-watcher at the time. "Perhaps unsurprisingly,
SunEdison's stock soared an astounding 29% on news of this acquisition alone."
Taxpayer-Funded Solar-Energy Company Fails. The collapse of a Spanish-based multinational renewable energies
company could cause election-year embarrassment not only to President Obama, Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and the
Democratic Party, but also to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi, through their ties to Goldman
Sachs. Announced Tuesday [5/12/2016], Seville-headquartered renewables multinational firm Abengoa plans to sell off
four solar photovoltaic power plants in Spain for a collective value of $65.13 million, $57.26 million and a net
cash flow of $13.9 million, helping the company meet its debt-restructuring targets set out in its feasibility plan.
solar companies will only play if the game is stacked in their favor. Even with the benefit of tax credits,
low-interest loans, and cash grants that state and federal governments have bestowed on them, the solar industry is
struggling. We've seen Abengoa — which I've followed for years — file for bankruptcy.
Ivanpah, the world's biggest solar power tower project in the California desert, is threatened with closure due to
underperformance. Then there is SunEdison, the biggest renewable energy developer in the world. It's on the verge
of bankruptcy as its stock price plunged from more than $30 to below $.50 — a more than 90 percent drop in the
past year. All of these recent failures magnify the solar industry's black eye that first swelled up nearly five years
ago with the Solyndra bankruptcy. Worried about self-preservation, and acting in its own best interest —
rather than that of consumers specifically, and America in general — industry groups have sprung up to defend the
favored-status energy policies and attack anyone who disagrees with the incentive-payment business model.
Power Is A Lot More Expensive Under Obama. [Scroll down] "President Obama openly ran in 2008 on a
platform of making electricity rates 'skyrocket' and bankrupting anyone who dared to build a coal plant in the United
States," Travis Fisher, an economist at the Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. "Now, more
than seven years into his presidency, it should come as no surprise that his efforts have taken a widespread toll in the form
of higher electricity rates for nearly every state in the union." Despite falling generation costs, electrical utilities
are being forced by the government to pay for billions of dollars of government-mandated "improvements" and taxpayer support
for new wind and solar power systems.
Regulations Force Taxpayers to Support Ineffective Solar Plant. Research claims that renewable energy is more
cost effective than fossil fuels at producing electricity. But at the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California,
taxpayers are actually losing out on their money. Ivanpah, the 377-megawatt, world's largest solar thermal plant
located in the Mojave Desert, fell short of production in 2014 and 2015. Managers attributed the shortfall to less sunny
weather than expected, but the plant's problems extend far past weather forecasts. Despite being owned by three private
companies — Google, BrightSource Energy Inc. and NRG Energy — the plant received $1.6 billion in loan
guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. It is paid four to five times more per-megawatt hour than natural gas plants.
Solar Power Plant vs. A Natural Gas Power Plant: Capital Cost — Apples to Apples. Here is a
simple example that illustrates why current solar technology will be hard-pressed to replace existing carbon-fired power
plants. Let's suppose that a power company is planning to scrap a coal-fired power plant and wants to replace it with a
new plant. Furthermore, let's assume that the old plant to be scrapped is in Arizona. The options for the new
plant are natural gas and solar. The company wants a simple, ball-park analysis of the front-end cost to build each of
The Catch-22 of Energy
Storage. Several recent analyses of the inputs to our energy systems indicate that, against expectations, energy
storage cannot solve the problem of intermittency of wind or solar power. Not for reasons of technical performance, cost,
or storage capacity, but for something more intractable: there is not enough surplus energy left over after construction
of the generators and the storage system to power our present civilization. The problem is analysed in an important paper
by Weißbach et al. in terms of energy returned on energy invested, or EROEI — the ratio of the energy
produced over the life of a power plant to the energy that was required to build it. It takes energy to make a power
plant — to manufacture its components, mine the fuel, and so on. The power plant needs to make at least
this much energy to break even. A break-even powerplant has an EROEI of 1. But such a plant would pointless, as
there is no energy surplus to do the useful things we use energy for.
laughable idea that renewable energy is or ever will be 'least cost'. [Scroll down] It certainly can't be
least-cost if you shutter working coal plants to start up replacement renewable plants. As it is, electricity generation
from new plants is more expensive than electricity from existing plants; that'll be worse when you replace an existing plant
generating electricity from an efficient source like coal with ones relying on vastly inefficient sources. It's definitely
not least cost when you fully account for the realities of nondispatchable renewable energy. Those would include their
well-known inefficiencies and flat-out inability to work when either the sun isn't shining enough or the wind isn't blowing.
Nature, economics, simple math, and physics all work against nondispatchable renewable energy sources with respect to whether
they can ever be cost-competitive with traditional sources.
Afford "Free" Wind and Solar Energy. While driving the mostly empty and flat 1,000 miles from Houston to
Colorado Springs recently, I noticed something I hadn't seen much just a few years ago — lots of wind farms dotting
the landscape, but none anywhere near even small population centers. And another funny thing, though: Invariably,
many of the turbines weren't moving and one of the largest appeared to have about 100 turbines, yet I counted just three in
action. How can this be? Having paid for the land, the turbines, and those long transmission lines don't providers
want a maximum of the machines going? Nope. Because, you see, wind farms — and solar farms for the same
reasons — don't make their money by generating electricity. They do it by generating government subsidies.
and solar have destroyed the ability of the market to signal price. Before the election, high electricity
prices made the Big Six energy companies everyone's favourite whipping boys. A report by the competition watchdog exonerated
them. Government-driven social, environmental and network costs were the main drivers of rising electricity bills, the
Competition and Markets Authority found. Now the Big Six have put themselves squarely back in the frame. A 125-page report by
the electricity industry lobby group, Energy UK, supports phasing out cheap coal power and demands more subsidies for wind and solar.
Are Footing Bill for Solar Project That Doesn't Work. As every ten-year-old who ever got a sweater for a
birthday present has been told, "It's the thought that counts." That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of
Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power. The latest example is the $2.2 billion
Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. [...] Brightsource, which is privately held, is owned by a virtual who's who of
those that don't need subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers.
This Governor Opposes a Bipartisan Bill to Subsidize Solar Energy. Maine Gov. Paul LePage is fighting a bipartisan proposal
designed to boost solar power development in the state by a factor of 12, arguing that it would benefit only the wealthy. At a business
expo Thursday [3/24/2016] in central Maine, LePage, a Republican, warned that the solar power bill would increase electricity costs to
22 cents per kilowatt hour.
Solar Plant Could Be Shut Down For Not Producing Enough Energy. California regulators may force a massive solar
thermal power plant in the Mojave Desert to shut down after years of under-producing electricity — not to mention
the plant was blinding pilots flying over the area and incinerating birds. The Ivanpah solar plant could be shut down if
state regulators don't give it more time to meet electricity production promises it made as part of its power purchase agreements
with utilities, according to The Wall Street Journal. Ivanpah, which got a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Obama
administration, only produced a fraction of the power state regulators expected it would. The plant only generated
45 percent of expected power in 2014 and only 68 percent in 2015, according to government data.
Corp. Backed Itself Into a Corner With MyPower Loan. There's growing evidence that loans for residential solar installations will eventually
be the main source of financing, changing the lease dominated industry we see today. [...] SolarCity could see this transition coming and in late 2014 it
introduced a loan product called MyPower. Like a solar lease, it tied the customer's payment to a solar system's energy production, but unlike a
lease, the homeowner owned the system once the loan was paid off. But last week the company shut down MyPower after the product failed to take off.
Solar City stock, already down more than 60%
this year, continues to dive. SolarCity Corp.'s stock has lost more than 60% of its value since the start of the year, and shares continued to
dive Thursday [2/11/2016], two days after the Northern California solar company reported disappointing fourth-quarter results. Shares of the San Mateo
firm, the nation's largest solar panel installer, closed Thursday at $16.67, down $1.96, or nearly 11%. The company's stock plunged 30% in after-hours
trading Tuesday, after its financial results were released, to its lowest point since 2013, Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said.
5 Reasons Why We Shouldn't Keep Subsidizing Wind and Solar
Energy. Proponents of wind and solar energy subsides argue that they are necessary for any number of reasons, such as business certainty, to
stimulate the economy, to preserve jobs, to combat global warming, to compete internationally, and the like. But in the long run, subsidies actually
hurt the very industries they're supposed to help by disincentivizing innovation and making U.S. companies less competitive at home and abroad. The
real irony, if not tragedy, is that a free market is far more likely to yield the growth and innovation that subsidy supporters claim to want. Each year,
when Congress tries to extend, re-extend, or retroactively extend targeted tax credits for renewable energy, Congress hurts long-term innovation and growth.
company slashing jobs despite gov't benefits. The solar industry seemed to be looking at a bright future in 2016 as Congress renewed an
endangered tax break for another five years. Yet, in a troubling sign for a business continuously infused with such government benefits, America's
largest solar contractor may be facing its worst year on record. SolarCity, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, is now contending with mass layoffs,
plummeting stock and mounting debt. "This is what happens when you have a government that artificially props up a sector with subsidies so it can
generate more production than they otherwise would," said energy analyst Nick Loris, a research fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation.
SolarCity Is Slashing 550 Jobs. Solar
panel installer SolarCity said it would cut 550 jobs in Nevada, two weeks after the state's utilities commission approved changes that would
reduce credits customers receive for selling excess solar power to the grid.
Silver Spoon. If you own a business — maybe a taco stand, a dress shop, or an insurance
agency — you know it takes a lot of hard work, good market analysis, a better product or service than your
competition, and advertising. [...] If, however, you are a politically favored business — say solar —
your story is different. Your growth is dependent on government generosity.
Media Misquote NC Anti-Solar Residents To Make Them Look Stupid? Numerous left-wing media outlets have repeatedly misquoted citizens
of Woodland, N.C., after the city government voted to reject a proposed solar farm. An article in the Huffington Post claimed local resident
Bobby Mann said the proposed solar farm would "stop plants from growing and suck up all the energy from the sun," during his testimony to the
Woodland Town Council, citing an article in the Roanoke-Chowan Herald-News. However, the Herald-News only directly quotes Bobby Mann as saying
"You're killing your town, [a]ll the young people are going to move out." Other media outlets repeated the misquote.
Clinton's billionaire fundraiser host got sweet deal in Solyndra collapse. Hillary Clinton's claim that she is
not beholden to her wealthy donors will come under renewed scrutiny Friday [12/11/2015] when the Democratic front-runner raises
fresh cash for her presidential bid at the home of George Kaiser, a billionaire whose firm was the biggest investor in the troubled
Solyndra stimulus project — and who managed to walk away with a lucrative profit at the expense of taxpayers. Mrs.
Clinton will make a stop at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, home of Mr. Kaiser on Friday afternoon, just days after the former secretary of
state rolled out policy proposals aimed at stopping powerful corporations from taking advantage of American taxpayers.
Federal Fumbles 2015. [Scroll down to page 92] In 2013 American
families gave more than $5 billion to the solar industry through a combination of direct expenditures, tax credits, and federally funded research and development.
The investment only added 4,750 megawatts of solar energy to American energy generation in 2013. Or put a different way, the taxpayers paid a little more than
$1 million dollars for each megawatt added. This may sound like a high amount of additional generation. But if a megawatt of solar power can power about
164 homes, the federal subsidy breaks down to about $6,418 per home now powered by solar.
timing: On eve of Paris Climate Conference, Spain's Abengoa Solar goes bankrupt. All the fancy people are about
to hop on jets and fly to the Paris Climate Conference so they can express how much they don't like things like, uh, jet
fuel. And one of the things we're going to hear is how we need to be more like Europeans when it comes to green energy.
[...] Abengoa, one of Spain's wealthiest companies, has solar plants all around the world. Yeah, why can't we be more like
them? Except today, this is the number one news item in Spain: Abengoa is bankrupt.
Solar Industry Heading Toward a Financial Bubble. Myriad government schemes designed to promote or require the
use of solar energy threaten to create a financial bubble similar to the one that befell the housing sector in 2007-08,
concludes a new report by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA). The TPA report, titled From Washington to Wall
Street: How Government Policies Are Skewing Solar Investments, describes the housing bubble of the 2000s as follows:
"[G]overnment-imposed rules that incentivized banks to securitize mortgages that in a free market would have been undesirable
(low quality and high risk), along with the government purchases of those mortgages, burned the house down." TPA sees a
similar pattern emerging in government promotion of solar power through subsidies, mandates, and other programs. "Much
like the government-created housing bubble, ... handouts at the federal and state level are creating a solar bubble that
taxpayers are propping up, and it will be the taxpayers and investors who take the hit when the industry comes crashing
down," the report states.
The Cynicism of
the Clean Power Plan. If you want to irritate promoters of the Clean Power Plan, just state the obvious: It's going to
increase electricity prices, and that will be bad for the poor and the middle class. [...] Eurostat data from Spain, which has also been on
a renewable-energy binge, tells a similar story. Between 2007 and 2014, residential electric rates in Spain jumped by 70 percent.
Over that same time period, wind capacity increased by about 50 percent and solar capacity grew about seven-fold. Spanish households
are now paying some of the highest electricity prices in Europe, about $0.27 per kilowatt-hour, a rate that is more than twice the U.S. average.
eve of Paris climate summit, Britain pulls the plug on renewables. With breathtaking abruptness, the British
government has in recent months slashed its support for solar power and other renewable forms of energy, leaving a
once-promising industry with grim prospects and throwing into doubt the country's commitment to clean power. The moves
have baffled environmentalists, business leaders and even many government allies. Britain has long been in the vanguard
of efforts to combat global warming.
Greatest Energy Chart Ever. The original energy crisis goes back to the Jimmy Carter administration.
There was a shortage of gasoline, which the Carter administration made worse by fixing oil prices. [...] [F]or
thirty-eight years, our government has been predicting the demise of fossil fuel energy and subsidizing, to varying degrees
but amounting cumulatively to many billions of dollars, solar and wind energy. What has the result been? This
chart tells the story. It plots global energy consumption from 1965 to the present; you can see the contributions of
solar and wind power as a virtually straight line, approximating zero, across the bottom of the graph.
solar plant [is] actually a carbon polluter. Located in Southern California's Mojave Desert, the $2.2 billion
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System benefited from a $1.6 billion Energy Department loan guarantee, and a $539 million
Treasury Department stimulus grant to help pay off the loan. Yet it is producing carbon emissions at nearly twice the amount
that compels power plants and companies to participate in the state's cap-and-trade program. That's because the plant relies
on natural gas as a supplementary fuel.
Solar batteries — are they really green?
Some businesses are being sold battery systems to store energy, but not necessarily from solar or other renewable resources. In many cases, such installations
are designed purely to profit from storing grid energy at night, then selling power back to the grid during the day when electricity prices are higher. But
even if coupled with some rooftop solar, this won't reduce pollution and may, in fact, increase harmful emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.
Can We Rely on Wind and Solar Energy? Is "green" energy,
particularly wind and solar energy, the solution to our climate and energy problems? Or should we be relying on things like natural gas, nuclear energy, and even coal
for our energy needs and environmental obligations? [Video clip]
I'm Still Not a Member of the Solar Energy Industries Association. As recently as a decade ago, a good part of the solar industry was
following a healthy free-market path. Solarex in Maryland turned a profit under the direction of Harvey Forest. But around 2006, the
federal government began heavily subsidizing solar installations. From that grew net metering laws and other state and utility subsidies for
what otherwise was uneconomic energy. By 2010 or so, I could have almost 90% of my solar home system paid for with free subsidy money.
But of course the money is not free. It is taken from the pockets of ratepayers and taxpayers to subsidize on-grid solar home systems, which
are really feel-good installations of the more affluent.
When Enron, NYT Declared Solar 'Competitive"
with Fossil Fuels (1994). This post reproduces a front-page story in the New York Times business section that excitedly reported
a breakthrough with solar energy as represented by a heady energy company named Enron. Formed in the mid-1980s, Enron had just entered into the
solar business and was destined to revitalize — if not save — the U.S. wind industry just a few years later. Good press,
for a half century now, has created an Enron-like illusion of the coming competitiveness and profitability of solar and wind energies for on-grid
electricity. Basic energy physics explains why the sun's (dilute) flow cannot compete against the sun's stored (dense) energy embedded in
natural gas, coal, and oil.
Solar Power Plant Emits 46,000 Tons of CO2. President Obama once praised it as a shining example of America's clean energy future.
"With projects like this one," he said at the site of a solar plant just before construction started, "we're putting Americans to work producing
clean, home-grown American energy." And his Department of Energy showered $1.6 billion in loan guarantees, as well as $600 million
in tax credits. The plant is the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, a behemoth that uses hundreds of thousands of mirrors spread out over more
than five square miles of the Mojave Desert.
Do Utilities Own the
Sun? A group of customers cut their electric bills via solar power panels on their rooftops. Those solar power panels
generate excess power during the day, and the customers then get credited for that power when they draw electricity at night. But the
state's biggest utility, Rocky Mountain Power, says, not so fast. It effectively is saying those solar-loving customers are leeching
off the electric grid by not paying for their use of the electric grid's fixed costs, like the wires and poles that deliver electricity to
Solar Industry Heading Toward a Financial Bubble. Myriad government schemes designed to promote or require the
use of solar energy threaten to create a financial bubble similar to the one that befell the housing sector in 2007-08,
concludes a new report by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA). [...] "Much like the government-created housing bubble,
... handouts at the federal and state level are creating a solar bubble that taxpayers are propping up, and it will be
the taxpayers and investors who take the hit when the industry comes crashing down," the report states.
Check: Solar Is Not The Cheapest Form Of Energy. A recent article breathlessly noted "And the Cheapest
Electricity in America is...Solar!" [... But] the plant discussed in the story, First Solar's Playa Solar 2 project, which
is located in Nevada, produces solar power cheaply. Given the location and size of the plant (100 MW in Nevada), this
should be just about optimal for achieving low-cost power from solar panels. Which implies that other locations will be
more expensive; [...]
the U.S. Meet Its Electricity Needs With Solar Energy? At Watts Up With That?, Tom Tamarkin and Barrie Lawson
have authored one of the more entertaining scientific articles I have read in a long time. They actually undertake to do the
math: what would it require to replace existing fossil fuel and nuclear power plants with solar energy as current plants are phased
out over the next several decades? [...] One could tinker with assumptions forever, but the bottom line is blindingly obvious:
for the United States to actually try to transition to solar power as its sole or principal source of electricity is in practice
impossible. Moreover, the attempt, if made, would be an economic and environmental catastrophe. It isn't going to happen.
Sam's Solar Racket — A Cesspool Of Waste And Corruption. The Department of Energy's Inspector
General revealed last week that the legendary solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra — a poster baby of the Obama
stimulus — lied to the feds to get a $535 million loan guarantee before going bust in 2011. Solyndra is a
cautionary tale, but the Obama Administration is still throwing caution to the sun. The IG report, which follows a four-year
investigation by the IG and FBI, describes how Solyndra engaged in a "pattern of false and misleading assertions," including
inflating the value of corporate contracts and sales, to win a giant loan guarantee in 2009.
Not all energy is created equal.
[Scroll down] Those "renewable energy tax credits" are mainly two: the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and solar
Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Like the oil-export ban, the wind PTC is an archaic policy that has no place in today's modern
reality of energy abundance. Passed by Congress in 1992, the PTC pays the wind industry for every kilowatt-hour of electricity
generated over a ten-year period. No other mature energy source — natural gas, oil, or coal — can claim
a similar carve out based on how much product they sell. The subsidy is so lavish that wind developers can sometimes sell
their electricity at a loss and still profit. The New York Times has described this as wind's "cannibal behavior" on the
pledges $120M toward solar power, clean energy. The Obama administration announced Wednesday morning a series
of efforts worth more than $120 million aimed at boosting solar and other clean energy sources. The initiatives
focus on the Department of Energy, where the bulk of the funding will go to programs to develop solar power technology and
get it into homes, businesses and other facilities.
The Big Sunshiny Lie. The important thing to know
about solar and wind power, and other so-called "renewable" sources of energy, is that they aren't necessary. Au the contraire,
their dominance of the energy mix would be a disaster for the republic. Solar and wind create trifling amounts of power at a
multiple of the cost of power made available by fossil fuels. Increased reliance on pricy power from wind and solar would
drive up the overall cost of energy, which in turn would drive up the cost of everything. Everything!
Not just individual power bills, which would be bad enough. It takes energy to produce, transport, and market all the goods
Americans take for granted. Even our service economy is a heavy user of energy. Wind and solar power are also
unreliable. The sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow. This isn't going to change.
The President's Clean
Energy Farce. Green energy investments are a guaranteed flop, the kind of failure only a shady Broadway
producer could envision. This current green energy production really got underway when the economic "stimulus" set aside
$80 billion to subsidize politically connected energy projects, according to the Heritage Foundation. Since the halcyon
days of the stimulus, 1,900 investigations have been opened to probe stimulus fraud and about 600 convictions have been secured
by prosecutors. What is more, about 10 percent of the Obama-backed green companies have gone bankrupt or out of
business. But Obama does not let the facts get in the way of a good, green story.
misled government to get $535M solar project loan: report. Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer who took more
than $500 million from President Obama's stimulus then went bust, sticking taxpayers for the loss, lied to federal officials
to secure the loan, the Energy Department's inspector general said in a report released Wednesday [8/26/2015]. But the
Obama administration goofed too, and may have cut corners in fully vetting the project because of "political pressure" from
top Democrats and Solyndra itself, the investigators said in their report, which took four years to complete.
$12 billion new federal loan guarantees for renewables. The Obama administration has just announced $12 billion
in new Federal loan guarantees for renewables businesses. [...] Federal renewable loan guarantee schemes have attracted significant
criticism in the past, for example when Solyndra went spectacularly bust in 2012, a bankruptcy which cost US taxpayers $535 million
in lost federal loan guarantees.
Clean Power Plan Will Collide With The Incredibly Weird Physics Of The Electric Grid. The idiosyncratic physics
of electricity will ultimately doom the aspirational goals of the new 1,560 page Clean Power Plan, more than will an army of
lobbyists, lawsuits and laborious studies. It is an inconvenient truth that electricity is profoundly different from every
other energy source society uses; it is, in fact, weird. In energy equivalent terms, the nation's electric utilities
deliver five oil supertankers every day. This feat is performed on a network where operational dynamics and disasters
can happen at near lightspeed. And here is the critical singular fact: Over 99 percent of all electricity has to be generated
at the same instant that it is consumed. Try doing that with wheat, steel, or oil. Thus the problem: The Clean Power Plan
(CPP), as by now everyone knows, sets a course to radically increase the use of wind and solar power everywhere in America. And,
cost aside (which it never is in the real world), it should go without saying that neither wind nor solar are available all the time.
India is now
home to the world's first airport that runs entirely on solar power. The facility is now reportedly "absolutely power
neutral" – meaning it creates just as much energy as it consumes. That's a pretty impressive feat when you consider
that Cochin International is one of the biggest airports in India, with over 1,500,000 square feet of terminal space alone.
To generate enough juice to run the facility, the airport had to build its own 12 MWp solar power plant onsite, which is
comprised of more than 46,000 solar panels splayed across 45 acres of land. This array is expected to produce somewhere
around "50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity each day" – which, on a good day, is just over what the airport consumes
during its normal operational functions.
The Editor says...
The location of the airport is 10.1550° N, 76.3910° E, which is just ten degrees north of the equator. That's
where a solar power project has the best chance of success. In the United States, the same project would be a boondoggle.
The article above says the project is supposed to produce 50,000 "units" of electricity per day. What units? Are we too dumb
to understand terms like kilowatt-hours?
Sue Solar Firm Backed by Billions in U.S. Funds. A renewable energy company that has received billions in U.S.
taxpayer support despite federal investigations and former employees' allegations of illegal business practices is in dire
financial straits as shareholders allege securities fraud and investors drive down its stock price. The Spanish firm
Abengoa is facing a federal lawsuit from shareholders who say that the company misled investors about its financial plans. It
has faced numerous lawsuits in the past two years from contractors who say they were stiffed out of millions of dollars in payments.
The Sun in Obama's Eye.
The solar industry is jubilant over President Obama's Clean Power Plan, released in its final form on Monday, August 3.
The same day, however, some other news reminded the public of what happens when government policy mandates and incentivizes a
favored energy source: Taxpayer dollars are gobbled up and investors lose out.
Gates: Cost of switching to renewables is "beyond astronomical". [Bill] Gates expressed his views
in an interview given to the Financial Times yesterday [6/25/2015], saying that the cost of using current
renewables such as solar panels and windfarms to produce all or most power would be "beyond astronomical".
At present very little power comes from renewables: in the UK just 5.2 percent, the majority of which is
dubiously-green biofuel burning [...] and even so, energy bills have surged and will surge further as a result.
unveils solar panel plan for low-income homes. The Obama administration is unveiling a
project Tuesday designed to make it easier for residents of low- and moderate-income housing and
renters to obtain solar panels for energy production. [...] Part of the administration's climate
change strategy, the plan calls for tripling solar energy systems in federally subsidized housing by
the year 2020, and making it easier for homeowners to borrow money for solar panels. No federal
cost estimates have been provided.
The Editor says...
This is not a good time to go into debt unless you can't avoid it. And besides that, Barack H. Obama isn't doing you any favors by making it
easier for you to go into debt, to purchase a product that you don't really want, and end up with a power supply system you (probably) aren't
capable of managing and maintaining on your own. For one thing, where are you going to put all the giant batteries and the inverter(s)?
How much is an electrician going to charge for the installation of the hardware you'll need to switch from the inverter back to the utility power?
hits Obama administration on renewable energy projects: audit. Lawmakers on Wednesday [6/24/2015] demanded
accountability from the Bureau of Land Management following an investigation that found the government routinely fails to
secure proper bonding from wind and solar project developers, potentially leaving taxpayers on the hook for millions of
dollars. The Government Accountability Office report — which gives more fuel to critics who say President
Obama will push "green" power at all costs — also said that the administration has kept shoddy records, may have
shredded bond documents and blatantly treats renewable power differently than it treats fossil fuel projects.
Chinese-owned NH solar project costs ratepayers $1.22M. New
Hampshire utility ratepayers will pay a Taiwanese company $1.22 million to build the state's largest solar installation so that a small town
can save about $500,000 in power costs over the life of the project. Taiwan's Walsin Lihwa, parent company of Borrego Solar, will use
Chinese-made solar panels in the 3.5-acre project, which is supposed to be finished in July. It will supply power to several municipal
buildings in the area but only some of the time: the town of Peterborough (population: 6,284) gets only 197 sunny days per year.
Fight Huge Solar Plant On Behalf of 100 Sheep. The Natural Resources Defense Council
said it had "significant concerns" about the project. So what are we talking about here? A new
CO2-spewing coal plant? Something that runs on "extraordinarily dirty" oil from the Canadian tar
sands? Nope. These environmentalist groups are celebrating the likely demise of a solar power
plant slated to be built in the Mojave Desert. Bechtel Corp. says its 350 megawatt Soda Mountain
Solar Project would generate enough power to light 170,000 homes in California, and the site chosen is ideal
because of its "excellent solar resources, its location in an existing utility corridor and due to the low
density of sensitive plant and animal species."
Battery Storage Does a Solar PV System Need? Even with these rough numbers it's hard
to see how anyone living any distance from the Equator is going to be able to justify the cost of
installing enough batteries to go off-grid with a domestic rooftop solar PV installation.
pour $32 million more into beleaguered solar industry. This latest funding is
dedicated to training a workforce of solar technicians, developing new technology and implementing a
database to share performance data, the DOE announced in a press release last week. The training
goal is 75,000 workers by 2020 and an undisclosed amount of "other professionals" in other fields
such as real estate, finance, insurance and fire and safety. What the release didn't say was that
the Obama Administration has spent $150 billion on green initiatives between 2009 and 2014, yet the
industry cannot survive without government giveaways, a Brookings Institution study found.
Bees and wind turbines.
The drastic increase in the number of wind farms in the United States began between 2004 and 2005,
and has blossomed to cover vast sections of the country today, as seen on the blue map below.
Interesting to note is the time frame of drastic increases of the number of wind farms from 2004 to
2005. This time frame becomes very important, because it is also the exact time when massive
disappearances of honey bees began to be reported, beginning in 2005, with drastic increases in the
years to follow. The next map shows the states where the most losses of honeybees have occurred.
The orange [map] below is also an interesting map, because if you didn't know better, you would believe
it is another wind farm map. Although the southeast area of the United States, such as Florida
does not have large numbers of operating wind farms, the honeybee disappearances in that area are
attributed to weather events.
PUC concludes that Solar & Wind costs are extravagant. The Sierra Club is upset because the
California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) built a sophisticated and unbiased computer model to analyze
the cost-effectiveness of new solar policy proposals. But despite all the Sierra Club's political
clout, the computer model determined [...] that none of the solar policy proposals are cost effective.
After years of paying about a $200 premium to buy any and all excess electrical power streaming from home
and commercial building rooftop solar panels, California is supposed to be moving to "market-based
solutions" for energy production.
Green-Power Program Crushes the Poor. [Scroll down] However, what Friedman, Obama, and
other admirers of the German green-energy strategy fail to say is that it has come at the expense of sky-high
electricity rates. According to EU data, Germany's average residential electricity rate is 29.8 cents
per kilowatt hour. This is approximately double the 14.2 cents and 15.9 cents per kWh paid by
residents of Germany's neighbors Poland and France, respectively, and almost two and a half times the U.S.
average of 12 cents per kWh. Germany's industrial electricity rate of 16 cents per kWh is
also much higher than France's 9.6 cents or Poland's 8.3 cents.
planning: wind and solar. On the grid power does not flow downhill, take the shortest
path or move from areas of high to low pressure. The grid cannot be well understood as a highway
system or a set of pipelines. Energy simultaneously takes every possible interconnected path from
source to destination. For the most part in normal operating ranges the flows between a generation
addition and a new load are unaffected by the flows that are already on the lines. Energy flows on
every possible interconnected path based on the inverse ratio of that path's impedance (resistance).
SolarCity's university solar projects cost Oregon taxpayers $12 million. The massive
solar array glinting on a sun-baked hillside behind the Oregon Institute of Technology's Klamath
Falls campus isn't made of precious metals. But for what it cost Oregon taxpayers, it might as
well have been. The developer, SolarCity Corp., reported to the state that the Oregon Tech array
was worth $10.3 million. That's extraordinarily expensive compared to other projects —
either in Oregon or nationally. And for every dollar, Oregon taxpayers are covering half the cost
through business energy tax credits given to SolarCity and its investors.
Solar Farm Killed 3,500 Birds. Ivanpah is a $2.2 billion dollar solar energy projected
aimed at powering up to 140,000 homes for twice the electrical cost. It also killed 3,500 birds
in the first year of its operation.
Solar Sales: Free Market Not. If an industry requires government coercion to sell its
product, it is not a free-market industry. This is the case with third-party sales of roof-top
solar-generated electricity where the building is otherwise on the utility grid.
and Sustainable Crony Capitalism. Renewable power has serious problems, apart from
costing too much. Wind doesn't work if there is no wind and solar doesn't work at night. The
proprietors of solar and wind expect the electrical grids to accept and pay for all the power they can
provide, whenever they provide it. If a cloud drifts in front of the sun, and the power output
suddenly stops, the grid is expected to handle the problem and make up the missing power on a moment's
notice. This is just the opposite of the way that the operators of the electrical grids usually
deal with power plants.
green energy failures leave taxpayers with $2.2 billion tab. Taxpayers are on the hook
for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government's energy loan guarantee
programs, according to a new audit Monday [4/27/2015] that suggests the controversial projects may not pay for
themselves, as officials had promised. Nearly $1 billion in loans have already defaulted under
the Energy Department program, which included the infamous Solyndra stimulus project and dozens of other
green technology programs the Obama administration has approved, totaling nearly about $30 billion
in taxpayer backing, the Government Accountability Office reported in its audit.
Power Lobbyists Seek to Subvert Florida Tea Party. The solar power lobby is not
supporting system-wide deregulation. It is merely seeking its own carve-out within the utility
monopoly system. Once it gets its carve-out, solar lobbyists will surely fight tooth-and-nail
against any other energy sources or providers getting the same special benefits. This has been the
case in California, for example, where the solar power industry has fought against allowing the wind
power industry to obtain tax breaks similar to those enjoyed by solar businesses.
Power Propaganda vs. the Real World. When a former "senior communications official at the White House"
writes a blog post for U.S. News and World Report, you should be able to trust it. But when the author
states that the Keystone pipeline would create only 19 weeks of temporary jobs, everything else he says must be
suspect — including the claim that our "energy infrastructure will be 100 percent solar by 2030."
Both a union representative and one from TransCanada — the company behind the Keystone pipeline —
affirmed that the 19-week timeframe was total fantasy.
solar panels become a headache. Some would-be [home] buyers balk when they learn that
they'll need to qualify on credit to take over your solar lease payments for the next 15 to 17 years.
Others say they like the house but won't sign a contract unless you buy out the remaining lease payment
stream — $15,000 or $20,000 or more — because they're worried that the solar equipment
will become obsolete or won't save as much on electricity bills as advertised. Issues like these are
popping up increasingly in California and other states and are interfering in sales and closings,
according to real estate industry experts.
Energy: The Most Expensive Policy Disaster in Modern British History. Highly subsidised wind
and solar capacity flooding the market with near random amounts of zero marginal cost electricity wrecks
the economics of conventional power stations. It is therefore impossible to integrate large amounts
of intermittent renewables into a private sector system and still expect it to function as such.
Hasn't Gone Anywhere. Back in the good old days of the Obama stimulus, green energy
companies were looking for a boost direct from the federal government, in the form of straight-up
financial subsidies to promote "green-collar jobs." Fast forward to 2015, and the terrain has
changed some. We've seen that the stimulus was a bust. There was the Solyndra mess.
Candidates less willing to hand out federal cash to green energy companies were overwhelmingly elected in
2014. But one type of green energy has a new plan to get you to stimulate its producers: Solar.
Surprised solar customers find themselves
with liens. Jeff Leeds says installing SolarCity's panels on the roof of his home in
the Northern California city of El Granada was the sorriest day of his life. Agreeing to the
company's 20-year lease was like partnering with the devil, he claims. He says he has endured
skyrocketing electric bills, installation of an inferior system and contract violations because SolarCity
refuses to clean the panels or to provide a payment for his system's poor performance. The latest
surprise: a notice from his bank telling him that SolarCity had placed a lien on his home, and
that his equity line of credit application could not proceed until the lien was removed.
With Subsidies, Green Energy's Future Is Dim. It's a lot easier to throw money at wind
and solar projects than it is to get energy out of them. That, at least, is the conclusion one could
draw from the Energy Information Administration's latest Annual Energy Outlook, released this week.
and Envy. In 1856, Nongqawuse, a teenager of the Xhosa tribe in South Africa,
prophesied that if the tribe killed their cattle and destroyed their crops the British would be
swept away. The tribe did this and most of them starved to death. Now we have prophets demanding
that we destroy our fossil fuel infrastructure and replace it with windmills and solar power stations.
If we actually did this, the economic consequences would be very costly. Solar and wind power, on a
national scale, would cost 5 or 10 times more than our current sources of power and be less
reliable. This easily discovered fact is rarely discussed by environmental romantics, much less by
the crony capitalists of the alternative energy industry, basking in a flood of subsidies and mandates.
Behold, The Racket.
It was reportedly Eric Hoffer who offered the famous, entertaining political assessment that "Every
great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."
Hoffer's observation has been borne out on a consistent basis, and examples proving it are legion.
The most recent comes courtesy of a Tea Party leader from the Atlanta suburbs named Debbie Dooley,
who is now traveling the South shilling for solar energy as part of the Sierra Club-funded Green Tea
Coalition. Dooley has set up shop in Louisiana of late, attempting to save the doomed state tax
credits for solar energy that a recent study calculates is costing Louisiana taxpayers a net $63 million
per year — making those tax breaks a certified goner amid a budget deficit of some $1.6 billion
thanks in large part to depressed prices of oil and gas.
Obama announces solar program to employ veterans. Standing next to an array of solar
panels at Hill Air Force Base, President Barack Obama announced Friday [4/3/2015] the base will
participate in a new program aimed at employing veterans in the solar energy industry. The Solar
Ready Vets is part of the administration's overall goal of employing 75,000 people around the
country in the solar energy industry by 2020. HAFB will join four other military installations
already participating in a pilot program.
Announces Plan to Train 75,000 Solar Workers. The White House has announced a goal to
train 75,000 workers in the solar industry by 2020, many of them veterans. "These are good-paying
jobs that are helping folks enter the middle-class," President Barack Obama said on Friday [4/3/2015] at Hill
Air Force Base in Utah. The plan will expand on the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative's Solar
Instructor Training Network currently running at more than 400 community colleges.
buffs seek favors in power plan. [Scroll down] The problem lurks no deeper than
the first sentence: "It shall be the policy of the state to encourage and promote ... " Stop. Right.
There. Nothing that follows matters. Once it becomes the state's constitutional obligation to
"encourage and promote" anything, goodies must flow. As Tampa's Larry Thornberry wrote for tThe
American Spectator, "Any grant writer who couldn't drive subsidies through this language should probably
consider legitimate work. "Any legislator who couldn't liberate tax dollars for a connected friend
on the basis of this language is either inept or too honest for the room."
Test Of Nevada's Solar Tower Project Torched Over A Hundred Birds. In what's turning
into a public relations headache for the solar industry, news has emerged that a recent test of the
110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada resulted in some 130 birds catching
fire, when they flew into an area of highly concentrated solar energy. As KCET's Rewire
is reporting, the incident happened last month, but the news is only emerging now.
Solar Plant Not For The Birds. If as many birds being burned by solar power farms
built in the U.S. were to wash up on our beaches soaked in crude oil from a leaking offshore well,
the outrage would be deafening. But as with the wind turbines that now cover acre upon acre of
former "pristine" countryside, what amount to avian Cuisinarts slicing and dicing everything that
flies, including endangered species, only the crickets are chirping.
counties hope to salvage $88M solar project by borrowing more money, officials say.
Three counties have a solution to salvage an $88-million-dollar solar project that went bust: borrow
more millions to pump into the project and hope it will eventually turn a profit and ease the pain
to taxpayers, officials said. Some officials view the solution as damage control. Others
are calling it a repeat of a mistake, one they will fight to avoid.
Green Energy Subsidies — some of what we know. We know industrial wind
energy developers were given lucrative 20-year contracts and paid to produce electricity
guaranteeing 13.5[¢]/kWh no matter the time of day power was generated. We know that
industrial wind energy developers were given 20-year contracts that included a cost of living
benefit up to 20%. We know industrial solar under the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program paid
contracted parties, e.g., IKEA, the Township of Markham, etc., over 70 cents/kWh for generation,
while those same companies/municipalities purchased power for their use at the same rate as the rest
of us. We ordinary customers pick up the tab for the difference. We know that the Office of the
Auditor General (AG) on two different occasions clearly noted the Ontario government failed to conduct a
cost/benefit analysis for just about everything associated with the Ministry of Energy's portfolio.
We know "smart meters" cost us about $2 billion but failed to produce any meaningful benefit other
than allowing local distribution companies to bill us on a time-of-use basis. We know energy costs
have doubled since 2003.
Scientific Chicanery Underlies Global Warming Alarmism. In her December 28 CNN
article, "How Germany Banishes Climate Myths," German environment minister Barbara Hendricks argues
that the climate policies enabled by her country and the EU as a whole have been an economic
success. This is nothing more than East German-style disinformation. The reality is that
Germany's so-called "Solar Valley" has become a mothballed industrial rust belt. Nearly all solar
energy manufacturers have closed their doors. [...] Hendricks' CNN article is just another example
of the use of fraudulent PR spin to promote a desired political message while ignoring the realities
of science and economics.
& Solar are 16x more expensive than gas. The diagrams below show the cost and capacity
factors of the major European renewable energy power sources: onshore and offshore wind farms and
large scale photovoltaic solar generation. They are compared to the cost and output capacity of
conventional gas fired electricity generation.
$39B in Annual Gov't. Subsidies, Solar Produced 0.5% of Electricity in US. Despite
receiving an estimated $39 billion in annual government subsidies over the past five years, the
solar energy industry accounted for just one half of one percent (0.5%) of all the electricity
generated in the U.S. during the first 10 months of 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information
Administration (EIA). Between January and October of last year, the U.S. produced a total of
3,431,473 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. But only 15,973 million kWh were generated by
solar thermal or photovoltaic (PV) solar modules that use semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into
electricity, according to EIA's latest Monthly Energy Review.
rival for the lightning bug. By 2012, 20 different agencies allocated money to 345
solar energy initiatives, supporting more than 1,500 projects. State and local governments joined
in the parade, with subsidies and tax breaks to finance the latest big thing. [...] Federal, state and
local programs have been established to install solar-powered water heaters and rooftop solar panels,
in turn intended to encourage production of solar electricity. In fact, a growing number of these
subsidized solar projects are expensive boondoggles. Solyndra is the most infamous of these.
The California solar cell company went bankrupt not long after it received a $535 million
taxpayer-guaranteed loan. More than a thousand workers lost their jobs and taxpayers were
out a half-billion dollars.
in 3 counties could be on the hook for millions after solar project fizzles. The
concept behind the massive solar project sounded simple enough: borrow $88 million to install panels
on public buildings in Morris, Somerset and Sussex counties and then sell excess electricity, using the
revenues to pay off the debt. The concept was called the "Morris model," held up nationally as
an example of how to produce renewable energy through public-private partnerships. It was the second
project of its kind and the previous one was hailed as a success. But now, nearly four years later,
taxpayers could be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars the counties owe bondholders, after work
ground to a halt amidst cost overruns and lawsuits.
Put Heat on 'Deceptive' Rooftop Solar Leases. A different sort of green energy issue
has sparked bipartisan action on Capitol Hill as lawmakers move to address allegations of deceptive
practices in sales of rooftop solar panels. Earlier this month, 12 Republican members of the
House of Representatives wrote to the Federal Trade Commission, warning that leasing solar panels
from a third party may be a harmful investment for homeowners.
All megawatts are not
equal. [D]iffering types of generating resources bring diverse sets of costs and
benefits to the power system so that they cannot be compared solely based on a cost per Megawatt
(MW) produced basis. As this post will conclude, it matters very much when energy is generated,
where the energy comes from and how well it works to support the system. For large scale bulk
projects, the average cost of solar and wind will need to be significantly below the average cost of
conventional generation well before wind and solar can begin to approach general competitiveness on
a cost basis.
solar plant lags in early production. The largest solar power plant of its type in the
world — once promoted as a turning point in green energy — isn't producing as
much energy as planned.
'Green' Lobby Pushes to Extend Lucrative
Tax Breaks. As the lame-duck Congress limps to the finish line, billions of dollars in dubious federal energy subsidies remain
in limbo. The perennial procrastination has solar- and wind-power lobbyists scrambling for renewal of their industries' expiring tax credits.
the Xunlight? A Real-Life Parable For the Obama Years. 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.
Energy: So Useless That Even Greenie Google Gave up on it. Some people call it
"renewable energy" but I prefer to call it "alternative energy" because that's what it really is: an
alternative to energy that actually works (eg nuclear and anything made from wonderful, energy-rich
fossil fuel.) Now a pair of top boffins from uber-green Google's research department have reached
the same conclusion. [...] In a nutshell, renewable energy is rubbish because so much equipment is
needed to make it work — steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and
haulage — that it very likely uses up more energy than it actually produces. Yet our political
class remains committed to the fantasy that the emperor's green clothes are perfectly magnificent.
Oil Prices Slow Fracking, but Kill Solar. Environmentalists should be ecstatic. The
Saudis are doing for them what they have tried and tried and tried to do for themselves, but could
not: Stop fracking. But their green smiles are quickly turning into frowns as more and more
enviros recognize the same lower oil prices that hurt fracking are killing their most treasured
darlings: Solar and wind power.
and Soviet agriculture: An update on the Ivanpah solar power monstrosity. The Ivanpah
solar plant has produced about one-quarter the energy promised. Now the owners of the project have
applied for a half-billion-dollar grant to pay off a large portion of its original federally guaranteed loan.
MN wind and
solar mandate would mean costly grid upgrade. [Scroll down] A search of the
178-page report shows the authors never mention ratepayers, leaving unanswered whether spending
nearly $400 million to upgrade the grid would be a good investment for Minnesota consumers and
employers. "It doesn't say it would be cost effective to upgrade the system to accommodate
40 percent renewables. It doesn't say it would be a good idea," said Bill Glahn, an independent energy
analyst for Piedmont Consulting and a former Pawlenty administration energy official. "It just said that
given enough time and money, it's technically feasible. I could have told you that."
largest solar plant applying for federal grant to pay off federal loan. After already
receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors
of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal
loan. [...] The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy
giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan.
The Editor says...
It will be interesting to see where the left-wing anti-capitalist troublemakers stand on this issue.
Many of those who who tout solar panels as a "clean" energy source are the same people who rail against
"Wall Street" — by which they mean successful and profitable businesses with plenty of available cash,
of which Google is a prime example. Where are the "corporate social responsibility" people now?
Solar Panels Fail to Meet Promises. Rooftop solar panels installed at the Hillsborough
County Courthouse in Tampa, Florida are producing less than half their promised power, county
records reveal. Rather than lowering electricity costs, as promised, the poor-performing solar
panels are causing a dramatic increase in electricity costs.
Klain and Solyndra. Ron Klain is a sharp-elbowed Democratic political operative with
no medical expertise. Tapping him as "Ebola czar" may not be the president's best move when, as it
is, no one can believe a word the Obama administration says. And that's not just because Mr. Klain
is yet another lobbyist recruited despite Mr. Obama's vow that his administration would shun lobbyists.
Klain was also a central player in the president's Solyndra fraud, which soaked taxpayers for over half a
billion dollars for the benefit of Obama cronies.
Would Mandate Solar Panels on All S.F. Building Rooftops. A new resolution to be introduced next week in San Francisco would
require the owners of most new apartment buildings in the city to install solar panels or gardens on the buildings' rooftops. According
to the San Francisco Chronicle, city Board of Supervisors President David Chiu will introduce the Solar Vision 2020 resolution next
week, a resolution that would apply to both commercial and residential buildings.
misleads students about climate and energy. The International Renewable Energy Agency
reports that worldwide investment in renewables (not counting large hydropower) amounted to an
incredible $214 billion in 2013 alone! IRENA insists that these expenditures need to more than
double by 2030, to achieve the impossible goal of restricting average global temperature rise to 2 degrees
Celsius by the end of the century. However, results to date show that those investments have brought few
benefits, and much harm. European studies have found that expensive, unreliable wind and solar power
kills two to four jobs for each "renewable" energy job this heavily subsidized industry creates.
Passed North Carolina Law that Aided Family's Solar Company. Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.)
fought for the passage of legislation in both the state General Assembly and the United States
Congress that has financially benefitted her relatives. As a member of North Carolina's General
Assembly in 2007, Hagan helped pass legislation that required all investor-owned utilities in the
state to utilize renewable energy resources for 12.5 percent of their energy needs. Hagan
used her work to pass the law as proof of commitment to renewable energy such as solar panels
Solar Policies Hurt America's Poor. State renewable-energy policies, such as those
encouraging solar use, are creating a kind of "energy inequality", one that benefits wealthier
Americans at the expense of the poor. While solar power itself may be a good thing,
government-sponsored sweetheart deals for the solar industry — like "net-metering," for
example — are increasing energy costs for low-income households across America. In
seeking to encourage solar usage, 44 states have enacted net-metering policies, which allow
customers with solar panels to sell the power they generate back to their electric utility providers.
The hope is that net-metering will encourage more customers to use solar panels to reduce their overall utility
costs. It sounds simple — but there is more to these innocuously-named mandates than meets the
eye. Those most likely to benefit from net-metering are high-income homeowners able to afford expensive
solar panels. Meanwhile, low-income Americans are absorbing the costs.
Used Stimulus Money To Hire His Own Company. Sen. Kay Hagan's husband and son created
a solar energy contracting company in August 2010, and then, using $250,644 in federal stimulus
grant funds, her husband hired that same company to install solar panels at a building he owns.
Public records show that Green State Power was formed seven weeks before JDC Manufacturing — a
company owned in part by Greensboro attorney Charles "Chip" Hagan III, Sen. Hagan's husband —
received the stimulus grant for the solar project at a 300,000-square-foot facility in Reidsville, N.C.
How Green Is Europe?
"Germany produces half of energy with solar." That was the recent headline on a German website of
news in English, and it would have duly impressed anybody whose understanding of energy matters
extends to just such headlines. But the headline, totally wrong, was also a perfect example of why
it is so important to deconstruct the reports about green Europe.
and wind power costs are huge compared to natural gas fired generation. Ed Hoskins has
done an analysis of cost ratios, and no matter what your viewpoint of economics might be, the
numbers here don't lie. Without being propped up by subsidies, solar and wind aren't even in the
race as their competitiveness leaves them at the starting line while cheap natural gas (aided by
fracking) runs laps around the race course.
Energy is Anything But. Environmentalists worship solar energy and wind power as
Earth-friendly answers to their ecological prayers. Tortoises, bats, butterflies, and bald eagles
beg to differ. Perhaps because solar panels and industrial wind farms lack emissions, they seem
"clean." Despite their pristine appearance, however, these "green" electricity sources hammer Mother
Nature — often fatally.
slams state for SolarCity subsidy, citing federal probe. A Republican Assemblyman from
Dutchess County is criticizing the Cuomo administration's $750 million subsidy for a new solar panel
factory in Buffalo, citing a two-year-old federal probe into whether SolarCity and other residential solar
installers inflated the cost of their work so they would receive bigger federal subsidies than they deserved.
Government-subsidized Desert Death Ray. The Ivanpah solar generating plant is located
in California about 50 miles from Las Vegas near the California-Nevada border. 173,000 mirrors are
used to concentrate the sun on 3 boiler-towers where water is turned into steam to drive turbines
and generate electricity. The mirrors track the sun and concentrate sunlight so that the intensity
of light falling on the boiler-towers is about 500 times stronger than sunlight — a death
ray. If a person were to be illuminated by this death ray, 3rd degree burns would follow within a
few seconds. Insects that wander into the kill zone are quickly vaporized. Birds are severely
burned or killed depending on how long they are in the kill zone.
Renewable Energy is Hopeless. Wind and solar power are industries that are destined to
remain in their infancy, if not forever, then certainly for the indefinite future.
to ban high-energy hair dryers, smartphones and kettles. The European Union is
considering pulling the plug on high-wattage hair dryers, lawn mowers and electric kettles in a
follow up to its controversial ban on powerful vacuum cleaners. The power of hairdryers could be
reduced by as much as 30 percent in order to be more eco-friendly, a draft study commissioned by
Brussels suggests, threatening many of the models favoured by hairdressers and consumers for speedy
blow-dries. [...] Current EU legislation covers televisions, washing machines, refrigerators and
vacuum cleaners but not most smaller electrical appliances.
The Editor says...
Dear European friends: If you don't have enough electricity to go around, the solution is to generate
more of it, which in your case means abandoning your attachment to solar panels and windmills.
Solar Plants Scorch Birds in Mid-Air. Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the
Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays —
"streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.
How to cut emissions, and
how not to. The world's efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions began with the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, were formalized in the Kyoto Protocol in
1997 and have since mutated into the hundreds of "XX percent of renewables by 20YY" targets adopted
by groups of countries, individual countries and regional jurisdictions. They have spawned, among
other things, innumerable bureaucracies, countless climate conferences, forests of wind turbines,
patchwork quilts of solar panels and a billion-dollar-a-day climate change industry. And they
haven't worked [at all].
bird slaughter at solar power plant. A solar power plant partly owned by Google is incinerating one flying bird
every 2 minutes, igniting the poor creatures as they fly past the concentrated beams of light from focused mirror arrays.
The phony scare over CO2 purportedly causing global warming has motivated investment in this lethal scheme that is damaging the
ecosystem around the Bright Source Energy plant at Ivanpah, on the California-Nevada border.
Solar Panels Producing Less than Half of Promised Power. In 2010, federal and
Hillsborough County officials announced the project to place solar panels on the Hillsborough County
Courthouse. Government officials said the solar panels, costing $1.2 million, would pay for
themselves in electricity cost savings. Officials claimed the panels would provide at least
40 percent of the building's electricity needs and save more than $60,000 per year in electricity
costs. Hillsborough County maintains a website where people can view the real-time solar energy
produced by the panels, as well as an ongoing tally of the panels' lifetime electricity production.
According to the website, the solar panels are producing less than half their promised electricity and are
reducing the courthouse's electricity bill by only $27,000 per year. WFTS News in Tampa obtained
copies of the courthouse's electricity bills and confirmed the savings are no more than about $2,000 per
month. WFTS also confirmed the panels are reducing electricity bills by only 15 to 18 percent,
rather than the promised 40 percent.
Renewables and Electricity Markets. Renewable energy advocates regularly ignore the intermittency of
solar and wind energy in their analyses. As discussed in a previous article, this is a very serious omission because
the mechanisms required to compensate for intermittency can increase the cost of solar and wind energy many-fold, especially
at higher penetration levels. The fact that wind energy still requires generous subsidies after having reached grid-parity
with conventional power is a very direct real-world example of the added costs of intermittency even at low penetration levels.
solar panels are facing the wrong direction, say scientists. Thousands of people have
spent vast sums of money installing eco-friendly solar panels but most will have probably had them
fitted facing the wrong way, according to energy experts. The solar power industry is being urged
to reconsider its approach to installing panels after one of the UK's leading experts, Professor
Ralph Gottshalg of Loughborough University says too many solar panels are facing in the wrong direction.
Just Won't Do. When first in office, Obama offered his "economic stimulus" plan.
Hundreds of billions of dollars would be funneled into "shovel ready" projects after first being
taxed away from the American people. [...] His program didn't stimulate the economy. Large parts of
the money were spent on Obama's pals and pet issues. Remember Solyndra, which had over $500 million
in federally guaranteed loans supposedly going to "invest" in alternatives to global warming? It
didn't stimulate anything. It just filled the pockets of some of the president's pals before the
company went bankrupt. Obama wanted an issue, not a solution. He got it.
Industry Attacks California Solar Subsidies. The California Wind Energy Association and other renewable
energy groups criticized a new law extending special tax breaks to the California solar power industry. Wind
power, biomass, and geothermal power groups say the special benefits for solar power tilt the playing field against
other renewable power options. Senate Bill 871, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on June 20, extends until
2025 an exemption for solar power systems from state property taxes. The existing exemption was not scheduled to
expire until 2017, but the legislature rushed the new exemption into law at the end of the session with almost no advance
notice or opportunity for debate.
Flaws of Solar Energy. Firstly, sunshine at any spot is always intermittent and often
unreliable. Solar panels can deliver significant energy only from 9am to 3pm — a maximum
of 25% of each day. Solar can often help supply the hot afternoon demand for air conditioning, but
demand for electricity generally peaks at about 6:30pm, when production from solar is usually zero.
Secondly, to be a standalone energy supplier, PV solar needs batteries to cover those times when
solar is not producing — about 75% of the time under ideal cloudless skies. To charge
the batteries for continuous power, while also supplying usable power, a solar plant can deliver a
theoretical maximum of only 25% of its daytime capacity.
panel company pocketing govt subsidy cash intended for homeowners. The idea behind
this was that if homeowners wanted to save some money on their energy bill by using solar power,
they could receive a 30% subsidy to help cover the costs. Sounds pretty sweet, eh? Well,
when the government is giving away taxpayer cash, plenty of people will line up to get it... and it's
not always those who were intended to benefit.
maker shuts down. A Toledo solar-panel manufacturer has shut down and dozens of
employees are out of work. Xunlight Corp., a flexible solar-panel manufacturer that uses
technology developed at the University of Toledo and is based on Nebraska Avenue, closed its doors
June 30 to "resolve some matters," CEO John Buckey said. Mr. Buckey declined to elaborate on the
cause of the shutdown, but a letter provided to The Blade that appears to have been sent by Mr. Buckey to
employees on July 2 said the company is closing and makes no reference to any potential reopening.
(and Wind): Green for the Air, Filthy for the Grid. Barclays Investment Bank Research
recently downgraded the entire U.S. electric utility sector because they believe that "a confluence
of declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation and residential-scale
power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo" for energy generation in America. The electrons
generated by residential PV solar systems are "green," but the electric current they send to the utility grid
is referred to in the industry as "filthy," since it is inherently variable, intermittent, and unreliable.
Veterans Waited For Treatment, VA Hospitals Spent $420 Million On Solar Panels. If
you thought the fiasco engulfing Veterans Affairs (VA) couldn't get any worse, you were wrong. It
seems that VA hospitals spent around $420 million dollars on solar panels and windmills, while
veterans languished on appointment waiting lists. Some have died as a result.
BLM's Nevada Cattle Stance Linked to
Solar Plans. Environmental mitigation necessary for a planned solar power project may have motivated the federal Bureau of Land
Management's decision to launch a military-style armed enforcement action against a Nevada cattle rancher, government documents reveal.
According to the documents, BLM determined continued cattle grazing would interfere with the bureau's plans to use the land as an environmental
mitigation area for desert tortoise disruption caused by the solar facility.
Electricity: a Technological Rip-Off, and an Environmental Loser. In California, electricity sales were $35 billion
in 2012. The average retail price of electricity in California is around 14 cents per kilowatt-hour. This compares to
about 8 cents in states that have not found the renewable energy religion. The differential gives the California renewable
energy mafia about $15 billion a year with which to reward its friends and supporters. That's just for the electricity sector.
CEO says Obama is destroying low-cost energy with EPA. Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray says he is scared to death for this country, for poor
people, those who live on fixed incomes and for people who are retiring. Murray says Obama is illegally using the EPA and the Clean Air Act
to take over the US Electric Power Grid and in the process he's destroying low-cost energy. Murray points out that coal is only 4 cents
per kilowatt-hour and Obama wants to replace it with renewable energy sources, wind and solar, that cost 22 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Why Solar Power
is Permanently Inefficient. The solar collecting area on the roof of a house may be
enough to heat or perhaps cool a house, but residential heating is only about 13 percent of US
energy consumption. And the payback time, verified more recently by Dr. Arthur B. Robinson, and
others, does not equal the expected life of solar residential heating systems.
The accepted killing and maiming
of animals in the name of Green energy. Liberals love solar and wind energy as long
as the solar panels, which need considerable acreage to install and plenty of sun year around, are
installed on someone else's property. But no progressive would agree to have the ugly, unsightly,
and noisy wind mills installed in their own back yards because they would be destroying their
vineyards' and horse-riding pastures' "view shed." Aside from frying birds that happen to wonder
in the heat flux of the solar panels, or are attracted by the reflecting panels that look like
water, or chopped by the rotating blades of the turbines, wind mills are damaging to animal and
Sources, Costs and Global Warming. Last month the Wall Street Journal (8/18/12) published a
breakdown of federal subsidies for electric power production, citing the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the
Institute for Energy Research as sources. Here is the comparison of subsidy costs per megawatt hour:
Fuel Type $ Subsidy per megawatt hour
Oil and Gas $0.64
Solar and wind are horrendously more expensive, but they are the fuels favored by the Obama
administration. The fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) are by far the most economic.
Renewable Energy Poses Security Risk. Intermittent and unreliable wind and solar
power pose a serious energy security risk and threaten to undermine the reliability of energy
generation in the UK, according to a new report. [...] Last December, wind and solar power
generation almost came to a complete halt for a week. Germany's 23,000 wind turbines were largely
still, while photovoltaic failed to generate enough energy due to lack of sunlight. The result was
that for a week, the country's remaining conventional power plants had to take on the burden of
providing all the country's energy supplies. The report's author, Philipp Mueller, said: "Open
energy markets are a much better way to ensure energy security than intermittent generation systems
like wind and solar.
New Solar Plant Burning Up Taxpayer Money, Land, and Wildlife. The Ivanpah capital cost is $2.2 billion
for 392 megawatts (MW) of gross generation capacity (potential power output per hour). (That 392 MW is a
number not comparable to 392 MW of, say, gas-fired capacity, because of a sharply lower "capacity factor," discussed
below.) Accordingly, the nominal capital cost per kilowatt (kW, one one-thousandth of a MW) of capacity for Ivanpah
is about $5600, a figure that ignores some costs that are important but hidden. In comparison, the Energy Information
Administration publishes estimates of the capacity costs per kW for coal, combined-cycle natural gas, nuclear, and on-shore
wind capacity: respectively about $2700, $885, $4800, and $2075. For solar thermal plants in general, the EIA
estimate is about $4750.
donor gained nearly $1 billion in tax credits in Solyndra bankruptcy. Most people who
follow the news are aware that President Obama invested $527 million in Solyndra, the now-bankrupt
California-based solar panel manufacturing company. What is much less well-known is that the
federal government was legally required to cut its losses of tax dollars just months into the
project, and that only an illegal loan modification made to benefit an Obama fundraiser led to
taxpayers losing more than $500 million. "The true engine of economic growth will always be
companies like Solyndra," Obama declared in May 2010, but even then, the company was burning through
more than $10 million a month and headed towards bankruptcy.
to solar farm blight as subsidy scheme to be scrapped. Subsidies that have driven the
spread of large solar farms across Britain are to be scrapped under plans to stop the panels
blighting the countryside. Energy companies that build solar farms currently qualify for generous
consumer-funded subsidies through the so-called 'Renewable Obligation' (RO) scheme, and had expected
to keep doing so until 2017. But the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced on Tuesday
that it planned to shut the RO to new large solar farms two years early, from April next year.
adds solar panels to White House, pressing his support for green energy. Citing security and other concerns,
the White House won't say how many panels now encase the top of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or how much they cost.
House Solar Project Doesn't Stand Up to Light of Day. Topping off a week of energy
and "climate change" initiatives, the Obama administration announced on May 9 that solar panels
have been installed on the roof of the White House. It's part of "a project that President Barack
Obama hopes will send a signal that renewable energy is feasible and environmentally shrewd,"
reported the Associated Press. "Solar panels at the White House, I think, are a really important
message that solar is here, we are doing it, we can do a lot more," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
said in a White House video. "I am very bullish on the future of solar energy as a key part of our
clean energy future." The administration claims that the solar panels will generate 6.3 kilowatts
of power — but only when the sun is shining, and then only when it is shining at the correct
angle. According to the Daily Caller, this "only happens between 6 and 7 hours of the
day." That means the panels will produce about 44 kilowatt hours of electricity per day.
The Editor takes it a step further...
In the Washington / Baltimore area, the retail price of electricity is 12.9 cents per
kilowatt-hour, which means the White House is saving $5.68 per day on electricity. The
White House won't say how much this project cost, claiming it's a security issue. That
is obviously a lie. The secrecy surrounding the cost of the White House system has nothing to do
with security: The total cost must be really embarrassing, because solar panels won't last
forever, and this system can never pay for itself.
Solar Stutters Once Subsidies Dry Up. As part of its energiewende, Germany guaranteed solar energy producers
long-term above-market rates for their energy contributions. It worked like gangbusters, transforming Germany into
the world's leader in solar energy, but the subsidies necessary to keep the boom going came with heavy costs.
Recently, Berlin has walked back its over-generous feed-in tariffs, as the subsidies are called. Now, as
Reuters reports, new solar installations are plummeting.
Solar panels return to the
W.H. The installation of 6.3 kilowatts' worth of solar capacity fulfills a promise the administration first
made in 2010, and complements a host of government and corporate energy initiatives that Obama will unveil in a speech at
a Wal-Mart store in Mountain View, California. Among other things, Obama will finalize several new energy efficiency
standards, get hundreds of businesses and organizations to promise to deploy almost a gigawatt of clean energy, and train
more workers for the nation's burgeoning solar workforce. The corporate commitments come from companies like Apple,
Google and Yahoo.
NM college spends $5 million on solar
array to save $200,000 in utility bills. Santa Fe Community College has just unveiled
a solar array that, it says, will save the college at least $200,000 a year on its utility bills.
But the array, funded by taxpayers in a 2010 bond election, will cost $5 million. You don't have
to be a math major at the college to figure out it would take 25 years of $200,000 cost savings per
year to reach the $5 million mark for the project to just break even.
It Isn't Just the Bundy
Ranch. The Bundy Ranch incident, which threatened to escalate into a shooting war, collapsed when
reports surfaced that the ulterior motive behind the attempted BLM takeover was an deal set up by Harry Reid
to place solar panels on the land; something from which we can expect he stood to profit handsomely, and very
likely under the table. It appears likely that the reports were correct, or else the standoff would have
escalated. Confronted with the truth, the BLM backed down, but promised that this wasn't the end.
It appears that this may be correct because various western state governments are now convening to take control
of the "federal" lands.
Jeanine Links Nevada Land Grab to Solar Energy Plant. This week, United States Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid continued trashing ordinary Americans over land grabs. And you need
to be concerned because the land grabs haven't ended. And who knows? Will your land be next?
Greens Are Reds. The
greens are, in short, against almost all forms of electric power, except those that are prohibitively
expensive. They are against oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydro, which together account
about 90 percent of our electric power production. They want wind and solar energy, which
produce about 3 percent of our electricity and aren't even green. We'd have to pave over
entire states and vast stretches of desert with solar panels to produce enough electricity to power
our $18 trillion economy.
Some Lessons from Cliven Bundy.
Removing Cliven Bundy's cattle and killing them was not about "the public good." It wasn't even really about
"protecting the turtles." Instead, it was about clearing off land so that Chinese land developers in league
with Harry Reid's son Rory could use the land as a remediation site connected with a solar power panel farm they
wanted to build further north as part of a $5 billion development deal. In other words, it was about
using public land so that the Reid family and foreign developers could make a pile of money — which makes
the Senator's complaints about Bundy "profiting off of public lands" just a bit hypocritical.
will charge homeowners who generate their own power. Under the terms of a recently passed bill,
expected to be signed by Governor Mary Fallin, homeowners who install their own private solar or wind turbine
energy resources and sell some of the juice back to energy companies will be paying a fee for the privilege.
by solar farms: 71 species of birds killed, 'entire food chains' disrupted. A new report by the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service finds that solar facilities in California are acting like "mega traps" that kill and injure birds.
As a result, "entire food chains" are being disrupted. USFWS's National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory studied
three solar farms in Southern California: Desert Sunlight, Genesis Solar and Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating
System (ISEGS). Two-hundred and thirty-three different birds from 71 species were found over the course
of a two-year study.
The Constitution Part 3: Federal "Property". Rancher Cliven Bundy's cattle made use of open land
claimed by the federal government. Neither of those things is much out of the ordinary. Western
ranchers have long pastured their animals on "open range." More, as the feds claim 84% of the land in
the state of Nevada, there aren't many options for such a rancher. But in this case, there were covetous
eyes on that pasturage: a group of Chinese investors who sought to turn it into a solar energy farm.
For them to get their way, Bundy and his cattle had to go.
companies take govt. to court. Generally, when we hear stories about the federal government ripping off the
businessman, we tend to think of tales of tax increases or burdensome regulations. But a different type of story
crosses our desk this weekend, as a solar power consortium — who already received a quarter billion in grants
and tax incentives — takes Uncle Sam to the courthouse because they feel they should have gotten millions more.
Report: That new $1.6 billion loan-guaranteed solar farm is basically a
"mega-trap" for flying wildlife. I would merely like to reiterate, once again, that mass bird deaths
via solar farm (and don't even get me started on wind farms) might very well be a equitable price to pay if this
solar farm was otherwise worth its salt. Honestly, I could easily forgive the birds deaths if it were serving
as a competitive and cost-effective alternative form of energy. The oil industry, for instance, ends up
killing some wildlife in their production processes, too, and plain ol' tall buildings bring down plenty of birds every
year — but the problem is that this Ivanpah solar farm is not serving as a competitive and
cost-effective alternative form of energy.
Robotics Startup Gets Government Grant. A Silicon Valley startup using robots to install solar panels has
secured a roughly $1 million grant from the Department of Energy. Brittmore Group, based in San Jose, Calif.,
is focused on bringing more automation to the installation of large-scale solar power plants. [...] Robots are used to
do the heavy lifting of solar panels, and can shuttle panels to their installation locations at a rate of 10 miles
A Tale of Two Cities. The U.S. metro
area with the lowest unemployment rate is a shale oil boomtown. The one with the highest unemployment rate
houses the world's largest solar plant. Energy policy experts are pointing to that dichotomy as evidence
that job creation potential in the energy industry lies primarily with fossil fuels, despite the administration's
insistence on creating a "clean energy economy." According to data released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS), Midland, Texas, has a 2.9 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in the country. [...] In
contrast to the successes of those oil and gas boomtowns, Yuma, Ariz., is facing the highest unemployment rate
of any U.S. metro area at a whopping 26.1 percent. Yuma is the site of the Agua Caliente solar
plant — the largest photovoltaic solar generation facility in the world.
Blinded by Green Energy.
Many who are blinded by green energy don't know about or simply ignore the heavy reliance on taxpayer subsidies and
massive cronyism surrounding it. But now, in addition to the fiscal impracticality of green energy, we have Bald
Eagles being killed by ugly wind turbines and pilots being dangerously disorientated by giant solar plants —
and as if the Ivanpah solar plant wasn't causing enough trouble, it's the very same plant that has been conveniently
cooking birds before they fall to the ground. Isn't it interesting how green energy (and those who amass their
wealth from it) gets a free pass from any of its negative impacts, unlike the economy-growing affordable energy options?
complain of being blinded by glare over world's largest solar plant. The largest solar-panel plant in the world,
built near the Mojave desert, has been blamed for blinding pilots flying over the California facility. The Ivanpah plant, in
San Bernardino, uses 173,500 mirrors to reflect sunlight on to boilers, but despite its green credentials it has been criticized
as a flying hazard. Two anonymous complaints were made to the Federal Aviation Administration in August last year,
complaining of a 'blinding glare' coming off the plant.
live out Hollywood eco-agenda. I stopped by the Lower Ninth Ward to see how rebuilding efforts are faring nearly
nine years after Hurricane Katrina. I visited one particular spot — the area where in August 2005 a flood
wall holding the waters of the Industrial Canal broke, setting off a calamity that continues to this day. The
destruction was total; the rebuilding is at best partial. The first thing one notices today is that solar energy
panels seem to outnumber people in this particular stretch of the Lower Ninth.
State Senate Reexamines Solar Power Incentives. The Washington Senate Energy, Environment &
Telecommunications Committee held a January 30 session to examine federal, state, and local incentives
given to the solar power industry. James M. Taylor [...] noted jobs created in the solar power industry by
government subsidies or market share carve-outs are not jobs created at all. Instead, he noted, they are merely
jobs shifted away from the conventional power sector, where the workers would be producing more-affordable electricity
that leaves more money in people's pockets to purchase goods and services across the entire economy and produce additional
Pikes, Pickets, and Scams.
Whenever the proponents of green energy argue for more money for these failed projects, they assert that the life of every
bird, bee, snail, and minnow is precious and that green energy will save what nasty fossil fuels endanger. We've already
seen how the strict rules about killing endangered birds are waived when it comes to avian pâté-making windmills,
now it appears that the huge Ivanpah Solar plant interferes with both aviation and bird life, but who's complaining?
Solar Plants May Make
Deserts Too Hot For Tortoises. We've paid plenty of attention here at KCET to the problems caused for desert tortoises when their
habitat is replaced with renewable energy facilities. But now one scientist is saying that big solar facilities in the Mojave could seal
the desert tortoise's fate in a way you might not expect. According to Barry Sinervo, an evolutionary biologist at the University of
California Santa Cruz, current solar projects in the California desert intended to slow global warming, including two approved just last week
by the Interior Department, could actually make the desert too hot for tortoises to survive past the end of the century.
The Dark Side Of
Solar Power. One of the inconvenient truths that global warming fanatics and renewable energy purists try to ignore is that wind and
solar energy are not so environmentally friendly. At least, not if you care about wildlife and land preservation. First, these energy
sources are massive land hogs. Ivanpah requires more than 5 square miles of mirrors to produce enough electricity to light 140,000 homes.
It would take roughly 3,600 Ivanpahs to supply all the country's electricity needs, with mirrors covering New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode
Island and a chunk of Massachusetts combined. Wind power is hardly much better. According to the Nature Conservancy, it takes
30 times the land for windmills to produce as much electricity as a nuclear power plant. And their turbines amount to bird Cuisinarts.
To keep wind farms spinning, the Obama administration recently issued permits letting them kill protected bald and golden eagles for 30 years,
provided they take some steps to mitigate the slaughter.
The Editor says...
If I had written that article, I would have mentioned, in very fine print, that Cuisinart® is a registered
trademark of Cuisinart.
weather affecting some solar panels' energy output, maintenance, officials said. For the countless solar panels that have cropped up on
rooftops and fields across the region, winters like this one can reduce solar output when the panels become covered with snow or clouds filter the sunlight.
Overall, PSE&G's solar production has dropped this winter as the state has been hit hard by snowstorm after snowstorm, said Todd Hranicka, director of solar
energy, although he had no specific figures. "It's one of the challenges of solar," he said. "If the sunlight is not hitting the solar panel, you're
not generating energy."
The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project. A
giant solar-power project officially opening this week in the California desert is the first of its kind, and may be among the last, in part because of growing
evidence that the technology it uses is killing birds. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is scheduled to speak Thursday [2/13/2014] at an opening ceremony
for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, which received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.
World's largest solar plant scorching birds in
Nevada desert. A stretch of the Mojave Desert has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its
type in the world, but the milestone is being met with criticism from environmental groups concerned about the effect of solar energy on desert wildlife.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal land near the California-Nevada border, formally opened
Thursday [2/13/2014] after years of regulatory and legal tangles ranging from relocating tortoises to assessing the impact on plants.
Horror at the world's largest solar farm
days after it opens. Environmentalists have hit out at a giant new solar farm in the Mojave Desert as mounting evidence reveals birds flying through
the extremely hot 'thermal flux' surrounding the towers are being scorched. After years of regulatory tangles around the impact on desert wildlife, the
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened on Thursday but environmental groups say the nearly 350,000 gigantic mirrors are generating 1000 degree
Fahrenheit temperatures which are killing and singing [sic] birds.
Germany's Energy Goals Backfire. Germany's
radical initiative to subsidize renewable electricity generation has resulted in higher carbon dioxide emissions and the most expensive electricity in
Europe, with the poor disproportionately bearing the burden.
Renewable Mandates Causing Skyrocketing Electricity Prices. In 2009 the Kansas legislature passed legislation creating the mandates,
which require Kansans to purchase 20 percent of their electricity from designated renewable sources by the year 2020. Since 2009,
U.S. electricity prices have risen merely 2.4 percent, from 9.89 cents per kilowatt hour to 10.13 cents per kilowatt hour (data
through October 2013, the most recent month for which the U.S. Energy Information Administration published data when this paper went to press).
In Kansas, by contrast, electricity prices have risen 19.4 percent since 2009, from 8.07 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.64 cents
per kilowatt hour.
Green Energy [is] Not Fit for the
Grid. Germany's wind and solar power generation came to a standstill in late 2013. More than 23,000 wind turbines
ran out of wind and most of the one million photovoltaic systems ran out of sunlight. For a whole week, coal nuclear and gas-powered
plants generated an estimated 95 percent of Germany's electricity. Britain has 3,500 wind turbines, but during a period of
extreme cold they produced just 1.8% of UK's electricity. But, gluttons for punishment, politicians intend building more.
Solar Provides 0.2% of Electric
Supply — Up From 0.02% Before Obama. Solar power, which President Barack Obama promoted in his State of the Union
Address, accounted for 0.2 percent of the U.S. electricity supply in the first nine months of 2013, according to data published by
the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration. That is up from the 0.02 percent of the total electricity supply
that solar power sources provided in 2008, the last calendar year before Obama took office.
The Solar Swindle. Solar electricity is growing,
promoted, and most importantly, heavily subsidized. The promoters of solar electricity claim that it is close to being competitive with
conventional sources of electricity. That is a fantasy. Solar electricity is expensive and impractical. If it weren't for
government subsidies, some explicit and some disguised, the solar industry would collapse.
Prices Rise Dramatically Under Ohio Renewable Mandates. Electricity prices in Ohio have risen approximately triple the national average
since Ohio enacted renewable power mandates in 2008. The sharp rise in electricity prices occurred despite promises during 2008 legislative hearings
that renewable power mandates would have little or no impact on electricity prices. In 2008 the Ohio legislature passed legislation creating
the state's renewable power mandates. Under the mandates, Ohioans must purchase 25 percent of their electricity from designated renewable sources
by the year 2025.
Execution: Solar Power Project Killing Migratory Birds. Next generation solar projects in California's Mojave Desert are
creating next generation environmental destruction, scientists report, with solar panels luring migratory birds and then killing them
with scorching heat. The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports researchers found 34 dead birds at BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah
solar power project during the month of September. Fifteen of the dead birds had their feathers melted by the solar project's
reflecting mirrors. Other carcasses showed similar signs of trauma from the project's solar panels.
Solar Panels Frying Birds Along Major
Migration Path. Some animal rights activists are wondering just how many birds green energy may unintentionally kill as more and more
birds turn up dead at solar energy facilities throughout California. A recent article by Vice author Lex Berko notes that dead birds are being
found with "singed wings" around several California solar energy facilities. It happens that many of California's solar plants are, the article
claims, in the path of "the four major north-to-south trajectories for migratory birds" called "the Pacific Flyway."
citizens pay for 'solar school' foolishness. Solar systems are being installed at hundreds of schools across the United States.
Educators use solar panels to teach students about the "miracle" of energy sourced from the sun. But a closer look at these projects shows poor
economics and a big bill for citizens. Earlier this month, the National Resources Defense Fund (NRDC) launched its "Solar Schools" campaign, an
effort to raise $54,000 to help "three to five to-be-determined schools move forward with solar rooftop projects." The NRDC wants to "help every
school in the country go solar." The campaign uses a cute video featuring kids talking about how we're "polluting the Earth with gas and coal" and
how we can save the planet with solar.
Energy Dept. Seeks Company to Turn
Sunshine Into Gasoline. Although CO2 is considered a "greenhouse gas" that contributes to climate change, if the Energy Department
(DOE) finds partners to capitalize on the research of one of its laboratories, someday cars might run on sunshine. Technically, cars would run
on the product of sunlight, CO2, and water using a "two-step solar thermochemical cycle" developed by the Albuquerque, New Mexico government lab.
Burned out: Obama's first land auction for
solar goes bust. So much for the White House dream of solar selling like hotcakes. The first federal auction run by the Bureau of Land
Management to sell chances to build solar power projects on public land went completely bust on Thursday [10/24/2013]. Nobody showed to bid. "We did
not have any bidders come to the sale, and we did not received any sealed bids on the sale," BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Lacayo said, Denver Business Journal reported.
Abound Solar cleanup could cost $3.7 million. Cleanup of the former production facility contaminated and
abandoned by bankrupt Abound Solar Inc. is estimated to cost as much as $3.7 million, according to documents obtained by the Business Report. As lawyers, regulators, bankruptcy
officials and the landlord spar over the case, the building lies in disrepair, too contaminated to lease.
CA rooftop solar will cost other customers
$1 billion per year. Wealthy rooftop solar homeowners will shift $1.1 billion per year in extra costs onto other electric ratepayers by
the year 2020, according to a new study just released by the California Public Utilities Commission. Who benefits from net-metered solar rooftop systems
is a contentious issue. Sure to add controversy is the CPUC study finding that the median household income for customers with rooftop solar systems is
$91,201 per year.
Abound Solar Cleanup Could Cost Nearly $4M.
The cleanup of bankrupt company Abound Solar Inc. will cost an estimated $3.7 million, according to Northern Colorado Business Report.
Global Warming Alarmism Wrecks European
Economy. Many Europeans complain about their high energy costs, largely due to their increasing dependence on renewables — the most
costly energy sources. But European political parties as well as a majority of people still want government to promote costly options, especially wind and
solar power. This is killing European economies. Electricity costs in Europe are more than double the cost of electricity in the U.S. High
electricity costs make it difficult for businesses to operate if they need a lot of electricity.
Obama donor gained nearly
$1b in tax credits in Solyndra bankruptcy. Most people who follow the news are aware that President Obama invested $527 million in Solyndra,
the now-bankrupt California-based solar panel manufacturing company. What is much less well-known is that the federal government was legally required to
cut its losses of tax dollars just months into the project, and that only an illegal loan modification made to benefit an Obama fundraiser led to taxpayers losing
more than $500 million. "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra," Obama declared in May 2010, but even then, the
company was burning through more than $10 million a month and headed towards bankruptcy.
How Europe's Economy Is
Being Devastated By Global Warming Orthodoxy. Many Europeans complain about their high energy costs, largely due to their increasing dependence
on renewables — the most costly energy sources. But European political parties as well as a majority of people still want government to promote
costly options, especially wind and solar power. This is killing European economies. Electricity costs in Europe are more than double the cost of
electricity in the U.S.
Time for Solar Energy and
Wind Farm Supporters to Stop Living in the Stone Age. We've done wind and solar already. They don't work too well. Solar is great if
you're sending a satellite into space outside the atmosphere. If you want to power a modern home, it doesn't work unless you raise the price of electricity
so sharply that solar suddenly becomes competitive. And that's the environmentalist tactic.
Obama's Middle-Class 'Mission Accomplished'.
Obama's idea of a "durable industry" seems to be solar companies like Solyndra and electric car suppliers like A123 Systems. Both of these "durable"
companies filed for bankruptcy after obtaining generous loans from the Obama administration. Taxpayer money that would otherwise have been invested to
create good jobs in the private sector was squandered so the president could pretend he was a green energy pioneer. In reality, he has never been a
pioneer at anything. He is an old-fashioned radical who still harbors the adolescent fantasy of a Marxist utopia.
The constantly varying output power from wind and solar facilities puts a physical strain on Plan B.
Cycling Damages Power Plants. Natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) and coal-fired
power plants are supposed to be started, ramped up to speed, and run under constant conditions until being shut down. That's why they are called base load power
plants — they provide a steady output of electricity. They are not designed to be load following plants, where the power plant ramps up and down to
follow the load, i.e., demand. If they are forced to follow the load, which is the case when wind and solar are on the grid, the sudden changes in temperature
damages parts in the boilers and turbines.
Watson warehouse blaze: solar panels hampered firefighting, officials say. More than 7,000 solar panels on the roof of a burning warehouse in
Burlington County proved too much of a hazard for firefighters, local officials said today. "We may very well not be able to save buildings that have
alternative energy," William Kramer, New Jersey's acting fire marshall, said after Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt refused to send his firefighters onto the roof
of the 300,000-square foot Dietz & Watson facility, ablaze since Sunday afternoon. Solar panels are particularly hazardous to firefighters for a number
of reasons, according to Ken Willette, a division manager with the National Fire Protection Association.
California's Smoke Signals.
Like so many other emergencies in California, this one is government-made and a warning about its green political obsessions. [...] To hit
the renewable mandate, utilities are building long transmission lines to deliver power from distant solar and wind projects to population
centers. Most large-scale solar plants in California are being built in dry, sunny desert and valley regions. Wind farms are
concentrated in the mountains. Both are fire-prone.
White House installing solar panels on first family
residence. President Obama in 2009 directed federal agencies to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy, and in late 2010 pledged to put
solar panels on the White House.
Climate Realism and Socialist Realism.
Not only does solar power, at the plant gate, cost 4-8 times as much as conventional power, but it is erratic and seasonal to say nothing of not
working at night. [...] The Department of Energy is spinning a fantasy. Most of the cost of solar power is in pedestrian things like steel and
concrete. Even if the cost of photovoltaic panels were zero, solar would not be remotely competitive. If complete solar plants cost zero,
it would still not be practicable due to the cost of backup plants, electricity storage and long power lines.
Billions Burned on Obama's Green Energy.
Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September 2011. It was just the bellwether; the first of many to come. A year later Christine Lakatos
and I profiled nearly 20 green-energy stimulus-funded companies that had gone bankrupt. The next week, we highlighted the other bookend:
"companies/projects that received funding from various loan guarantee programs (LGP), grants, and tax incentives. These are projects that are
still functioning, but are facing difficulties." One of those troubled companies was A123 Systems. One week after our report, A123 filed
for bankruptcy. Nearly two months later, A123 was purchased by a large Chinese auto parts maker that has renamed the lithium-ion battery company
Fleming Amendment Ends Another Taxpayer Bailout.
The Obama 2009 stimulus bill cost taxpayers about $830 billion, and much of it was wasted on growing government and administration giveaways,
like a $3.25 billion loan program that put taxpayers on the hook for failed green energy projects. A company could take a government
loan and walk away from a project without paying taxpayers back, even if the company remained in business.
Louisiana Law Will Phase out Solar
Tax Credit. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed legislation phasing out the state's tax credit for solar energy. The credit
will expire at the end of 2017. [...] The tax credit amounts to 50 percent of the first $25,000 of the cost of each system, and it may be applied
to personal, corporate, or franchise taxes.
Minnesota Implements Solar
Power Mandate. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the levelized costs for generating electricity from
solar power will be more than double the costs for generating electricity from natural gas for at least the next several decades. For
every increment of solar power added to the Minnesota electricity mix, customers will see that portion of their electric bill more than double.
Spanish downturn a disaster for green
energy. "We have sued in the Spanish courts," said Miguel Angel Martinez-Aroca, president of Anpier, which groups Spanish solar
energy producers. The sector is "barely surviving after so many cuts", he said. His association has launched a campaign to highlight
the unknown victims of the new austerity regime: people who put their savings into solar panels counting on the subsidies to make them
profitable and, for example, to help finance their retirement.
The 'Great Renewables Scam' unravels.
Energy insiders have long known that the notion of 'renewable energy' is a romantic proposition — and an economic bust. But it is
amazing what the lure of guaranteed 'few strings attached' government subsidies can achieve. Even the Big Oil companies bought into the
renewables revolution, albeit mostly for PR reasons. Like Shell, however, many quickly abandoned their fledgling renewable arms.
Post-2008, they knew, the subsidy regimes could not last. Neither was the public buying into the new PR message.
Europe's Renewables Hype
Implodes As German Solar Goes Belly Up. Energy insiders have long known that the notion of viable 'renewable energy' was always
a romantic proposition — and an economic bust. But it is amazing what the lure of guaranteed 'few strings' attached government
subsidies can achieve. [...] Now it was just a question of time before Europe's world leading pioneers of solar and wind power, Germany and the
UK, decided they had had enough of the self-inflicted economic pain. And all the signs are, as Germany's solar sector just went belly
up and the UK is made aware of how much every wind job actually costs, that the slow implosion of the renewables revolution is under way.
SolarCity Sues Federal Government for More
Subsidies. The Obama administration's efforts to promote renewable energy took an unexpected turn in May when it was revealed a major recipient of
Washington's largesse had turned on the hand that had been feeding it and sued the federal government, claiming it had not received all the money to which it
was entitled. In February, San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity quietly brought suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, saying the U.S. Treasury Department
had retroactively changed the rules for a program that oversees taxpayer-funded grants to solar installation companies.
Europe Wants "Backsies"
on Green Energy Policies. Wind and solar power come at a premium; setting quotas for energy produced from these sources is
going to drive prices up. This is what happens when you try and prop up technologies not ready to compete on their own merits.
You become less competitive with regions that haven't handicapped themselves.
Company dumps big
Laughlin solar project, says market won't support it. A Chinese-backed company is pulling the plug on a multibillion-dollar
solar project near Laughlin after it was unable to find customers for the power that would have been generated there, a Clark County
spokesman said Friday [6/14/2013].
Solar price rise
to end power divide. Australia's one million rooftop solar households could be forced to pay new fixed charges to help recover
billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and make electricity prices fairer for all consumers.
Cost of German Solar
Is Four Times Finnish Nuclear. German solar panels installed between 2000 and 2011 will cumulatively supply about 400 terawatt-hours
(TWh) to the grid by 2031. Between 2000 and 2031 Germany's electricity ratepayers will pay about $130 billion for the solar PV generation from
these panels installed between 2000 and 2011 in the form of 20-year feed-in tariff contracts, at an average cost of 32 cents a kWh. Moreover,
solar panels do not last as long as nuclear reactors and also give reduced output as they age. After three decades a single nuclear plant with the
same output of Olkiluoto would generate about as much electricity as all of the German panels installed in the last decade.
fall for the solar panel flannel!. This solar panel installation will pay for itself — when the owner is
154 years old.
Lays Off Oregon Workers, Bankruptcy May Follow. Taxpayer-subsidized SolarWorld laid off 40 workers at its Hillsboro, Oregon
plant earlier this year, marking nearly 300 workers laid off company-wide after state officials invited the company to apply for
up to $100 million in subsidies and the company accepted at least $27 million in subsidies.
Bringing Blackouts Back to California? The epidemic of power outages and "rolling blackouts" which nearly shut down California in
the early 2000s may be returning. Back then, the culprits were unscrupulous energy providers like Enron and a poorly-thought out process of
deregulation. This time, renewable energy would be to blame, as the state has pushed to increase the use of solar and wind energy without
ensuring that there is enough traditional power generation to keep the grid stable on cloudy, windless days.
The Solar Panel Domino Effect. Solar projects that have
received help from the federal government could be affected by the bankruptcy of a mirror manufacturer that benefited from federal
aid. [...] Flabeg is reported to have received millions of dollars in financial assistance from federal and sate governments.
Pennsylvania helped the mirror manufacturer build its plant near Pittsburgh with $9 million in grants and loans. The Obama
administration awarded Flabeg $10.2 million in tax credits, according to the [Pittsburgh] Post-Gazette.
Ohio Utilities Panel Derails Expensive Solar
Project. Ohio state officials struck a severe blow to a plan to construct the largest solar-panel array east of the Rockies when the
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio found utility American Electric Power "did not prove that the project is needed." Developers proposed
constructing the 49.9 megawatt Turning Point Solar project on 500 acres of land near Zanesville in southeastern Ohio. American
Electric Power (AEP) joined forces with Agile Energy in plans to deploy 225,000 solar panels on the site. Developers estimated the project
would cost $250 million.
U.S. and China
waste billions on solar panel race. What happens when China and the United States clash in a subsidy-fueled solar panel arms
race? The world gets a lot more solar panels than anyone wants to buy, manufacturers go bankrupt, and taxpayers get stuck with the
tab. Will the recent bankruptcy of subsidized Chinese solar giant Suntech Power cause the Obama administration to tone down its
argument that we need to match China's solar policy?
energy company in Findlay, going bust. A Findlay-based solar power firm that was awarded nearly $20 million in state
and federal tax breaks and grants ceased production last week and cannot afford to pay $197,000 that terminated employees say is owed in
severance packages. [...] Over the past several years, the solar industry has seen several high-profile bankruptcy cases.
Here's the Cold Hard Truth About Solar
Energy. This winter has provided a good example of how things can go wrong. Solar has a major drawback in that all
panels shut off at the same time. That requires massive reliance on other sources of energy. Despite its avowed decision to
relinquish nuclear power, Germany must now import nuclear-generated power from neighboring countries and resort to coal, despite
an earlier move to the contrary, in the face of the highest energy costs in Europe. The government is even opening taboo fuel oil
generators to make up the power slack.
Germany Spends $110 Billion to Delay Global Warming by 37 Hours. Bjorn Lomborg claimed on John Stossel's television show last
night that money isn't being spent well to combat "global warming": "The Germans are spending about $110 billion on subsidies
for these solar panels," said Lomborg. "The net effect of all those investments will be to postpone global warming by 37 hours
by the end of the century."
The Dream of a World Without Oil.
[Mark Z.] Jacobsen's article provides a thorough assessment of the future of WWS [wind, water and solar]. Unfortunately, rather than
buttress his argument, his figures undermine the conclusion that we don't need fossil fuels.
Bosch abandons solar energy.
In a rare reversal of strategy from the manufacturing conglomerate, Bosch said on Friday [3/22/2013] it would end its photovoltaics, or
solar panel production early next year and put parts of the business up for sale. Unlisted Bosch, one of the world's largest maker
of car parts, has lost 2.4 billion euros (2 billion pounds) since it created the solar energy unit in 2008 after it bought
Aleo Solar and Ersol.
Bosch to abandon solar energy business.
German engineering company Bosch said Friday that it is abandoning its solar energy business, because there is no way to make it
economically viable amid overcapacity and huge price pressure in the industry.
World's Largest Solar Company Files for Bankruptcy.
The world's largest solar panel maker, China's Suntech Power, put its Wuxi subsidiary into bankruptcy following poor sales and sanctions
on the company, reports CNN Money.
Energy Has A Brownout Problem. How do you keep the power on when the wind won't blow and the sun won't shine?
As California has discovered, it's a problem that's neither easy nor cheap to solve in the brave new world of renewables.
American Jobs, Chinese Profits. The U.S. Export-Import
Bank (Ex-Im) is financing the purchase of solar panels from a manufacturer now owned by the Chinese that had previously attracted
investments from prominent Democrats, the bank announced Wednesday [3/27/2013]. The deal comes amid criticism of the bank's support
of foreign competition to American businesses and accusations of cronyism. Ex-Im approved a loan to an Indian developer who wants
to buy solar panels from MiaSolé, a California-based solar panel manufacturer.
Are global wind power resource estimates
overstated? Wind turbines extract kinetic energy from the mean flow and produce a plume of low velocity air downstream.
At the local scale it is well understood that wind turbines cannot be spaced too closely together or the power extracted per turbine will
decrease driving up the amortized cost of electricity. At the scale of typical commercial wind farms, which rarely have more than a
few rows of turbines along the prevailing wind direction, turbines are typically spaced 5-10 rotor diameters apart,
equivalent to a density of 2-10 MW of installed wind turbine capacity per square kilometer, or a peak power output of
2-10 W [per square meter] of land surface area.
The dirty side of clean solar energy:
While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous
waste problem. Fueled partly by billions in government incentives, the industry is creating millions of solar panels each year and,
in the process, millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water. To dispose of the material, the companies must
transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles away.
I hope you have a gas-powered generator as a backup.
Germany Weathers Darkest Winter in 43 Years. The days may be getting longer, but there's still not a hint of springtime
sunshine in Germany. Weather data shows that this winter has been the gloomiest in 43 years. If the sun doesn't start
shining soon, it will be the darkest winter on record.
Renewable Energy Investment Goes Up in Smoke.
The Spanish Parliament approved a law on Thursday [2/14/2013] that cuts subsidies for alternative energy technologies, backtracking on
its push for green power. That measure, along with other recent laws including a tax on power generation that hit green energy
investments especially hard, will virtually wipe out profits for photovoltaic, solar thermal and wind plants, sector lobbyists say.
California is "greening" itself toward a third world
electrical grid. Alas, California's ecotwits have forced most of the state's fossil fueled power plants into
mothballs. The ones that are still limping along will likely be shuttered by 2020 thanks to onerous and prohibitively
expensive upgrades required under the Clean Air Act. So what will happen on cloudy, windless days?
Bankrupt Abound Solar to Bury
Unused Solar Panels in Cement. Colorado-based Abound Solar has been ordered to remove and bury in cement thousands of
leftover solar panels "deemed unsellable" by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The company must
also clean up other hazardous waste at a number of facilities statewide, according to the Northern Colorado Business Report (NCBR).
The cleanup is expected to cost at least $2.2 million.
Electricity prices for German households have increased 61% since 2000 — renewables blamed. Real German electricity prices for households
have increased 61% since 2000. One quarter of household costs now stems directly from renewable energy. Also, the increase is *not* because of
increasing production costs (which have actually slightly declined since 1978). The increase is due to dramatically increasing taxes, most noticeably
from the Renewable Energy Act (EEG). In 2013 the EEG will increase 50% to 6.28 euro-cent (5.28 cents plus 19% VAT).
Environmentalists suing the
Interior Department over solar zones. The Interior Department identified 'solar zones' across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New
Mexico and Utah, and prioritized designing a program to fast-track solar permits for their designated areas. The entire purpose of this ostentatious
bureaucratic exercise, of course, is to help the Obama administration beef up and showcase their super-duper green, environmentalist credentials... except
that a lot of well-organized environmentalists are actually pretty ticked off about the whole thing.
Blow To Germany's Solar Industry. Over the last two years, almost every single one of Germany's solar module and equipment manufacturers, most
heavily subsidised by taxpayers, has closed in a wave of insolvencies not seen since East German industry collapsed in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Solar industry grapples with hazardous
wastes. While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous
Barack H. Obama is intentionally strangling the American economy.
Solar development absorbing Calif. farmland.
There's a land rush of sorts going on across the nation's most productive farming region, but these buyers don't want to grow crops.
Mafia's new business
enterprise: renewable energy. Willie Sutton, a notorious thief from the 1930's, was once asked why he robbed banks.
"Because that's where the money is," he replied. So where's the money today? Government subsidies for renewable
energy — massive subsidies with little oversight. In Europe, this means easy pickings for organized crime. And the
Sicilian mafia is cleaning up.
Obama's dirty clean-energy deals.
Three of the country's biggest residential solar-panel installers — SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity — have been subpoenaed by
Treasury's Office of Inspector General for their financial records to determine if they had inflated the market value of their costs when they applied
for federal reimbursement. The firms have reportedly received more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits. Officials in
two of them, SolarCity and SunRun, have been among some of Mr. Obama's most generous campaign donors.
Harvard Needs Remedial Energy Math.
Wind and solar power cannot possibly meet the world's growing need for more electricity.
Solar Subsidy: Californians to be charged $1.3 billion for not using solar panels. Regulations
subsidizing the use of solar panels in California will cost customers who don't have them $1.3 billion annually, according a report in the San Francisco
Chronicle. California utility companies claim that rates will have to be raised on traditional customers to make up the shortfall.
Solar power adds to nonusers' costs.
Booming rooftop solar installations in California are bringing an unwelcome surprise to the homes and businesses that don't have the devices: an
extra $1.3 billion added to their annual bills, more than half of that for Pacific Gas & Electric customers.
firms probed for possible 'misrepresentations' in getting public money. Three of the country's most prolific installers of residential
solar panels are under federal investigation to determine if they inflated the cost of their work to increase the payments they would receive from the
government, according to government and industry officials familiar with the probe. SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity have received subpoenas from
the Treasury Department's office of inspector general for financial records to justify more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits
the firms tapped for performing work.
Navy builds solar power farm near Norfolk base.
The solar farm contains more than 8,600 panels, each bolted onto steel stilts in a marshy field called Monkey Bottom, just outside the fenceline of
Norfolk Naval Station. Together, they can generate up to 2.1 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 200 homes,
said Michelle Perry, project manager for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. That's only about 2 percent of the electricity
required to run the Norfolk Navy base [...] The project cost $21 million and was part of President Barack Obama's stimulus package.
The Editor says...
News reports of this sort almost always say that a project can generate "up to" a certain amount of power, but that figure is at the peak
of a daily cycle, on a clear day, and only if the panels are free of snow and dirt. Reporters never seem to mention that solar panels
experience lengthy power failures — every night!
how's your green energy stock doing? RENIXX® World, the Renewable Energy Industrial Index of the world's top green energy
companies, hit an all-time low below 146 on November 21, down more than 90 percent from the December 2007 peak. The RENIXX
index was established in 2006. It's composed of the world's 30 largest renewable energy companies with more than 50 percent of
revenues coming from wind, solar, biofuel, or geothermal energy, or the hydropower or fuel cell sector.
$14 Billion in
Stimulus Spending Generates Just 1.2 Percent of Electricity. Despite more than $14 billion in cash payments to solar, wind,
and other renewable energy project developers since 2009, just 48 terawatt hours of additional annual electricity generation were expected
to be added through funds authorized by the stimulus, according to documents released by the Department of Treasury. The more than 45,000
projects brought online through 2012 would represent less than 1.2 percent of overall electricity generation, according to figures
provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for 2011.
Solar power plants burden the counties that host them.
An economic consultant hired by [Inyo] county found that property tax revenue would be a fraction of the customary amount because portions of the plant qualifiy [sic]
for a solar tax exclusion. Fewer than 10 local workers would land permanent positions — and just 5% of the construction jobs would be filled by
county residents. And construction workers are likely to spend their money across the nearby state line, in Nevada.
SolarWorld lays off up to
37 in Hillsboro, saying tariffs have yet to provide relief. SolarWorld will lay off as many as 37 workers from its
Hillsboro plant, company officials confirmed Wednesday [11/14/2012]. The factory, which makes solar cells and panels, is suffering
from a market downturn that SolarWorld blames primarily on unfair competition from China.
Solar power, too, was gone with
Sandy's wind. The thousands of solar-powered New Jersey homeowners have spent the last week at the mercy of the power grid, just
like everyone else. "I've been asked that all week long," says Jeff Lega, whose home in Brick is covered in rooftop solar panels. "'Why
don't you have power?'" Understanding the answer requires an understanding of how residential solar panels function.
Fundraiser Is Winner in Solyndra Bankruptcy Ruling. A major fundraiser for President Obama's reelection campaign
appears to be the biggest winner from a ruling by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, last week in favor of an
exit plan for Solyndra LLC, the failed manufacturer of solar panels and the recipient of a $535 million government-guaranteed
loan under the President Obama's economic stimulus plan, passed by Congress in 2009. Losers include the American taxpayers [...]
Six Green Lies Threatening to Starve You.
Solar and wind are "clean" we're told, because they do not produce offensive byproducts like carbon dioxide. However, in order to be
considered a true alternative, a power generation method must be capable of meeting the needs served by the method it is replacing.
You would not replace a cold family's wood-burning stove with a sun-warmed rock just to reduce their smoke emissions. Yet that is a
model of the methodology behind the subsidization of highly inefficient green energy technologies and the arbitrary restriction of methods
known to work.
Wind and solar: the ethical investments to avoid.
Renewable energy has turned sour for ethical investors, with wind and solar among the worst-performing stocks.
Abound Solar Under Investigation for Securities Fraud.
Abound Solar is now under investigation in two separate criminal cases, months after the Department of Energy loan recipient filed for bankruptcy.
Local officials are investigating whether Abound management committed securities fraud by failing to notify investors about engineering defects in the
solar panels the company produced. Some of the panels, according to Fox News, were not producing the energy they were designed to, in addition to
other product flaws.
solar firm under fire after bankruptcy, questions over defective panels. Another solar company that received taxpayer support
before going bankrupt is facing tough questions from Congress and a criminal investigation — following in the footsteps of
solar-panel firm Solyndra. The company facing scrutiny is Abound Solar, based in Longmont, Colo. Colorado's Weld County has
launched a securities fraud investigation following allegations that Abound may have misled investors and a bank before securing funds.
White House involvement in loan to bankrupt Abound Solar. Just one day after President Barack Obama went on television
saying that politics had nothing to do with the now bankrupt Abound Solar receiving a taxpayer-backed loan guarantee from the Energy
Department, emails have surfaced that appear to contradict these claims.
German engineering giant pulls out of solar.
German engineering giant Siemens said on Monday [10/22/2012] it plans to pull out of solar energy where business expectations have not been met
and is currently negotiating to sell its activities in this area.
Report: Taxpayer loss
due to Solyndra may be as high as $849 million. The cost to taxpayers for the failure of solar panel company Solyndra may be much higher
than the $535 million dollar federal loan guarantee the company received. After the company went bankrupt in last August, 2011, the Energy
Department, which had given the original loan, okayed an unprecedented deal to attract more private investment to Solyndra. One result of this
deal is that it has allowed more than $350 million in tax write-offs to pass to those private creditors, one of which is owned by a major donor
to President Obama.
Administration Sets Aside Public Land Bigger Than Rocky Mountain National Park for Solar Development. The
Obama administration announced last week that it is setting aside 285,000 acres of public lands to be used for
"commercial-scale solar development" — a total acreage amount that surpasses Rocky Mountain National Park,
with 265,461 acres owned by the federal government.
The Solyndra Memorial Tax Break. Perhaps you thought
the Solyndra scandal amounted to a $535 million government loan that will never be repaid. No such luck. In the latest twist, Solyndra's
investors could be rewarded for their failure, thanks to a tax benefit the Administration handed out in a bid to evade political accountability.
Green stimulus profiteer comes under
IRS scrutiny. Vice President Biden snickered during last week's debate at the suggestion there was waste, inefficiency or cronyism in the
2009 stimulus bill. If he can stop cackling for long enough, Biden, the self-proclaimed "stimulus sheriff" should sit down with the IRS officials
and the federal inspector general who are investigating a solar company owned by leading Obama donor and subsidy recipient Elon Musk.
Interior to fast-track solar
projects on public lands. The Obama administration finalized a program Friday to fast-track solar energy projects on public lands in
six Western states. The Interior Department set aside about 285,000 acres for commercial-scale solar in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada,
New Mexico and Utah. The federal government will offer incentives for development, help facilitate access to existing or planned electric
infrastructure and ease the permitting process in the 17 zones.
Do We Need Subsidies for Solar and Wind Power?
At a time of intense debate over the federal budget, government subsidies for wind and solar power are more contentious than ever.
'tax avoidance' at heart of Solyndra bankruptcy plan. The Internal Revenue Service urged a bankruptcy judge
to reject solar panel maker Solyndra LLC's bankruptcy plan Wednesday, saying it amounts to little more than an avenue for
owners of an empty corporate shell to avoid paying taxes. "The undeniable conclusion is that tax benefits drive this
plan," attorneys for the IRS wrote in a bankruptcy pleading. Arguing that the bankruptcy court ought not confirm a
plan "whose principal purpose is tax avoidance," attorneys said in filings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware that the
tax breaks would be worth more money than funds set aside for creditors.
the sequel? Bankrupt solar firm, DOE facing scrutiny over panel problems. House Republicans are pressing the Obama
administration for more information about a solar-panel company that received a $400 million loan guarantee, then went bankrupt
and is now the focus of a criminal investigation. The committee pursuing documents on Colorado-based Abound Solar is the same
that investigated the half-billion taxpayer loan to Solyndra, whose bankruptcy rocked the Obama administration. Two more
Department of Energy-backed companies have since filed for bankruptcy, with Abound Solar being the latest.
Biden, Dems enlisted by energy company to
win billion-dollar loan deal, emails show. The White House contends that all energy loan guarantees, including the more than $500 million
given to now-bankrupt solar firm Solyndra, are awarded solely on the merits of the project, with no political influence from President Obama, Vice
President Joseph R. Biden or other administration officials. But a series of emails from solar power giant BrightSource Energy Inc. show
how the company applied political pressure and used behind-the-scenes cajoling to win a $1.6 billion loan guarantee in April 2011.
documents suggest government-subsidized Abound Solar was selling faulty product. Abound Solar was given a $400 million loan guarantee
by the Energy Department, and drew on about $70 million dollars of the guarantee before DOE cut them off in September 2011 — the
same month the Solyndra scandal began. [...] Internal documentation and testimony from sources within Abound show that the company was selling a
faulty, underperforming product, and may have mislead lenders at one point in order to keep itself afloat.
Bankrupt green loan loser Abound
Solar now under investigation in Colorado. If it's a day that ends in "y," it's a day of trouble for an Obama green loan recipient
somewhere in America. Like Mitt Romney said during the debate last week, the crony-in-chief doesn't just pick winners and losers, he picks the
Navy's green plan for Pearl Harbor runway
draws fire. History buffs say the famous runway at Pearl Harbor's Ford Island is under attack once again — this time from the U.S. Navy
itself, which may cover it with solar panels. The unused runway in the center of the military base at Pearl Harbor is a good location for the solar
project and is "critically important to achieving renewable energy mandates," says Navy spokeswoman Agnes Tauyan. But American history aficionados
say the site should be preserved as sacred ground.
SoloPower: Another Solyndra in Waiting?
The Department of Energy's loan guarantee program has already had two significant failures in the solar industry, the best known being Solyndra.
Now a third company, San Jose's SoloPower, seems to be following in Solyndra's footsteps and threatening to leave taxpayers on the hook for millions more.
Solar Eclipsed? Germany's solar industry has led the way in
Europe. Until recently the country was the world leader in manufacturing solar cells. Half of the world's total solar power generating
capacity is installed in Germany. But, according to Klaus Dieter Maubach, Technology Chairman at the country's power major EON, Germany's solar
industry is in a death spiral.
Where Are the Solar Panels Mr.
President? On June 20, 1979 President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels, used to heat water, on the White House roof.
In 1986 under the Reagan administration those panels were taken down for a routine roof resurfacing and never returned. However, in 2010, President
Obama announced he was bringing solar panels back to the White House roof, which the administration said were slated for installation by the spring
solar panels placed on government building. Government officials blame unfair competition from China for the collapse
of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, but such concerns didn't stop the federal government from breaking stimulus program rules to
use Chinese solar panels atop a federal building housing the offices of a senator, congressman and several agencies. Even the
contractor questioned whether Chinese-made panels could be used under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the stimulus program
that mandated use of U.S.-made products.
Germany's new "renewable" energy
policy. It is amazing how biased the international media is when it comes to reporting on energy generation,
specifically electricity. In mid-August, Germany opened a new 2200MW coal-fired power station near Cologne, and
virtually not a word has been said about it. This dearth of reporting is even more surprising when one considers
that Germany has said building new coal plants is necessary because electricity produced by wind and solar has turned
out to be unaffordably expensive and unreliable.
Taking Green Seriously.
The [Ontario] Auditor-General found that billions of dollars were committed to renewable energy without fully evaluating the impact, trade-offs,
or alternatives through a comprehensive business-case analysis. [...] A seven billion dollar agreement was entered into with a Korean
consortium, led by Samsung, that was sole-sourced and was neither subject to competitive tender nor the subject of a comprehensive and
detailed economic analysis or business-case.
House passes 'No More Solyndras Act'.
On Friday the House of Representatives voted 245-161 to pass a bill that would phase out the Department of Energy loan guarantee program
that allowed the now bankrupt solar company Solyndra to get a $535 million taxpayer funded loan guarantee. Twenty-two
Democrats voted for the bill, and only four Republicans voted against it. "Solyndra is the most visible but far from the only
example of Title 17 failures. In fact, it is hard to point to a single loan guarantee success story under this program," House
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton said on the House floor Friday morning [9/14/2012] before the passage of the bill.
Taxpayer fights Solyndra
for $535 million. Many Americans were upset when solar-panel maker Solyndra filed for bankruptcy last September
owing taxpayers more than $500 million, but retiree Robert Grady Jr. was different. The more he read about the failed
company, the more irritated he became. Finally, weeks after the bankruptcy case began, Mr. Grady did something he'd never
done before. He filed a claim in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. It turned out to be the biggest single claim in the
case — $535 million — but it wasn't on behalf of himself. Rather, Mr. Grady, 57, made the claim on
behalf of U.S. taxpayers because he said he didn't trust Department of Energy lawyers to look out for taxpayers' interests.
Still More Corrupt Green Energy Boondogglery. The $535 million of
our money Obama laundered through the Solyndra debacle to pay off donor George Kaiser is only the tip of the iceberg. Another
example of how Hopey Change (formerly known as Chicago-style corruption) is applied to energy policy. [...] Why is Obama running for
reelection instead of cooling his heels in an orange jumpsuit for the looting spree he calls an energy policy? Because the
"mainstream" media will see to it that stories like this are swept under the rug, and Republicans are afraid to make an issue
Solyndra Stonewall Fails in Court. A federal judge has rejected a bid by the Obama administration to reject part of a
lawsuit seeking documents about more than $500 million in federal loans to the failed Solyndra solar panel firm. In an
order issued Friday [8/31/2012], U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras declined to remove the Department of Energy as a
defendant in the case brought by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Red Carpet for Solyndra
Figure at Democratic Convention. The Obama campaign rolled out the red carpet this week for a former top Energy Department
official who was at the center of the ill-fated government loan to Solyndra, a California solar panel firm that wound up in bankruptcy.
Steven J. Spinner joined other top fundraisers for a VIP tour of the Democratic National Convention floor in Charlotte Monday evening,
posing and waving for a photographer while standing behind the podium. When he saw ABC News cameras, however, he ran for the exit.
Report: Solyndra backers could get more tax
breaks. Bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra said Friday [9/7/2012] it could get $23 million in additional tax breaks, a development that
angered Republicans who have said the firm got a federal loan guarantee as a political favor. Reuters reported that a bankruptcy judge said on Friday
that Solyndra's creditors could vote on the bankruptcy plan with the additional tax breaks. A final decision would come Oct. 17 — just
weeks before the Nov. 6 election. Solyndra already had disclosed it could be eligible for $341 million-worth of tax breaks.
689 Reasons to Defeat Barack
Obama. [For example,]
457. "Cap and trade."
458. "Electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."
459. The war on coal.
470. Ener1 received a $118.5 million grant from the Department of Energy. It went bankrupt in January.
471. BrightSource received $1.6 billion in guarantees and turned it into a $177 million loss.
472. Beacon Power received $43 million in loan guarantees. It's now bankrupt.
473. ECOtality received $126.2 million of taxpayers' money. It posted $45 million in losses and will never be profitable.
474. Abound Solar received $400 million in loan guarantees to build photovoltaic-panel factories. The company has filed for
bankruptcy and laid off all 305 of its employees.
Airport controllers complain of solar panels' glare.
About 25 percent of a solar-panel array at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport has been temporarily shut down after air-traffic
controllers started complaining about glare, an airport official said. Officials recently draped tarps over the troublesome panels,
which are part of the 2,200-panel solar field installed on top of the airport parking garage this year. It went online early this
month. The airport, the Federal Aviation Administration, contractors and a consultant are studying the glare problem, said Brian
O'Neill, deputy airport manager.
Solyndra investors could reap tax
windfall. Two investment companies stand to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks under a bankruptcy exit
plan for failed solar company Solyndra, government lawyers say. Nearly a year to the day after the solar company filed for bankruptcy
owing taxpayers more than $500 million, Solyndra is poised to restructure under a deal that government lawyers fear could provide a tax
windfall to the investors.
Solyndra headquarters could
sell at fraction of original price. Taxpayers are about to take it on the chin again when it comes to solar-panel firm Solyndra,
as the now-defunct company looks to sell off its glimmering headquarters for a fraction of the original price. Bankruptcy court documents
filed earlier this week show that Seagate Technology — which makes hard drives and other storage products — is offering to buy the
Fremont, Calif., building for $90.3 million. The original building cost was cited in earlier documents as roughly $300 million.
Obama uses green pork to push the swing states:
Nuclear's Dilemma: Few Jobs, Just Energy.
Last week, Environmental Entrepreneurs, a trade group, announced that wind and solar projects around the country had created 34,409 new jobs
around the country in the second quarter of 2012, with high concentrations in California, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and Colorado. GOP
presidential candidate Mitt Romney immediately countered this by visiting Ohio's coal country, promising to protect the industry from the
Obama Administration' "War on Coal."
Where Our $500 Million Went: Solyndra Glass
Tubes Used as Modern Art. One of the great mysteries of the 2011 Solyndra bankruptcy was: What happened to all that money? After the
United States government "loaned" Solyndra $535 million, the money quickly vanished; the bankruptcy court later found that the company had essentially no
cash on hand. They had spent it all on equipment and inventory. Surely, then, the inventory could be sold and liquidated, to recover some of the
ill-spent cash — right? Well, not really.
Obama's Federal Land Grab. Whereas most of the pressure from
environmental groups has been in preventing the development of Western lands, now these seemingly endless tracts are being regarded as a fertile
field of dreams for environmentalists to carry on their experiments with wind and solar energy. [...] All these projects will suffer the intermittency
problems that plague wind and solar generation everywhere. This intermittency will create surges and voltage drops that destabilize a grid.
Some solar plants are now developing thermal storage that can carry them through a few hours of the night, but only this reduces their overall capacity
by nearly one-half, so that instead of requiring 10 square miles of highly polished mirrors to generate 500 megawatts — the size
of an average coal plant — it will take twenty. These projects will also require hundreds of miles of transmission lines to bring them
to population centers. And the electricity they produce will be ridiculously expensive.
"Green Energy" Scandals Widen as Lawmakers Probe Deeper. The Obama administration and its Energy Department are under fire over
controversial "green energy" schemes yet again, with Republican lawmakers alleging on August 15 that senior officials may have violated
federal law by attempting to conceal records using private e-mail accounts. Last week, the House Oversight Committee also requested more
information from President Obama about his personal involvement in funneling billions of taxpayer dollars to politically connected companies such
as Solyndra that later failed.
There is no California. [Scroll down] As gasoline prices
soar, California chooses not to develop millions of barrels of untapped oil and even more natural gas off its shores and beneath its interior.
Home to bankrupt green companies like Solyndra, California has mandated that a third of all the energy provided by state utilities soon must come from
renewable energy sources — largely wind and solar, which presently provide about 11 percent of its electricity and almost none of its
Barack Obama — A Transparent Fraud.
For example, the $574 million dollar investment in the failed, solar panel company, Solyndra, is just the tip of the iceberg. The White House has not
revealed the true amount of the wasted dollars from failed "green" jobs programs, nor revealed the true extent of its involvement in these failures. This
past week, emails revealed that Obama had direct knowledge of the problems with Solyndra, yet continued to tout the success of "green" enterprises and "green"
Dirty Harry's Clean Energy Cronyism. Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid (D., Nev.) has been working to secure sweetheart deals for Chinese green energy firms, according to reports. Reid, who last week hosted the
fifth annual National Clean Energy Summit at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, has been "pulling strings behind the scenes" for months on
behalf of ENN Mojave Energy, a Nevada subsidiary of the Chinese-owned ENN Group.
House Wants Info on Obama's
Involvement in Green Energy Subsidies. New government e-mails show stark division among top White House and Obama
administration officials regarding federal subsidies to green energy companies, prompting Congress to seek more information about
what President Barack Obama knew and how involved he was regarding the largely failed strategy of doling out money to wind, solar
and other alternative energy companies.
Subsidy programs still a problem. The "No More Solyndras Act,"
approved last week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would wind down the Energy Department's loan guarantee program for alternative-energy
efforts, require the Energy Department to consult the Treasury Department before restructuring loans, and would also require greater transparency on
the part of the government.
Hundreds of Millions in Taxpayer Losses Are
Just 'Minor Blips'. President Obama's disgracefully corrupt policies on green energy alone should be enough to ensure his defeat in
November — even apart from his war on reliable energy sources, which is unspeakably outrageous. [...] What's more is that the White House's hands were
all over this one; there are no six degrees of separation here, not even one degree. White House chief of staff Bill Daley was explicitly made aware of
Solyndra's grave financial problems before the restructuring decision. At least a dozen more Solyndra-like Obama brainchildren have gone bankrupt,
swallowing taxpayer dollars in their gluttonous paths to failure.
The 10 Most Revealing Solyndra Emails.
[#1] In March of 2011, DOE ignored the advice of White House budget officials and restructured Solyndra's federally-backed loan, giving private
investors priority in the repayment of their investments. DOE insisted that this would produce the greatest returns for taxpayers, but OMB officials,
in a series of emails earlier that year, pondered ways to demonstrate to DOE that restructuring the loan would be "a bad idea." OMB analyst
Kelly Coylar crunched the numbers, and found that DOE would lose about $141 million if it allowed Solyndra to go bankrupt and liquidated its
assets. A restructuring agreement, on the other hand, could more than double taxpayer losses, she wrote.
Solyndra takes the gold for crony capitalism.
If there is any justice in this world, the name Solyndra will live on through the years as the exemplar of crony capitalism gone wrong in America, even
after President Obama is safely away from the White House. Ever since the solar manufacturing firm went bankrupt, sinking last year with Obama's
$527 million investment aboard, it has been generally acknowledged as a policy and public relations disaster. But now that the House Energy and
Commerce Committee has released thousands of emails between Obama administration officials and key Solyndra players, the enormity of this disaster is
Solyndra email: 'POTUS involvement was Rahm's
idea'. Chicago mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel repeatedly claimed he had no memory of the Obama
administration's controversial $535 million loan to failed solar company Solyndra, but White House emails released Thursday [8/2/2012]
say it was Emanuel's idea for the administration to tout the doomed firm.
Obama's 'Bank of Washington'
applauded by Solyndra CEO in email. Solyndra's CEO labeled President Barack Obama's administration "The Bank of Washington."
Chris Gronet offered the description in an internal email one year before the company collapsed in 2010, costing taxpayers roughly
$500 million. The email was obtained and published by the Republican National Committee. "The Bank of Washington
continues to help us!" he wrote in the October 2009 e-mail, which sketched plans for Solyndra to exploit several additional federal
programs and tax-incentives.
faults 'pressure' to promote stimulus in $535M Solyndra loan approval. A congressional report concluded Friday [7/27/2012]
that "political pressure" by a White House eager to tout stimulus spending was largely to blame for fast-tracking the ill-fated
$535 million Solyndra loan guarantee — findings compounded by the release of an email that showed the former CEO once
referred to the aid as "The Bank of Washington." The email and the report were released by Republicans, who continue to use the
scandal to portray the Obama administration as careless with taxpayer money in pursuit of its alternative-energy agenda.
Emails: Solyndra took
sales pitch directly to Obama. A top White House adviser received clear notice that solar panel maker Solyndra Inc.
faced a "severe liquidity crisis" even before a controversial restructuring allowing investors to recoup money from the now-bankrupt
company before taxpayers, documents released Thursday [8/2/2012] show.
The Case of CH2M HILL: $2 Billion
in Crony Stimulation. "Not very much." This was the answer that the Department of Energy Secretary, Steven Chu,
recently provided when asked of the amount the federal government will be able to recover from the Solyndra bankruptcy.
"Not very much." The same could be said for the amount of research that the federal government has put into other companies
involved in the Solyndra scandal. One such company, CH2M HILL, should be next on the House GOP radar, having used nearly
$10 million in stimulus funding to design the elaborate Solyndra facility in Fremont, California. While CH2M HILL
is in no danger of suffering the same bankruptcy plight, they also languish in a pool of mismanaged taxpayer funds.
Solar Pie-in-the-Sky. How plans to run an
entire Australian town on solar energy failed miserably.
Uncle Sam's solar eclipse.
As much of the nation broils under the merciless July sun, the Obama administration can't resist the urge to burn cash on "green"
energy projects. Each time one of these solar-energy firms flames out, American taxpayers get singed. [...] The latest to fail
is Abound Solar, a Colorado solar-panel manufacturer. The firm filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation on July 2,
two years after being awarded a $400 million stimulus loan guarantee.
A Sign of Sanity in Solar
Manufacturing. GE is apparently delaying the construction of its previously announced Aurora, Colorado, thin-film
solar panel factory, and "taking this opportunity to re-look at our solar strategy." I couldn't find a GE press release to
back this up, but it's been reported by RECharge and confirmed by Forbes. It's easy to read too much into a single event,
but I think this looks significant, particularly in the wake of Monday's [7/9/2012] Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing by Abound
Solar, incidentally another recipient of a sizable federal renewable energy loan guarantee.
Department opening up more federal land... for solar panels. Forget about the leasing for oil, gas, and mineral drilling
that would allow the energy market to produce the jobs and economic growth it is absolutely chomping at the bit to create — let's
prioritize our administrative resources and land use for an industry that has demonstrated itself barely capable of competing on the global
market despite heavy assistance from taxpayers. Yeah, that's a great plan.
New solar failure got subsidies
from Dems and GOP. Another politically connected subsidy-suckling solar company has hit the financial rocks, and once again,
revolving-door lobbyists and Obama bundlers are implicated. But this time the GOP is on the hook, too. Amonix announced last week it was
closing down its 214,000-square-foot Las Vegas factory that makes solar panels. The news generated schadenfreude among Republicans eager
to pin another Solyndra-like green energy failure on President Obama. The Republican National Committee sent out an email citing Amonix
as yet another example of "Obama's failed record." But Amonix has been raking in federal subsidies since Obama was palling around with
Bill Ayers in Hyde Park.
The Editor says...
Yes, both political parties are at fault when it comes to massive federal spending on projects that have dubious value and exaggerated potential.
But Barack H. Obama has squandered far more money on solar energy and wind energy boondoggles than anybody in history, and his record of abject
failure is clear to see. Keep reading...
A List Of Obama's Green Energy Failures.
Here's a list of the companies that this administration was sure would be winners just a year or so ago.
• Evergreen Solar — $3M in DoE funds, $58M from the state of Massachusetts;
• SpecrtraWatt — $500K;
• Solyndra — $535M;
• Beacon Power — $43M;
• Eastern Energy, an AES subsidiary — $17.1M;
• Nevada Geothermal — $98.5M;
• SunPower — $1.5B;
• First Solar — $3B;
• Babcock & Brown — $178M (they're Australian);
• Ener1 — $118.5M;
• Amonix — $5.9M;
• Fisker Automotive — $339M to build cars in Finland;
• Abound Solar — $400M;
• Solar Trust of America — $2.1B;
• A123 Systems — $279M;
• Willard & Kelsey Solar Group — $6M
• Johnson Controls — $299M;
• Schneider Electric — $86M.
What do these companies have in common, other than getting tons of your money? Well, they're all either in or headed for bankruptcy court.
The Green Graveyard of Taxpayer-Funded
Failures. Solar-cell manufacturer Solyndra became a household name when it collapsed, taking $627 million in American taxpayer dollars
with it. It's the poster company for the government picking winners and losers — or really, just losers — in the energy market.
But there are 12 more "green energy" losers that have declared bankruptcy despite attempts to prop them up with taxpayer money — and
the list is growing. There's a reason why these companies could not rely solely on private financing and needed help from the government.
They couldn't make it on their own; they couldn't even make it with extra taxpayer help.
Obama Fundraises With Players in Solyndra
Scandal. At an exclusive re-election fundraiser tonight [7/23/2012], President Obama hobnobbed with 60 of his wealthiest
supporters, including two figures at the center of the Solyndra loan controversy. Steve Westly, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, was one of
the first to raise red flags about the administration's support for a $500 million loan to Solyndra, the solar energy start-up that later went
bankrupt. He wrote directly to senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett in 2010 to raise concerns about the company's viability ahead of the
president's high-profile visit that year.
Another DOE-Sponsored Solar Plant
Idles Production. Another American solar firm is purportedly in financial disarray after receiving millions of dollars in grants from
the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Only a year after it opened, the Amonix solar manufacturing plant located in North Las Vegas has idled
production, leaving serious questions about the company's financial viability and whether taxpayers will be burdened with another multi-million-dollar
Obama bankruptcies and green cronyism. When you subsidize something, you get more of it — and the Obama
administration has been funding failure. The lights may have gone out on his uneconomic solar firms, but the money trail is
still visible. Billions of taxpayer dollars were wasted while President Barack Obama's well-connected friends benefited.
Lights out for
another White House-backed solar company. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that Amonix, a solar panel
company in north Las Vegas that received about $15.6 million in federal funds — grants, not loans in this
case — and another $6 million in tax credits, has closed its doors for good after laying off most of its
staff earlier this year.
Administration Heralds Green Investments as 'Progressing and Succeeding'. The Obama administration's investments
in clean energy include a number of successes, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney asserted Tuesday [7/17/2012]. However,
a review of the federally subsidized green companies finds that most have either filed for bankruptcy or made massive layoffs.
Carney responded to a question about criticism from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney regarding the $535 million
Department of Energy loan to the politically connected Solyndra solar panel firm that filed for bankruptcy last fall before being
raided by the FBI.
Spokesman on Solyndra: 'Widely Praised as Successful and Innovative'. Lis Smith, a spokesman for President Barack Obama's
reelection campaign, touted Solyndra by saying the failed energy company that received federally backed loans has been "widely praised as
successful and innovative."
Team Romney: "It's
Time to Vet the President". [Scroll down] Incidentally, since the ad singled out Obama's Solyndra disaster,
you might be interested to see what an Obama campaign spokeswoman said about the politically-connected, now-bankrupt solar company:
"The reality is that Solyndra received funding through a Department of Energy program created under the Bush administration —
a program that has supported tens of thousands of jobs across the country and is moving forward with [... "] Actually,
Solyndra's loan was rejected by Republicans because of numerous (justified) red flags, all of which were explicitly buried and
ignored by Obama's political team for political reasons.
Renewable Energy's Incurable
Scale Problem. A simple bit of math shows that even with the rapid expansion that solar and wind-energy capacity have
had in the past few years, those two sources cannot even meet incremental global demand for electricity, much less make a dent in the
world's insatiable thirst for coal, oil, and natural gas.
Primestar: Another DOE-Touted Solar Plant Fails. GE PrimeStar was originally PrimeStar Solar, a startup which used
technology developed at the National Renewable Energy Lab and $3 million in DOE award money (given in 2007 and 2008 under
the Bush administration) to develop its business. In April of 2011, GE, which had been an investor in the company since 2008,
bought the company outright and announced it would build a $300 million production plant in Aurora, Colorado. The plant
was announced just six weeks after Solyndra's bankruptcy, making it cause for celebration at the DOE.
Administration official calls Solyndra an "enormous success". Rep. Cliff Stearns, chairman of the Oversight and
Investigations Subcommittee, asked [David G.] Franz if he would agree that "the Loan Guarantee Program has had a tough record."
Frantz replied, "Quite to the contrary, sir, I think it's been an enormous success." [Video clip] There have been so
many "successes" that it's hard to keep track of them all: Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound Solar, Nevada Geothermal Power, Ener1,
A123, SunPower, First Solar, Evergreen Solar, Solar Trust for America, Fisker Automotive... every one of them swimming in a thick
"success" gravy of bankruptcy and layoffs.
Failure of Serious Energy is
[an embarrassment] for Obama and His Chicago Cronies. Before there was Solyndra, there was Serious Energy.
The company was personally hyped by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Roland Burris (remember him?)
as a "green jobs" company funded by Obama's 2009 stimulus. Today, Serious Energy is closing factories and laying off
workers — and the Federal Trade Commission has found it made false claims about the energy efficiency of its products.
Darpa Gets a New Boss, and Solyndra Is in Her Past.
Until last year, Arati Prabhakar worked for the venture capitalists who backed Solyndra, the green-tech firm that imploded in a
scandal described by Mitt Romney as an example of the White House's "crony capitalism." Now Prabhakar has a new job, this
one in the Obama administration: running the Pentagon's most important research agency. But being the geek-in-chief
requires investing billions on risky, high-tech bets that aren't so different from Solyndra.
GE Solar Delay Shows Timing Will Never Be Good.
We've heard this story before. Much like taxpayer-backed Abound Solar — which just revealed it would declare bankruptcy — General
Electric announced last week it would suspend construction of a solar panel manufacturing plant in Colorado. The excuse given was that GE plans to
focus on research and development to improve the technology and efficiency of the panels it wants to produce.
investigating bankrupt solar company backed by Obama bundler and DOE loan. House investigators have asked executives and
former executives at Abound Solar, a now-bankrupt solar company that received a $400 million loan guarantee from the Department of
Energy, to testify before Congress about the DOE subsidy. The House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and
Government Spending invited the Abound Solar CEO and former CEO to testify, along with some Energy Department officials after the
company announced it is filing for bankruptcy, despite drawing about $70 million of the $400 million available from the
DOE loan guarantee.
Obama's Green Energy Failures Continue
To Abound. Another stimulus-backed solar panel maker, one the president touted in a weekly radio address, is filing for bankruptcy. The
administration's green-energy efforts continue to grow a deeper shade of red.
Bankrupt Colorado solar
firm sticks taxpayers for $68 million, doomed by poor quality. Despite glowing press clippings in which the CEO of Colorado-based Abound
Solar claimed seven months ago that his company was the "anti-Solyndra," the green-energy firm has filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.
It is terminating all 125 workers at its Loveland, Colo. headquarters, and is blaming China for its failure.
Abound Solar to Close, Will File
for Bankruptcy. Abound Solar Inc., a U.S. solar manufacturer that was awarded a $400 million U.S. loan guarantee, will suspend operations
and file for bankruptcy because its panels were too expensive to compete.
Doing the Math on Solar Water Heaters.
[Scroll down] In short, we are comparing an $8,000 investment with savings of $55 on a $100 annual gas bill. Dividing the two numbers
tells us that it would take 145 years to recoup the investment. It gets worse, however, because you have to calculate the cost of that
$8,000 capital investment.
"Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2011. [Scroll down] Solyndra was once known as the poster child for the Obama
administration's massive "green energy" initiative, but it has become the poster child for the corruption that ensues when the government
meddles in the private sector. Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September 2011, leaving 1,100 workers without jobs and the American
taxpayers on the hook for $535 million thanks to an Obama administration stimulus loan guarantee. Despite the Obama
administration's reticence to release details regarding this scandal, much is known about this shady deal. White House officials warned
the president that the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program was "dangerously short on due diligence," nonetheless the Obama
administration rushed the Solyndra loan through the approval process so it could make a splash at a press event.
Delaware's very own
Solyndra? Delaware's political establishment thinks First State electricity consumers should
subsidize the manufacture of supersized fuel cells under the auspices of California-based Bloom Energy to
replace natural gas and coal-fired power plants in generating electricity. The politicos want to build a
factory in Newark, where rail service is available to ship Bloom's 10-ton, 100-kilowatt "eco-friendly" Energy
Servers to presumed eager buyers across America.
$9 Billion in
'Stimulus' for Solar, Wind Projects Made 910 Final Jobs — $9.8 Million Per Job. The Obama administration
distributed $9 billion in economic "stimulus" funds to solar and wind projects in 2009-11 that created, as the end result,
910 "direct" jobs — annual operation and maintenance positions — meaning that it cost about $9.8 million
to establish each of those long-term jobs.
Searing questions on massive solar
experiment in Mojave Desert. Can plumes of superheated air create enough turbulence to flip a small airplane?
What happens if one of the Air Force's heat-seeking missiles confuses a solar power plant with a military training target?
No one knows for sure. But as the state and federal government push hard to build solar energy plants across the Mojave
Desert — there are more than 100 solar applications pending — the military, birders, aviation officials
and others are eager for answers.
Prisoners producing solar panels sold for installation by
major Obama donors on federal buildings.
Green Energy Gulag. The Obama administration is using prison labor to advance
its green energy agenda, enriching foreign companies and some of the president's largest campaign donors in the process. [...] Hundreds of federal
inmates earn between $0.23 and $1.15 per hour manufacturing solar panels at UNICOR facilities in New York and Oregon. The panels are
then sold to a variety of government agencies, which are obligated by law to purchase them.
Energy Dept. awards $2 million grant to solar company linked with Van Jones. On Wednesday [6/13/2012] the
Department of Energy began financing solar power installation research with a $2 million award to Solar Mosaic.
The solar energy research company has former Obama "green jobs" czar Van Jones listed as an advisor. It also employed
Rebuild the Dream, Jones' firm, to do its public relations work. The DOE's grant money will be distributed to nine
companies in four states. Solar Mosaic received the most money, four times the amount of most other grants.
Jones resigned his post in the Obama administration three years ago amid controversy stemming from his past remarks.
Solyndra layoffs exposed. More than 1,800 people lost their jobs when President Obama's favorite clean energy
investment — Solyndra Corp. — filed for bankruptcy last year, according to U.S. Department of Labor documents
obtained by a San Francisco-area web newsite. "On the day it closed, Solyndra said it was laying off 1,100 full-time and temporary
employees," the Bay Citizen reports today [6/13/2012]. "But 1,861 workers lost their jobs as the solar panel manufacturer shut
its doors, according to U.S. Labor Department documents provided to The Bay Citizen under the Freedom of Information Act.["]
House Republicans Step Up BrightSource Probe.
House Republicans are broadening their probe of the Department of Energy's largest solar-loan guarantee. Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who
chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent letters to the White House and BrightSource Energy Inc., the loan-guarantee recipient, asking
for e-mails and other documents related to the $1.6 billion deal. The Wall Street Journal viewed copies of the letters, which are dated June 7.
Panels Blamed for House, Shed Fire in Mobile. Fire officials say wiring and batteries to solar panels may be to blame for
a shed fire that spread to a house.
First Solar Furlough. A politically connected,
taxpayer-funded solar firm announced a massive round of furloughs on Friday [5/25/2012], just weeks after its chairman told
Congress his company was "financially strong." First Solar, an Arizona-based solar panel manufacturer that received
more than $3 billion in federal loan guarantees under President Obama, has furloughed half of the 240-person workforce
at its Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One (AVSR1) power plant near Los Angeles.
Bundler of Sunshine. New disclosures show that one of President Obama's bundlers is the wife
of an executive at an energy company that received a more-than-$1.2 billion Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee for a solar power plant.
Arvia Few is a bundler for the Obama re-election campaign who has promised to raise between $50,000 and $100,000. She began bundling for Obama in the
first quarter of 2012. Her husband, Jason Few, is an executive at a company that has benefited handsomely from the Obama administration's clean energy
spending, records show.
Solyndra 'Just the Tip of the Iceberg': New
Obama Solar Loan Links. A House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee dug further into the $90 billion directed toward
green-energy initiatives in President Obama's 2009 stimulus, noting questions not only about whether the programs have wasted taxpayer money but
whether the White House pulled strings for some firms. "When taxpayers lost over a half-billion dollars on Solyndra, the Obama Administration
said that it was just one bad apple and that the rest of the portfolio was strong," said subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). "It is
becoming increasingly clear that Solyndra was just the tip of the iceberg in a sea of taxpayer risk."
Welcome to the Renewable Energy
Future: A Lesson From Germany. Blogger P. Gosselin credits this transformation of "Germany's once impeccably stable world-class power
grid" with its "reckless and uncontrolled rush to renewable energies, wind and sun, all spurred on by a blind environmental movement and hysteria with
respect to nuclear power." He quotes Steffen Hentrick of the Liberal Institute: ["]This shows not only how the replacement of conventional
energy capacity through renewable energy is an illusion, but also how expensive the forced energy transition to renewable will be for citizens.["]
Solyndra for sale: Company's
high-tech plant to be sold. For sale: manufacturing and office facility with 411,618 square feet, state of the art electrical,
air, and power distribution systems — and a troubled past.
Project Killing Threatened Desert Tortoises. Construction of BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar power project in the Mojave
Desert is destroying the habitat of threatened desert tortoises. Conservationists have documented that in addition to destroying desert
tortoise habitat, the project, approximately 50 miles south of Las Vegas in southeastern California, has directly caused many desert tortoise
State officials look for path to rescue market
for solar incentives. The market that New Jersey officials set up to subsidize solar energy needs a rescue or there will be
disastrous layoffs in the industry, business leaders, politicians and regulators say. Those in the industry say if the government
doesn't step in to raise subsidy prices paid to solar panel owners, a bust in the market will kill jobs created in the last few years as
New Jersey's solar capacity has more than doubled, putting the state second only to California.
Another Taxpayer-Funded Solar Company
Looks Like a Failure. An Ohio-based solar company received millions of dollars in state and federal subsidies despite
government officials' knowledge that the company was in financial trouble, and now a local newspaper reports little activity at the
manufacturer's Perrysburg plant.
Not Dealing With Toxic Waste At Milpitas Facility. Three months ago, CBS 5 [KCBS-TV] caught Solyndra tossing
millions of dollars worth of brand new glass tubes used to make solar panels. Now the bankrupt solar firm, once touted
as a symbol of green technology, may be trying to abandon toxic waste.
Solar Panels Cause Clashes
With Homeowner Groups. Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the
installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice.
Obama is the World's
Worst Investor. Barack Obama recently campaigned in Ohio about the importance of his policies, solar energy
efforts. Solyndra, endorsed enthusiastically by Department of Energy and the president, declared bankruptcy less than
12 months after receiving Obama's "investment" of $534 million dollars. Unfortunately, Solyndra was not
Obama's only poorly performing solar energy investment. Obama has, so far, lost over 2 billion dollars in poorly
performing solar companies that, soon after huge infusions of taxpayer dollars, filed for bankruptcy protection.
Solar Latest Casualty in Renewable Energy Shakeout. First Solar Inc. (FSLR)'s decision to fire 30 percent
of its staff and reduce production shows that even the biggest solar panel makers aren't immune from the shakeout that's
bankrupted at least eight companies on two continents in the past year. The largest thin-film solar producer said
yesterday [4/16/2012] it will cut 2,000 jobs by the end of the year at a cost of as much as $370 million.
Doubles Down On More Solyndras. Another day and another set of layoffs at a Department of Energy-backed
solar company and an electric-car maker funded with stimulus dollars. Yet the President wants to double down
on green energy.
solar company lays off 2000. First Solar, a solar energy company that received a $1.46 billion loan guarantee from the
Department of Energy, announced today that it will layoff 2,000 workers in the United States and world-wide.
Obama's "green jobs" have been slow to sprout .
Stretching row upon row into the desert, the Copper Mountain Solar Project not far from Las Vegas provided an impressive backdrop for the president.
Built on public land, the facility is the largest of its kind in the United States. Its 1 million solar panels provide enough energy to power
17,000 homes. And it employs just 10 people.
BrightSource and the Fracking Task Force.
Bad stuff always happens on Friday the 13th. So it was on Friday [4/13/2012] that BrightSource Energy, the large solar energy company that has
already received $868 million of a $1.6-billion loan guarantee, canceled its IPO application. And that same day, President Obama appointed
Heather Zichal to head a new high-level task force to coordinate regulation of hydraulic fracking. The two events, both highly inauspicious, were not
unrelated. The connection is simple and obvious: in order to prop up failing solar companies, Obama needs to force natural gas prices higher.
So much for competitive bidding.
Claims: Obama Promised Solyndra CEO He Would Look Into Buying Solyndra's Solar Panels for Gov't Buildings. Less than three
months after President Barack Obama's May 26, 2010 visit to the Solyndra plant in Fremont, Calif., a Solyndra investor claimed in an
e-mail to the company's new CEO, Brian Harrison, that during Obama's visit he had personally witnessed the president "actually promise" the
company's previous CEO, Chris Gronet, that he would "look into" having the federal government buy Solyndra's solar panels to place on
bankrupt energy firm an 'empty shell'. Not yet two years after the Department of Energy awarded $43 million
in loan guarantees for Beacon Power's energy storage plant, government attorneys are calling the bankrupt solar company and its
affiliates little more than "empty shells" benefiting lawyers and other bankruptcy professionals.
Solar Plant Files For Bankruptcy. Solyndra was just the appetizer. Earlier today [4/2/2012], in what will come as a surprise
only to members of the administration, the company which proudly held the rights to the world's largest solar power project, the hilariously named
Solar Trust of America ("STA"), filed for bankruptcy. And while one could say that the company's epic collapse is more a function of alternative
energy politics in Germany, where its 70% parent Solar Millennium AG filed for bankruptcy last December, what is relevant is that last April STA was
the proud recipient of a $2.1 billion conditional loan from the Department of Energy, incidentally the second largest loan ever handed out by
the DOE's Stephen Chu.
Trust Bankruptcy Far Exceeds Solyndra Scandal. Americans for Prosperity, the leading grassroots organization
representing over two million activists in the fight for economic freedom, responded to the breaking news of the Solar
Trust bankruptcy. "We thought Solyndra was bad, but the Solar Trust bankruptcy is on a whole new scale," said Tim
Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity. "President Obama's 'Green Energy' giveaway continues to produce
one costly failure after another."
China to Drop Solar Energy to
Focus On Nuclear Power. China will accelerate the use of new-energy sources such as nuclear energy and
put an end to blind expansion in industries such as solar energy and wind power in 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
says in a government report published on March 5. China will instead develop nuclear power in 2012,
actively develop hydroelectric power, tackle key problems more quickly in the exploration and development of
shale gas, and increase the share of new energy and renewable energy in total energy consumption.
Firm That Turned Down Gov't Loan Fails — But Are Taxpayers Really Off the Hook? Solar Trust of
America, an energy firm based in Oakland, California, declared bankruptcy on April 2, fewer than 10 months after
breaking ground on a project near Blythe, California, that was to be the world's largest solar power energy project built
on public lands. In its bankruptcy filing, the company claims to have assets of up to $10 million. Those
assets, however, are dubious, consisting primarily of the Blythe project and another project in Riverside County, California,
neither of which has gotten off the ground. Meanwhile, its liabilities may run as high as $100 million.
Officials Given One Day to Review U.S. Solyndra Loan. The U.S. Treasury Department was given one day to review
Solyndra LLC's $535 million U.S. loan guarantee after learning the Energy Department was ready to announce the award,
according to a Treasury audit. While Treasury staff say they had enough time to review the loan, internal e-mails cast
doubt on whether staff suggestions were addressed by the Energy Department, the Treasury's Inspector General's Office said
yesterday [4/3/2012] in the report.
A Narrow Escape For Taxpayers.
The collapse of the "green" energy industry continued today, as Solar Trust of America LLC filed for bankruptcy. Solar Trust
was, it claimed, carrying out the world's largest solar energy project in California. Two things make Solar Trust's bankruptcy
especially newsworthy: first, Barack Obama's Department of Energy offered the company a $2.1 billion loan guarantee just
last year. Fortunately, Solar Trust turned it down...
Solar Trust seeks bankruptcy protection in
Delaware. Solar Trust of America's Chapter 11 filing on Monday [4/2/2012] listed assets between $1 million
and $10 million, and liabilities between $50 million and $100 million.
company bankrupt despite 'win-win' DOE loan. In keeping with the recent trend of so-called green companies going
into the red, another solar energy company supported by President Obama's top administration officials declared bankruptcy today.
Solar Trust for America received $2.1 billion in conditional loan guarantees from the Department of Energy — "the
largest amount ever offered to a solar project," according to Energy Secretary Steven Chu — for a project near Blythe,
Calif., but declared bankruptcy within a year. It is unclear how much of the guarantee, if any, was actually awarded.
Solar Shenanigans. Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and
the Commerce Secretary have extensive ties to fast-tracked green energy programs under investigation by the Senate Budget Committee.
Seven solar power companies have received quick approval and little scrutiny from the Department of Interior to lease federal lands in
California and Nevada in no-bid processes. Critics have raised questions about the environmental impact of these companies on
endangered species. There are also concerns about political favoritism.
White House was all-hands-on-deck as Solyndra collapse neared. The latest White House documents delivered to House
Republicans on Friday [3/23/2012] again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as
Solyndra — a company President Obama had personally visited — was about to go under.
Obama Took Credit for Solyndra in 2010.
President Obama tried to blame Congress for the failure of Solar Panel firm Solyndra on his four-state energy tour this week.
But the president took credit for the $500 million loan to the program in 2010. "We can see positive impacts right here
at Solyndra," he said. "Through the recovery act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new
factory is the result of those loans." In a radio interview on Tuesday, the president blamed both parties in congress
for the loan program.
Obama on Solyndra Loan: 'This Was
Not Our Program'. President Obama denied culpability for the failure of solar firm Solyndra in a radio
interview on Tuesday [3/20/2012], instead pinning the blame on Congress and the Chinese. The loans initiative used to
finance Solyndra was "not our program," he told American Public Media in response to question about Solyndra's bankruptcy
and subsequent controversy.
Obama's Solar Alchemy. How much power
did solar plants in Nevada actually deliver? According to EIA data, solar plants in the state of Nevada delivered an average
of 33 megawatts in any given hour in 2011 — less than 50% of capacity! Or, to put it another way, if 22,000
Nevada households were solely dependent on solar power last year, they wouldn't have had any electricity at all for about half of
the year. As points of comparison, an efficient coal-fired power plant typically generates 70 to 85 percent of the
power it is capable of producing, on an annual basis, while nuclear plants operate at about 95 percent of capacity.
Obama Blames Congress For Failed Solar
Firm. President Barack Obama distanced himself from solar panel firm Solyndra amid Republican charges that his
administration improperly secured a $535 million government loan guarantee. "Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn't gone
bankrupt," Obama said about the firm that went under shortly after obtaining the loan.
Obama: Solyndra "Was Not
Our Program," You Know. This president of ours is having himself quite a day, isn't he? In addition to
his shameless Keystone ploy, he's also trying to distance his administration from one of its most glaring, high-profile failures.
Cuts Subsidies to Floundering Solar Industry. Germany — once a global leader in the race for reliance on
"alternative" forms of energy — has discovered that no amount of environmentalist ideology can alter the fundamental
laws of economics. Although wind and solar "farms" have been the recipients of lavish government subsidies throughout the
European Union, the German government is now being forced to concede it cannot continue supporting solar power at the levels that
had quickly become customary, and is dramatically reducing its solar energy subsidy.
Obama: Solyndra layoffs
'heartbreaking'. Solyndra's bankruptcy is "heartbreaking" for the 1,100 workers who lost their jobs, President
Obama said Wednesday [3/21/2012], while standing behind his administration's clean-energy investments. ... But Obama defended the
Energy Department's loan program, which has come under fire from Republicans in the aftermath of Solyndra's collapse last year.
Blames Congress For Solyndra: "Not Our Program, Per Se". In an interview with Marketplace.org, President Obama
defends using U.S. taxpayer money to invest in solar energy projects. During the interview, Obama was asked about Solyndra,
one of the more well-known solar panel companies that failed after receiving a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.
However, Obama told Marketplace that "this was not our program." Obama attempts to make the case that this falls on the lap
of Congress because they put together the loan guarantee program.
Diminished Capacity to Understand Obama's Clean Energy Policy. In my ignorance, I thought that subsidies are dictated by
and for special interests not by economic rationality. I also believed that Solyndra and SunPower were not aberrations but
representative of what is going on in Secretary Chu's and Obama's energy department. What I fool I have been. ... Now that I
understand the error of my ways, I have resisted the urge to return my Ph.D. in economics to Harvard University, resign my research
professorship at a prestigious German economic research institute, and return my endowed chair in economics.
Obama sticks with solar
despite setbacks. Given the steady stream of disappointments and even some scandals that have emanated from
the green-energy stimulus programs of the Obama administration, one might expect to see the president shy away from the
subject. But today [3/21/2012], despite the ongoing problems with firms like Solyndra, the politically connected
California solar-panel maker that tanked shortly after receiving more than $500 million in federal loans, and a
string of bad news from taxpayer-backed green energy programs, the president is doubling down on solar energy.
sells solar panels — to itself, taxpayers pay. A heavily subsidized solar company received a U.S.
taxpayer loan guarantee to sell solar panels to itself. First Solar is the company. The subsidy came from the
Export-Import Bank, which President Obama and Harry Reid are currently fighting to extend and expand. The underlying
issue is how Obama's insistence on green-energy subsidies and export subsidies manifests itself as rank corporate welfare.
White House emails reveal deep concern, embarrassment over Solyndra. Less than one year after
President Barack Obama touted his administration's $535 million loan guarantee for green energy company
Solyndra during his State of the Union address, embarrassed White House officials wanted nothing to do with the
company, newly released internal emails reveal.
House-Backed Review of Energy Department Loans Omits Solyndra. An "independent review" commissioned by
the White House to evaluate loans issued by the U.S. Department of Energy did not include a review of DOE loans to
failed alternative energy projects such as Solyndra and Beacon Power. "First of all let me again emphasize we
did not look at Solyndra and Beacon. We have not looked at the companies that received grants, we're only
looking at the loan program," study author Herb Allison told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Tuesday morning [3/13/2012].
Energy: Popular but Corrupt. We are familiar with Solyndra, but how about its political paybacks?
George Kaiser, one of Solyndra's primary investors, a big Obama backer, raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama's
initial election campaign. Kaiser personally donated $53,500 to Obama's 2008 election campaign. Campaign
finance records show that Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050to Obama's 2008 election
campaign. And let's not forget the DOE's request that Solyndra delay its layoffs until after the November 2010
elections. Was the delay request yet another political payback?
administration push for clean energy hitting bumps. The administration for the past six months has
been under fire for blowing through nearly $530 million on Solyndra, the solar panel firm that filed for bankruptcy
last September. A new government report now finds the loan program that funded Solyndra continues to suffer
from management problems.
Top 10 Obama energy blunders. President
Obama made sure the $787 billion stimulus package was stuffed with initiatives meant to create green jobs by
the millions. What the taxpayer got in return was a parade of bankrupt companies, led by Solyndra.
The solar-panel producing company got a $535 million loan guarantee, with the promise that 4,000 jobs
would be created, but end up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.
Solar Goes Bankrupt. Get ready for a new round of green bankruptcies, as Europe trims back subsidies
for solar companies and taxpayers lose their appetite for subsidizing green power.
Solar power firms
in Mojave desert feel glare of tribes and environmentalists. Presence of horned toads and desert
tortoises are holding up production at multimillion-dollar sites in California.
Is Abound Solar the Next Solyndra? Abound
Solar makes "next-generation thin-film cadmium telluride solar modules," writes Independence Institute's Amy
Oliver. The company was "recipient of a $400 million Department of Energy loan, just announced it is
laying off 70 percent (280 employees) of its Colorado workforce."
probes delay of layoff news at Solyndra. The Energy Department's Office of Inspector General is investigating
who pushed to delay bad news about federally backed Solyndra LLC until after the November 2010 midterm elections.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who nearly four months ago pledged to find out if anyone in his department was involved, told a
House Committee on Thursday [3/8/2012] he's turned the matter over to the department's Office of Inspector General.
Project Following Solyndra Path? U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees for BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah
solar power project may suffer the same fate as loan guarantees for the failed Solyndra company, government watchdogs fear.
Of even greater concern, the BrightSource loan guarantees total $1.6 billion, triple the taxpayer dollars lost in
Solyndra. The Ivanpah project would be one of the world's largest solar thermal power facilities.
Colorado's Own Green
Loan Sinkhole. Meet Loveland-based Abound Solar, the lucky winner of a $400 million federal loan guarantee from
the Obama administration. Earlier this month, the thin-film cadmium telluride solar module-maker announced layoffs of
nearly 300 employees (70 percent of its workforce). In addition, the firm froze plans to build a new factory
in Indiana. Abound says it will ride out bad market conditions and "hopefully" survive until the market recovers.
Green Energy Failures Continue To Abound. President Obama is the Little Orphan Annie of presidents. He
is always singing that the sun will come out tomorrow and shine on the American economy and his dreams of green energy.
Yet companies such as Solyndra have proved the rule rather than the exception, producing more pink slips than green jobs as
solar power and alternative energy continue to be eclipsed by advances in fossil fuel production. The latest casualty
is Abound Solar Manufacturing. The Longmont, Colorado-based recipient of a $400 million federal loan guarantee to
expand solar panel production said Tuesday [2/28/2012] it is laying off 280 workers and delaying a new factory in Indiana.
Bankruptcy judge approves
Solyndra bonuses. A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Wednesday [2/22/2012] approved close to $370,000 in
bonuses for 20 employees of Solyndra LLC, a solar panel manufacturer that received a half-billion dollar loan
from the federal government before declaring bankruptcy.
White House misses Solyndra document deadline.
The Most Transparent Administration In History continued its practice of ignoring inconvenient subpoenas, by missing a
Monday [2/20/2012] deadline to hand over documents related to the Solyndra "green energy" boondoggle.
ignores House subpoena for Solyndra documents. President Obama and his West Wing aides ignored a subpoena of
documents pertaining to the Solyndra loan guarantee even after congressional investigators met with White House officials
to negotiate the scope of the subpoena, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
House agrees to Solyndra interviews under subpoena threat. House Republicans canceled plans to
subpoena executive branch officials over the Solyndra loan guarantee after reaching an agreement with the White
House Thursday [2/16/2012]. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's investigative panel
had planned to vote Friday on a resolution authorizing subpoenas to two White House officials and three officials
of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
The Week That Was. [At the bottom of
Page 2:] Slowly, information is leaking from nations that have spent heavily on wind and solar,
such as Germany. This information should give pause to those touting solar and wind, including politicians.
England is pulling back from wind, Germany has announced drastic cut-backs on its subsidies to solar, and Spain
has announced the elimination of subsidies for renewable power. These actions are not the result of success.
Solyndra Green Scandal Is Just One of Many. Outrageous bonuses and White House stonewalling guarantee that
the Solyndra scandal, in which betting on green lost taxpayers $535 million, won't go away. But Solyndra is no
Solyndra decomposes into an environmental disaster.
The Washington Times surveys the grim corpse of Solyndra, President Obama's showpiece "green energy" bankruptcy, whose
bones turn out to be made from "unknown chemicals and lead-contaminated equipment" they don't feel like cleaning up.
Take Hit as Solar Industry Implodes. In a year where Solyndra became the face of the solar industry's
chronic failures, even the holiday season could not prevent one last flurry of layoffs in 2011. The Mountain
Enterprise (based in Frazier Park, Calif.) reported over the weekend that First Solar, Inc. — which the
media sometimes identifies as the largest solar company in the world — laid off half its employees
on Friday [12/30/2012] at its Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project.
Fed-Backed Solar Company Goes Bankrupt. Adding to the growing list of failed "green" energy companies,
another solar firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday [2/14/2012] in hopes of selling off its solar power
subsidiaries and other assets. Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD), a Michigan-based manufacturer of thin-film
solar laminates, said it will continue to operate through the bankruptcy and sale process.
Debt Exposes Green Energy Subsidies". In late January President Barack Obama's much-vaunted Spanish
renewable energy 'success' story became the latest high-profile victim of subsidy cutbacks when the Madrid
government unexpectedly dropped the axe on plans for all new renewable energy projects. Spain's decision
followed hard on the heels of a similar decision by Germany to phase out its solar subsidy regime entirely by
2017. The British Government too is currently embroiled in a court battle to cut in half the overly-generous
solar subsidy scheme set up by the previous Labour Government.
Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2011. Despite the
Obama administration's reticence to release details regarding this scandal, much is known about this shady deal.
White House officials warned the president that the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program was "dangerously short
on due diligence," nonetheless the Obama administration rushed the Solyndra loan through the approval process so it
could make a splash at a press event. The company's main financial backer was a major Obama campaign donor
named George Kaiser. While the White House said Kaiser never discussed the loan with White House officials, the
evidence suggests this is a lie.
Judicial Watch Sues Obama Administration for Records Detailing Bailout Loan to SunPower.
Another day another taxpayer funded bailout to a politically connected energy company up to its eyeballs in debt.
This time, it's a California solar company called SunPower. And Judicial Watch is once again battling the Obama
administration for details as to how the deal went down.
Solyndra Tip of Iceberg — Tens of Billions Yet to Come.
Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research, says the Obama administration's investment of taxpayer dollars into
his own idea of a green initiative is a "great business model if you have no scruples." Solyndra is just
the tip of the iceberg, he says in this interview clip with Ginni Thomas.
Funded $825 Million Solar Loan Going to Waste. Solyndra? Let's try Genesis. In Southern
California, federal and state governments have been working to expedite a solar project in order to satisfy President
Obama's solar agenda. The problems that could derail the $825 million taxpayer funded project? Kit
foxes and an ancient burial site.
shadows of doubt on solar project. One of California's showcase solar energy projects, under
construction in the desert east of Los Angeles, is being threatened by a deadly outbreak of distemper among
kit foxes and the discovery of a prehistoric human settlement on the work site.
accuse White House of Solyndra stonewall. House Republicans accused the White House on Thursday [2/9/2012]
of stonewalling a congressional probe into the failed $535 million loan guarantee to bankrupt solar panel
maker Solyndra LLC and threatened to issue subpoenas later this month to secure interviews with "key administration
Democrats designed it so 1/3rd of the loans defaulted.
The Associated Press accidentally stumbled upon the truth of Department of Energy "loans" — the Democratic
Party designed them to lose $10 billion, and they seem to be conveniently lost in the direction of
Democratic Party donors.
'Agenders' and Right Wing Conspirators.
A recent article in the Atlantic Monthly, "Is the UN Using Bike Paths to Achieve World Domination?" by Andrew
Cohen, drew my intense attention. ... Cohen does not mention the numerous bankrupted renewable energy companies
such as Solyndra, Evergreen Energy Inc., Beacon, Ener1, Amonix Inc. that squandered billions of taxpayer dollars
while failing to deliver any affordable renewable energy to American households.
Clean green fraud. The
spectacular failure of Solyndra opened a lot of eyes. Yet the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer is far from the
only fly-by-night outfit to take advantage of the current "green energy" fad. No program is more ripe for abuse
than the renewable fuel standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Last week, House Energy and
Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield,
Kentucky Republican, opened their own investigation into the fraudulent outfits that sell tradeable biodiesel fuel
credits to legitimate companies that need to meet the arbitrary mandates established by the EPA and Congress.
Skewers Radical Left's Hypocrisy on Protecting the Environment. The development of a solar power
plant in the Mojave will decimate large swaths of the desert — all in the name of creating alternative
energy sources and driven by global warming hysteria. Both the Bush and Obama administrations share the
blame. Tens of billions of dollars have been made available for the development of non-fossil fuel burning
energy sources, and the costs to the consumer will be substantially higher than that of traditional sources —
and that's to say nothing of the costs to taxpayers in the subsidies going to fund this boondoggle. It's
pretty messed up all around, but the inevitable result of a regulatory state that would make the old Soviet
Sacrificing the desert
to save the Earth. BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar power project will soon be a humming city
with 24-hour lighting, a wastewater processing facility and a gas-fired power plant. To make room, BrightSource
has mowed down a swath of desert plants, displaced dozens of animal species and relocated scores of imperiled
desert tortoises, a move that some experts say could kill up to a third of them.
House gives up more Solyndra docs. Amid threats by a top House Republican to pursue contempt charges,
the White House on Friday sent lawmakers more internal documents related to the $535 million loan guarantee to
failed solar firm Solyndra. The White House, in providing the 313 pages of documents, again denied
that approval of the loan guarantee in 2009 was influenced by politics, an allegation that Republicans have
repeated for months.
about Friday night document dumps: the technique
used by "the most transparent administration in history" to hide embarrassing developments from the news media.
Crack-Up. Germany enjoys, if that's the right word, a thriving solar-energy industry. But
the cost of this success, to taxpayers and electricity users alike, has risen to astronomical levels.
Some 56% of green-energy subsidies in Germany goes to solar even though solar plants produce only 21% of all
subsidized energy. The cost to German consumers of all solar subsidy commitments already
tops €100 billion. And you thought Solyndra was expensive.
An Administration's Green Fiascos Pile Up.
The Solyndra fiasco is the highest-profile of the president's many green failures, but it's hardly the only one.
Barely a week goes by but that we learn of yet another government-funded "clean energy" boondoggle. Let's
consider a few examples.
Questions The Mainstream Media Would Ask Barack Obama If He Were A Republican: [#2] In 2010
you said Solyndra, which gave your campaign a lot of money, was "leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous
future." Today, Solyndra is bankrupt and the taxpayers lost $500 million on loans that your administration
was well aware might never be paid off when you made them. What do you say to people who say this is evidence of
corruption in your administration?
Obama the promise breaker.
It turns out 2011 was not a Sputnik moment. Instead, it was Mr. Obama's Solyndra moment. The
California-based solar plant manufacturer embodied everything about the administration's green obsession.
The White House steered $535 million worth of public funds into a solar-panel manufacturer with a dubious
business plan. This government stimulus was supposed to "create" 4,000 jobs. By August, the
firm went bankrupt, illustrating the hollow nature of government-created, artificial markets.
Bankrupt Solyndra Caught Destroying Brand New Parts.
After filing for bankruptcy last year, Fremont solar company Solyndra still owes American taxpayers half a billion dollars. But CBS 5 caught them
destroying millions of dollars worth of parts. At Solyndra's sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass
tubes used in solar panels last week. They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters. Forklifts
brought one pallet after another piled high with the carefully packaged glass. Slowly but surely it all ended up shattered.
caught destroying brand new parts. Bankrupt solar company Solyndra was caught by a local TV station
destroying up to $2 million dollars of specialized glass tubes purchased from a German company.
Answer To Our Ethanol Folly. I thought it would be a tall order to have a greater energy folly
than our ethanol scam, which cost taxpayers billions in direct and indirect subsidies over the last decade or
two, but it turns out the Germans have figured out how to do it — through solar power. Der Spiegel
online has a devastating article out this week on Germany's manic obsession with solar power, whose price tag
has now topped $100 billion over the last decade. For this massive amount of money, solar power
only provides about 3 percent of Germany's total electricity.
someone mention ethanol?
subsidized solar company lays off most of its employees. Willard & Kelsey Solar Group LLC laid off
about 40 people indefinitely at the beginning of January until changes to its production line are completed,
a company official said Monday [1/16/2012]. Michael Cicak, the company's chief executive officer and chairman of the
board, would not say when the changes would be completed or when the laid-off employees could return to work.
for laid-off Solyndra employees rail against bonus plan. Attorneys suing Solyndra in a class-action
lawsuit on behalf of former employees are criticizing plans by the company to hand out bonuses of up to $50,000
to 21 current supervisors and other employees. Attorneys for Peter M. Kohlstadt, whose pending
lawsuit says Solyndra broke labor laws when it laid off hundreds of workers without warning last year, argued
in a court filing Monday that the employees slated to receive extra cash already are well-paid, with all but
five earning more than $100,000.
is Binge Gambling with US Economy. In recent history, we've collectively bet on "sure things" and
lost. We once believed there was an energy shortage — but modern technology and resource expansion
have created a global oil glut, and natural gas is so plentiful that it is currently priced at a two-year low.
America is now a net exporter of fuel. Renewable energy was a sure thing. Presidents Bush and Obama threw
taxpayer dollars at it — but it hasn't paid off. Solyndra (and others) have gone bankrupt, taking
taxpayer dollars with them.
Solyndra seeking to pay bonuses. Now seems an unlikely time for handing out bonuses at bankrupt
Solyndra LLC, but that's the plan of company attorneys intending to dole out up to a half-million dollars to
persuade key employees to stay put. Nearly two dozen Solyndra employees could receive bonuses ranging from
$10,000 to $50,000 each under a proposal filed by Solyndra's attorneys in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
11 More Solyndras About to Crash.
There are at least another 11 Solyndras in Obama's backyard just ready to crash. The Obama Administration
said they knew that several of the companies would fail. They built in $2.4 billion into the program
for potential failures. That's criminal. Solyndra was not an isolated incident. There are
several green energy projects that are going to fail.
House sends GOP another batch of Solyndra documents. The White House on Friday [1/13/2012] sent more
internal documents to Republicans investigating the $535 million loan guarantee to failed solar firm Solyndra,
arguing that the cache of emails should satisfy GOP investigators. The emails show senior White House aides
discussing the need to coordinate messaging with the Energy Department and others ahead of Solyndra layoffs that
occurred in early November 2010.
Republican links Daley's departure to Solyndra probe. The House Republican leading the investigation into
the Obama administration's $535 million Solyndra loan guarantee alleged Tuesday that White House Chief of Staff
Bill Daley resigned in part because of the GOP probe into the failed solar company.
A sustainable depression.
As in other depressions, scads of real money has been lost, sustained by the snake oil that global warming is
such a threat to us all that we should not just encourage, but legally compel, people to install the most
economically inefficient form of electrical generation on the planet — solar photovoltaic, and its
sibling in inconstancy, wind power. In various states and around the world, these are legislated by
"renewable portfolio standards." What we get is a sustainable depression.
Hype Surrounding Renewable Energy. [Scroll down] Solar power, like wind, is a natural, free
source of energy — provided that public subsidies and customers of high-priced electricity cover the
costs. In the U.S. the main federal subsidy currently pays for 30% of the cost for a residential system.
Then when other subsidies are added, as much as 75% of the cost can be covered. The U.S. Energy Information
Administration estimates that electricity produced by solar is presently three times more expensive than power
produced by natural gas. Also, like wind, it is severely constrained by geography and is intermittent.
And even under the best geographical sky and climate conditions there is still a recurring problem. It's
firm behind area projects files for bankruptcy. Prospects for the 1,000-megawatt solar plant
being built in Blythe look increasingly bleak following the recent bankruptcy filing of German solar developer
Solar Millennium, the company behind the project. The company filed for insolvency — the
German equivalent of bankruptcy — on Dec. 21, and its assets could soon be liquidated.
Graft Won't Save You, It's Called Green Energy. If First Solar can't make it after all the
subsidized loans, state incentives, money spent on lobbying and political donations, then someone ought to
ask for their money back. Taxpayers ought to be first in line for a refund.
Journalistic Sun Stroke.
Sometimes our intrepid media class chooses to cover a story that perfectly (if inadvertently) illustrates the
real problem: our intrepid media class. Case in point: the Washington Post's Sunday feature
on the Solyndra scandal. In reading the headline one initially takes some solace that, however overdue,
the WaPo finally has gotten around to cover this half-billion dollar backdoor heist of the public treasury by
cronies of the President.
Utility may cut off power to solar plant.
Idaho Power plans to cut off electricity on Tuesday to plant in Pocatello, Idaho, that makes material for solar
energy, because the factory owes $1.9 million in unpaid utility bills. The dispute is with Honolulu-based
Hoku Scientific, Inc., which is backed by Chinese financing and enjoys federal and state incentives.
Ivanpah Project Following Solyndra Path? U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees for BrightSource
Energy's Ivanpah solar power project may suffer the same fate as loan guarantees for the failed Solyndra company,
government watchdogs fear. Of even greater concern, the BrightSource loan guarantees total $1.6 billion,
triple the taxpayer dollars lost in Solyndra.
The dirty politics
of clean energy. Disturbing revelations continue to emerge about how more than half a billion dollars
of taxpayer dollars were shoveled into the Solyndra solar-panel boondoggle. It is becoming increasingly clear
that the only "green" involved in this scandal is money.
Dark Times Fall on
Solar Sector. Long viewed as a remedy for the world's dependence on fossil fuels, the solar
industry is dimming as makers of panels used to harness the sun continue to fall by the wayside.
Bankruptcies, plummeting stock prices and crushing debt loads are calling into question the viability of an
industry that since the 1970s has been counted on to advance the U.S. — and the world —
into a new energy age.
Politics infused Obama energy programs. Since the failure of the company, Obama's entire $80 billion
clean-technology program has begun to look like a political liability for an administration about to enter a
bruising reelection campaign. Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama's green-technology
program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of
memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company
investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.
Top Boners of 2011. [#6] Solyndra: The economic futility of the regime in Washington was
best displayed by the decision to "invest" US taxpayers' hard-earned money in Solyndra, even knowing that the
company would fail. This at a time when Obama was lecturing the half who actually pays taxes that we are
not paying our fair share.
Horner Testifies on the Folly of Green Energy Policy. [Scroll down] We do not know for sure
that Solyndra will put an end to politicians' profligate pouring of debt-financed wealth down this drain.
But, in the event this proves out, the half billion Solyndra cost us will also prove to have been worth it.
In the meantime, CEI supports educating Americans on the 'green jobs' and 'clean energy economy' theories, one
talking point at a time. Our elected policymakers must begin showing more restraint before embarking on
a vast compounding of the dilemma that ethanol supports have created, from which, politically, we apparently have
found no way out.
someone mention ethanol?
Germany's solar power industry is the latest to flop as subsidies ebb.
Solyndra Does Europe.
This week Solon became the first publicly traded solar-power company to file for bankruptcy in Germany.
Despite cost-cutting and a round of last-minute negotiations, the Berlin-based photovoltaic equipment maker
can't make its deadline to repay €275 million in loans. You could call Solon a European version
of Solyndra, the California solar-cell maker that filed for bankruptcy in September after blowing through a
$535 million loan guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers. But Solon also represents a broader bust in
alternative-energy sources that's been more than a decade in the making.
jury begins probe of bankrupt Solyndra. A grand jury has begun investigating Solyndra LLC, the
failed California solar-panel maker that lost more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans, according to
law-firm billing records. Weeks after Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September, a judge allowed the company
to hire a law firm to represent it in what court records at the time called a "federal criminal investigation."
to add billions to power bills. The [Australian] federal scheme to promote the installation of rooftop
solar panels and hot-water systems will have a cumulative cost to consumers of $4.7 billion by mid-2020,
adding to pressure on household power bills. The prediction is contained in advice to the nation's energy
ministers, which also forecasts rises in residential electricity prices of about 37 percent in the three
years to 2013-14, with an average annual hike of 11 percent.
played key role in Solyndra's rise. While government officials and venture investors who supported
Solyndra LLC are being put through the wringer by House Republicans, a powerful force on Wall Street that brought
these players together has largely stayed out of the spotlight. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which Solyndra
hired in 2008, helped propel the solar panel maker from Silicon Valley start-up to White House showcase.
Obama: Enron's Heir. Ten years ago today, on December 2, 2001, Enron declared bankruptcy.
The company is now liquidated, but Enron's intellectually insolvent "green energy" model is alive and well in the
Obama Administration. Cap-and-trade rationing of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and "green jobs" with wind
and solar — Enron was there first.
Solar power bankruptcies loom as prices collapse.
The once high-flying solar power sector is headed for tough times, as a combination of slack demand and massive
oversupply is leading to plummeting prices and profits for solar panel makers.
Solyndra Scandal's Key Players. House Republicans' ongoing investigation into the Solyndra loan
scandal has unearthed a wealth of e-mail evidence offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Obama
administration's ill-fated decision to guarantee a half-billion-dollar loan to a struggling solar company.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has heard testimony from top
administration officials, including Energy Secretary Steven Chu. However, a number of the key players
involved in the Solyndra decision have long since abandoned their posts. The American people deserve
answers from all of them.
reporters, shining a light on the Solyndra scandal. The scandal at base is about how taxpayer
money is used, or misused, by government. It shows how the White House uses companies for its own
purposes and how companies try to use the White House to serve their aims. It shows how far political
appointees, and particularly the senior-most aides in the West Wing, will go to push the chief executive's
agenda on a sometimes slow but generally conscientious federal bureaucracy. And it shows how wealthy
people who help fund a president's election campaign get special access to the White House.
York Times on Solyndra: This Scandal Makes Republicans Look Bad, Right? [On November 24, 2011, the
New York Times] examined the Solyndra scandal and concluded Republicans are really off base for having the temerity
to complain about throwing taxpayer dollars down a rathole in the name of enriching big Democratic donors.
The FBI raided Solyndra's California headquarters in early September a week after it announced its bankruptcy.
The nature of this investigation is not yet public, and it's not known when it will be — but reports
have said it could focus on accounting fraud and misleading federal officials about the finances of the company.
The Energy Department's inspector general is a partner in that investigation.
Green Energy Is Awash in Red Ink.
After blowing $528 million dollars in taxpayer support, Solyndra's 1,100 laid off workers will receive
$13,000 each in federal aid packages, including job retraining and income assistance. Since President Obama
extolled the virtues of clean solar energy, why is it that Solyndra could not make a profit in such a hot market?
Was this just crony capitalism or a photo opportunity for the White House to waste more taxpayer money?
The Solyndra Mess.
The Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee appear to have hit the pause button on their investigation
into the failure of Solyndra, a solar panel maker that entered bankruptcy proceedings in September, defaulting on
a $528 million federal loan. What have we learned? Nobody comes out of this looking good.
Chu Should Lose His Job Over The Solyndra Scandal. The Secretary of Energy takes responsibility
for and defends the granting of a half-billion-dollar-loan guarantee to an imploding solar panel maker.
But that's not where the campaign donor buck stopped.
offers no apology for fleecing taxpayers for Solyndra. People can debate all day whether government
should be in the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace by selectively awarding loan guarantees.
What's beyond dispute is that any official decision that results in the loss of half-a-billion tax dollars should elicit
an apology from somebody in government. Just don't expect that somebody to be Secretary of Energy
Bankruptcy and the Failure of 19th-century Steam Subsidies. The 19th-century steamship industry can be a
valuable lesson for the President and all the Washington corporatists who so adamantly push their "green" subsidies.
Chu Takes Responsiblity for Solyndra Amid Charges of Unlawful Conduct. Today [11/17/2011]
embattled Energy Secretary Steven Chu finally ended his silence and took personal responsibility
for the controversial Soyndra loan amid congressional charges that he may have violated federal
laws. At the contentious hearing he repeatedly said he was unaware of many governmental emails
and reports that warned Solyndra was a bad bet. Chu testified under oath before a key House
Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee. He asserted "the final decisions on Solyndra were
mine" and that "I did not make any decision based on political considerations."
Secretary Steven Chu On Solyndra: Everything Was 'Proper'. On the eve of his appearance before
the House Energy and Commerce Committee to discuss the Solyndra bankruptcy, the Energy Department has provided
reporters with advance excerpts from Secretary Chu's prepared statement. The remarks indicate that Chu will
continue to defend the green energy loan guarantee program that gave the now-bankrupt solar panel company more
than $527 million in taxpayer dollars.
Energy Secretary Chu offers
no apologies for Solyndra. Energy Secretary Steven Chu made no apologies Thursday for the
$535 million loan guarantee the government made to now bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra, saying
the company's collapse was unforeseeable and politics did not play a role in the approval process.
taxpayers won't recover much from Solyndra. Taxpayers shouldn't expect to recover much
money from bankrupt solar panel manufactuer Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee
from the Obama administration, Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified on Thursday [11/17/2011].
Dept. pushed firm to keep layoffs quiet until after midterms. The Obama administration urged
officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the
November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show. Solyndra, the now-shuttered California
company, had been a poster child of President Obama's initiative to invest in clean energies and received
the administration's first energy loan of $535 million.
Stonewall Breeched. No wonder the White House stonewalled on releasing Solyndra documents.
Last week's document dump is a lesson in why Washington has no business playing investment banker.
Chicago Politics Expansion of Executive Privilege. RINO Congressman Fred Upton of incandescent
light bulb ban fame, chairs the committee that subpoenaed Solyndra documents from the White House.
Claiming Executive Privilege and otherwise stalling, the White House refused to turn over Obama Blackberry and
other records that may be relevant to Mr. Obama's personal involvement in, or knowledge of, the Solyndra fiasco.
Instead of repudiating such an abuse of Executive Privilege, Upton agreed to limit the scope of his committee's
subpoena. The Friday dump of documents by the White House was therefore incomplete because Upton had
Solyndra, a long history of failed government energy projects. Solyndra, the solar-panel maker that
received more than half a billion dollars in federal loans from the Obama administration only to go bankrupt this
fall, isn't the first dud for U.S. government officials trying to play venture capitalist in the energy industry.
The Clinch River Breeder Reactor. The Synthetic Fuels Corporation. The hydrogen car. Clean coal.
These are but a few examples spanning several decades — a graveyard of costly and failed projects.
grow for Auburn Hills solar company. Energy Conversion Devices Inc., the solar energy products
manufacturer once hailed by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and visited by President George W. Bush, could be
headed toward bankruptcy. The Auburn Hills-based company this week halted production because it has too
much inventory, furloughing 400 manufacturing workers at United Solar Ovonic plants. It also plans to
lay off another 500 employees by year's end, adding to the 300 laid off in May.
e-mails show Obama fundraiser discussed lobbying White House. A major Obama fundraiser strategized
with one of his associates last year about how to get White House and Energy Department assistance for a solar
company in which his family funds had a substantial interest, according to e-mails released Wednesday [11/9/2011] by
liberals, but Solyndra is a real scandal. When it was reported that Obama fundraiser and
top Solyndra fundraiser George Kaiser met at the White House on multiple occasions, top White House officials
asserted "the White House now firmly believes that [Solyndra investor and Obama fundraiser George] Kaiser
never broached the subject of the Solyndra loan," in the words of ABC's Matthew Mosk. Kaiser said
Solyndra never came up in these meetings. New emails show that the subsidized bankrupt politically
connected solar panel company was a topic of meetings when Kaiser and his lieutenants met at the White
House. In fact, Kaiser & crew used their access to the White House to push for taxpayer subsidies.
The Great Stonewall of Obama. During
another trademark Friday news dump, the White House revealed that it would fight a GOP House subpoena for internal
documents related to the half-trillion-dollar, stimulus-funded, now-bankrupt Solyndra solar energy loan bust.
White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler fumed that the information request placed an "unreasonable burden on the
president's ability to meet his constitutional duties." ... While she paints the request as a last-minute
surprise, the White House has been stonewalling on Solyndra all year long.
privilege claim ahead on Solyndra. On Friday, citing "longstanding and important Executive Branch
confidentiality interests," White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler refused a House panel's demand for "all
communications among White House staff and officials" relating to Solyndra. Solyndra is one of the
administration's pet "green energy" firms.
The smell of cover-up in
the morning. Solyndra is rich in material, now turbocharged by White House stonewalling.
Execs Leave With Cash — Yours. At The Corner, Andrew Stiles notes a report from Green Technology
that Solyndra's executives substantial bonuses shortly before their company declared bankruptcy, having
run out of your money. The taxpayers likely will be stuck with a $530 million bill.
rejects subpoena request for Solyndra docs. President Obama's attorney sent a letter to Congressional
investigators on Friday [11/4/2011], saying the White House would not cooperate with a subpoena requesting documents
related to its doling out a $535 million loan guarantee to now bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.
at What the Government Has Done with Your Money. The feds have gambled with your money again,
and they've lost it again; this time with a company called Beacon Power. You've probably never heard
of this company. Candidly, before the announcement of its bankruptcy filing this week, neither had I.
Just as you probably had never heard of Solyndra before its bankruptcy, neither had I. But your
government has heard of both.
committee subpoenas White House for more Solyndra documents. The Republican-controlled House
Energy and Commerce Committee voted to issue a broad subpoena demanding more documents from the White House
as part of the committee's ongoing investigation into a government loan guarantee to the failed solar equipment
subpoenas White House for Solyndra documents. Showing a growing frustration with the the Obama
administration, congressional Republicans on Thursday [11/3/2011] authorized their second subpoena this week,
demanding White House documents related to failed solar technology company Solyndra. By a 14-9 party-line
vote the Energy and Commerce Committee's investigative subcommittee authorized issuing a subpoena for any White
House documents related to Solyndra, which received renewable energy loan guarantees under President Obama's
stimulus program. The request for documents could include details of the president's own travel and
Poll: End Solyndra-style loans.
In the wake of taxpayers being left on the hook for a half-billion-dollar loan to a company controlled by a
billionaire fund-raiser for Barack Obama, a new poll by the Tarrance Group shows that 72% of likely voters oppose
having the federal government choosing which companies within a certain industry will receive financial subsidies.
Panel Member Whose Solar Firm Won Loan Guarantees Raises 'Conflict of Interest' Concerns. A
clean-energy firm led by a member of President Obama's jobs council has a stake in projects that have reaped
nearly $2 billion in loan guarantees from Washington, a case that has raised conflict-of-interest concerns
as the same jobs council pushes for more "government-backed" investment in renewable energy.
panels swindle. The [Feed-in Tariff] scheme was introduced by the last Labour government in order
to encourage a huge switch to green energy in an attempt to hit its target of reducing Britain's carbon emissions
by 80 per cent by 2050. These green energy levies are costing the normal homeowner dear, adding
nine per cent to our energy bills this year, according to the industry regulator Ofgem. Millions of ordinary
consumers, to put it bluntly, are therefore having their pockets picked to pay for the latest government eco folly.
Power: Firm feds aided files for bankruptcy. Beacon Power Corp., an energy storage company that
received $43 million in backing from the U.S. program that supported failed Fremont solar panel manufacturer
Solyndra, filed for bankruptcy after struggling to raise private financing. The money-losing company, which
makes flywheels that manage energy moving through a power grid, had sought to avoid the fate of Solyndra, which
entered bankruptcy last month after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from a U.S. Department of
Energy program designed to spur alternative energy development.
Energy Department-backed company goes bankrupt. A Massachusetts company that received a $43 million
Energy Department loan guarantee last year filed for bankruptcy Sunday [10/30/2011], a step certain to fuel criticism
of federal green energy financing in the wake of the solar company Solyndra's collapse. Beacon Power Corp.,
which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
The Editor says...
Name one government office in your area that's open on Sunday. If you were to file for bankruptcy, wouldn't
you have to wait until Monday morning?
bankrupt; had U.S. backing like Solyndra. Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy on Sunday just
a year after the energy storage company received a $43 million loan guarantee from a controversial U.S.
Department of Energy program.
House official stays mum on Solyndra subpoena compliance. White House senior adviser David Plouffe
on Sunday [10/30/2011] would not say whether the White House will comply with an upcoming subpoena for internal
communications on the $535 million federal loan guarantee to the solar company Solyndra. "I am not
going to comment on a subpoena if it has not been issued," Plouffe said on NBC's Meet the Press [10/30/2011].
Professor Obama's Investing
101. It appears that much of the $36 billion earmarked for alternative energy firms, including
$500 million to Solyndra alone, has been squandered. If that money had stayed in the private sector, it
would have produced jobs. As it is, with real unemployment running at 20%, the president has wasted billions
on companies that were destined to fail. That "investment" produced nothing except more debt and slower
GOP may subpoena White House on Solyndra. The political battle over the now bankrupt solar-power
firm Solyndra will escalate this week when House Republicans move to subpoena the White House for any internal
documents related to the failed firm's government loan. Lawmakers said the subpoenas are necessary because
the Obama administration has repeatedly denied their requests for the information.
The Solyndra Scandal Advances.
There's nothing new about government loans and loan guarantees being used as special interest pay-offs and tossed
down one of Washington's famous rat-holes. Of course, the administration has denied anything amiss with the
$535 million loan from the Energy Department to now bankrupt Solyndra. Alas, this surely is not the
only example of taxpayer funds wasted on inefficient "green energy" which will never be recovered.
Administration Pushing for Solar Projects on Public Lands. The President and his team of green,
leftist, big-government zealots learned absolutely nothing from the Solyndra debacle, and they're not even a
little bit ashamed of it. They are going to unabashedly continue to distribute other people's money
where they see fit and create the new green society of the future even if they have to tank the entire economy
to do it.
of Tempe-based First Solar resigns. Tempe-based First Solar Inc.'s stock crashed
Tuesday [10/25/2011] after news that Chief Executive Rob Gillette was departing, prompting concern
among analysts that trouble could be brewing at the once high-flying solar-panel maker.
First Solar ousts
CEO, shares at 4½-year low. First Solar Inc's board ousted CEO Rob Gillette, replacing
him on an interim basis with Chairman Mike Ahearn while the solar panel maker searches for a new leader to
steer it through a treacherous time in the industry. First Solar gave no reason for Gillette's departure,
which intensified fears that its performance has faltered as it faces increasingly cutthroat competition.
Top 10 Bad Signs for Obama. [#3]
Solyndra: The bankrupt solar-panel firm, which wasted half-a-billion dollars of taxpayer money while the
White House was obsessed with a photo-op, is another scandal exploding at the worst time for Obama. Not
only does it raise questions about the President steering federal funds to political supporters, it makes Obama's
promise of a green-jobs revolution look hopelessly naïve.
Solyndra investigation heats up
with DOE interviews. The highest-ranking DOE official questioned to date by the Energy
and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee aides is Jonathan Silver, the former chief
operating officer of the Loan Program Office.
fundraiser still boosting Obama campaign. Steven Spinner, a former Energy Department official
with ties to the failed solar company, continues to raise money for the president and help organize events.
Obama accountable on Solyndra. [Scroll down] EPACT did not create a citizen-suit provision
and it would be next to impossible for any one litigant to show the harm necessary to establish standing.
So it is unlikely Republicans can hold Obama accountable for breaking the law in court. But the Constitution
does provide other means for Congress to check Executive Branch lawlessness: impeachment. House
Republicans would not have to impeach Obama, just the highest ranking official(s) that knowingly broke the
law. Apparently, that just may be Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Will Get $0 Return From Solyndra Auction. If you happen to be in the market for a "12-inch Variable
Speed Drill with Laser" or a "2 Ton Folding Hydraulic Shop Crane," you're in luck. If, on the other hand,
you are simply an American taxpayer hoping for some kind of return on the administration's ill-advised "investment"
in Solyndra, prepare to be disappointed.
Subsidies Have Consequences.
The trouble with the ruling class is that it doesn't have a clue about business. To an Obami like Jay Carney,
White House press secretary, the failure of corporate crony Solyndra is "just the way business works."
You win some, you lose some. Only, of course, the way business works is that when you lose, it's supposed
to be your money that gets lost.
World of Radical Climate Science. People who are ignorant concerning engineering or science may
accept the notion that wind and solar are realistic sources of electricity. It is more difficult to
explain why the government is dumping billions of dollars into these technologies, both in the form of
cash and in the form of mandates that shift the cost to electricity users.
SunPower: Twice As Bad As Solyndra, Twice As Bad For
Obama. How did a failing California solar company, buffeted by short sellers and shareholder lawsuits,
receive a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project — three
weeks after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to build the panels for the
project. The company, SunPower (SPWR-NASDAQ), now carries $820 million in debt, an amount $20 million
greater than its market capitalization. If SunPower was a bank, the feds would shut it down. Instead,
it received a lifeline twice the size of the money sent down the Solyndra drain.
investigators try to deposition Solyndra loan memo author; DOE refuses. Congressional investigators
want to obtain transcribed interviews with Department of Energy officials involved with the Solyndra scandal,
including the author of the legal memo justifying the restructuring of the solar company's loan, but the DOE
has refused to submit, saying House Republicans don't have that authority.
Obama's "Rose Mary Woods" moment:
DOE Altered Loan Program Bulletins. It appears as though the Obama administration has been caught
red-handed trying to cover up evidence in relation to the "green" loans programs that helped finance Solyndra.
CNBC reports that a number of press releases posted by the Department of Energy have been retroactively altered to
remove the name a solar company thought by many to be the next "green" failure. ... Naturally, the DOE blames
'outside contractors,' who "inadvertently" altered the news bulletins while updating the loans program website.
Solyndra and the IRS.
In November of 2009, in the midst of Solyndra's downward financial spiral, the Internal Revenue Service issued
a ruling that granted special tax favors to the firm and its customers. The "private letter" ruling
involving Solyndra, though widely discussed among tax lawyers, commented upon within the solar-power community,
and even flaunted by Solyndra itself, has received little attention in the mainstream media. A former
IRS official told National Review that the ruling raises a red flag about political interference in the tax
system. The source, who was not directly involved in the case, says that politicians have increased their
lobbying for private-letter rulings on behalf of individual taxpayers ever since the Democrats took over
Congress in 2007.
for Obama. Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
heard testimony from top Treasury officials regarding the department's role in the Solyndra loan scandal.
More hearings are planned as investigators continue to shift through documents provided (reluctantly) by the
Obama administration. The most notable piece of evidence unveiled last week was a memo authored by the DOE
legal counsel defending the controversial decision to prioritize private inventors ahead of taxpayers with respect
to the first $75 million recovered in Solyndra's liquidation. But while it sheds some light on DOE's
dubious rationale in this case, the revelation appears to raise more questions than it answers.
denies bid by government for Solyndra trustee. Customer contracts figure prominently in the FBI's
criminal investigation of solar panel maker Solyndra LLC, which went bankrupt despite receipt of more than a
half-billion dollars in federal loans, according to testimony on Monday [10/17/2011].
won't talk about its contracts. Officials at failed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC refused to
discuss the company's contracts at a private meeting last month with a bankruptcy analyst for the Justice Department,
fueling the push to have a trustee take over the failed company during its bankruptcy, records show.
DOE in the
headlights. The Obama administration made $533 million disappear by giving it to a " green"
company named Solyndra. Next came a "green" company named SunPower that manufactured photovoltaic solar
panels. This time the money was upped to $1.2 billion of taxpayer money. This company was supposed
to manufacture photovoltaic solar panels for its California solar valley ranch. Amazingly it just happens
to be that the company had converted an old auto plant to a manufacturing plant for the panels. Guess where
the plant was located, of all things, in the Congressional District of a strong supporter, Rep. George Miller,
D.-Calif. Another surprise was that the lobbyist for SunPower just happened to be the son of Rep. Miller.
But of course that did not influence the senior Miller as he advocated for the loan.
CEO Resigns, Major Backer Delinquent on Taxes; Will Media Report?. Two more shoes dropped in the
Solyndra scandal today, but it remains to be seen their sound will stir the sleepy liberal lapdog media.
Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison resigned last Friday, the Associated Press reported early this afternoon [10/13/2011].
Oh, and while the media of late have cheerleading the Democratic push for a new surtax on millionaires, don't
expect the news media, particularly MSNBC, to note how a key Obama donor who pushed for the Solyndra loan has
been delinquent on his evaded federal taxes for years.
never mentioned Solyndra in White House visits, official says. While records show Tulsa oilman
George Kaiser visited the White House 16 times since 2009, an official who accompanied Kaiser says his
foundation's investment in a solar energy company never came up during the meetings.
The Editor says...
If you are dumb enough to believe that, you should not vote.
The most transparent and accountable administration in history announces...
White House won't turn over Obama's BlackBerry
messages on Solyndra. President Barack Obama won't be sharing his BlackBerry messages with House
investigators seeking communications about Solyndra, the White House told Hill Republicans on Friday [10/14/2011].
Secretary Chu to be questioned in Solyndra collapse. The top Republican and Democratic members
of a House subcommittee investigating the collapse of bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra LLC after it received
more than a half billion dollars in federal loans agreed Friday to seek the testimony of Department of Energy
Secretary Steven Chu. The agreement came during a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing over
increasing questions surfacing about the loan restructuring for Solyndra, which put taxpayers behind private
investors in case of a default. The deal was approved by the Energy Department earlier this year.
They say haste makes waste. But then, so does government. And when you combine the two you get a
real mess. Such was the case when the Department of Energy found itself with $4.75 billion in
unallocated loan guarantees as the stimulus loan program responsible for the Solyndra fiasco was ending at the
end of September. In the wake of the $535 million loan guarantee to a failing Solyndra whose major
investor was also a major Democratic donor, last-minute loans were given to First Solar, SunPower Corp. and
ProLogis. SunPower got a $1.2 billion guarantee. The question is why.
Obama's Top Solyndra Crony Claimed Zero Income.
There's a lot of talk about making the Evil Rich pay their "fair share" these days. President Obama
wants us to be very angry at the spectacle of billionaires escaping from confiscatory tax rates. ... It's
too bad Obama never rails against [Solyndra crony George] Kaiser, because the well-connected Oklahoma billionaire
reported zero taxable income during five years of his rise to the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest
Americans. In another year, he claimed on $11,699 in taxable income, which works out to $5.62 per hour.
Besides Solyndra Got Loan Guarantees? [Scroll down] Most of the money has gone to enormous
companies that should have no trouble accessing capital. Established utilities, large multinational auto
manufacturers, a global warehouse owner. The bulk of these funds are not going to rectify some gap in the
capital markets. They're straight subsidies to huge corporations. Even some of the smaller firms/deals
are owned by large corporations like Total SA.
Inside Man for Solyndra at the White House. The latest figure to emerge in Soylndra green-jobs
scandal is David Prend, a co-founder of the Boston-based venture capital firm Rockport Capital, who used his
role as a green energy adviser to the Obama administration to push for a half-billion-dollar subsidized loan
for Solyndra even though his company was a major investor in the solar-panel manufacturer.
papers: Solyndra's CEO quietly resigned Friday. Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison resigned last Friday
[10/7/2011], new court papers filed Wednesday show. He did so quietly, and it's unclear whether the timing
was related to Obama administration Justice Department officials' request for someone other than company
executives to oversee Solynra's bankruptcy process.
boss quits as struggling company turns to celebrity bankruptcy trustee to lead. Solyndra's president and CEO
has called it quits, weeks after he stonewalled lawmakers when questioned about the struggling company.
Energy Lobby Calls For Extending Obama's Stimulus Grants for Solar Power. The head of the Solar
Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the trade association that advocates for the the solar energy industry,
said Wednesday [10/12/2011] that the solar industry is "rock-solid" and that a program included in President
Barack Obama's 2009 economic stimulus law that provides federal grants to the solar energy industry should be
extended. Under current law, the stimulus program is set to expire at the end of this year.
company Solyndra says its CEO resigned. The chairman and CEO of a California solar energy company
that sought bankruptcy protection after receiving a half-billion-dollar loan guarantee from the Obama administration
Some Light on Solar Power. Solar power currently provides less than 0.07% of the United
State's electricity. So if we increased our solar power capacity by a hundred times, it
would still provide us with only 7% of our energy needs.
Oh, boy! Aren't they lucky!
lands GE solar plant. Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to announce — possibly
as soon as Friday — that Colorado will be the site of a new General Electric manufacturing
plant for thin-film solar-power panels, four sources familiar with the matter said Thursday [10/13/2011].
funder Kaiser paid zero taxes for years. Because [Oklahoma billionaire George] Kaiser was a
campaign "bundler" — an individual who collects contributions to a candidate from others that are
then simultaneously given to the candidate — who raised about $250,000 for Obama during the 2008
campaign, congressional Republicans and media analysts have speculated that the Solyndra loan guarantee was
nothing more than using tax dollars to reward a political supporter.
solar panel deal quietly suspended. In March 2004, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley announced a
deal that promised to save taxpayer money, reduce natural gas consumption and bring "green" jobs to Chicago.
But taxpayers might see red when they learn how the deal turned out. More than seven years later, the
initiative has been quietly suspended amid problems with some of the equipment — and acknowledgements
by city officials that taxpayers will probably lose money on the deal and never realize the energy savings that
Daley touted ...
SunPower: Twice As Bad As Solyndra, Twice As Bad For
Obama. How did a failing California solar company, buffeted by short sellers and shareholder lawsuits,
receive a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project — three weeks
after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to build the panels for the
project. The company, SunPower (SPWR-NASDAQ), now carries $820 million in debt, an amount $20 million
greater than its market capitalization.
Solar Flare For The White House. On Friday, while most of America was preparing for the weekend
and not paying attention to the news, the government released a batch of Solyndra emails. They showed that
Treasury Department and Office of Management and Budget officials were concerned about the Energy Department's
giving Solyndra more money even after the failed company had defaulted on its $535 million government loan.
Specifically, the officials worried that the plan was putting Solyndra investors before taxpayers, a violation
of federal law.
Solyndra: Incompetence or
Corruption? The current controversy surrounding the bankruptcy of Solyndra, the Obama administration's
green energy albatross, may be reaching critical mass. In yet another late Friday release of information,
a time-honored strategy designed to minimize media coverage of unpleasant truths, the White House has sent
Congressional investigators another 2000 pages of emails. Emails which implicate officials at the highest
levels of seniority within the administration.
Problem with Solyndra. The Washington Establishment's faith in the power and expertise of
government knows no limits. When given nearly unchecked power and money, bureaucrats and political
appointees will use taxpayer money however they please, even if they recognize they do it poorly.
Right now, it is Solyndra. But until we get our government out of the daily ins-and-outs of the
private sector, we can expect similar boondoggles.
Obama's Solar Slush Fund. Newly released communications regarding the loan approval for Solyndra,
the now failed California solar energy company, show direct intervention by an Energy Department adviser and
Obama campaign fundraiser, and raise new questions of possible involvement by Rahm Emanuel and the President.
As more is learned, it becomes increasingly clear that the Administration used the Stimulus, and specifically
the green energy loan program, as a campaign slush fund to distribute billions of dollars like party favors to
supporters and to grandstand for re-election to a perceived constituency.
Shows Senior Energy Official Pushed Solyndra Loan. A senior Energy Department official pushed
hard for the government's $535 million loan to the now-bankrupt California solar energy company Solyndra
even after he had disclosed that his wife's law firm represented the company and he had promised to recuse
himself from matters related to the loan application, according to e-mails provided to Congressional
investigators by the administration.
pushed Solyndra loan. An Energy Department adviser and former fundraiser for President Barack Obama
pushed for a California solar company to receive a half-billion federal loan, despite pledging to recuse himself
because his wife's law firm represented the company, newly released emails show.
Fundraiser Pushed Solyndra Deal From Inside. An elite Obama fundraiser hired to help oversee the
administration's energy loan program pushed and prodded career Department of Energy officials to move faster
in approving a loan guarantee for Solyndra, even as his wife's law firm was representing the California solar
company, according to internal emails made public late Friday [10/7/2011].
Down On Solyndra. After the bad Solyndra "bet," the administration paused not a second to examine
how it went bad or to reconsider a process demonstrably flawed and corrupted. Perhaps because as far as
"green energy" projects go, the [Obama] administration seems to have a gambling addiction. Solyndra wasn't
the only bad bet. It was the third U.S. solar manufacturer to fail in a month. SpectraWatt Inc., a
solar company backed by units of Intel Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group, filed for bankruptcy protection Aug. 19,
and Evergreen Solar went Chapter 11 on Aug. 15.
Solar panels don't work well.
Solar companies are duping the public. Solar panels do not work as advertised. This comes not from coal
executive but from Ray Burgess, who just happens to be the president and CEO of Solar Power Technologies, a
Texas-based solar monitoring company that has developed a wireless mesh network to collect data from solar
systems. Solar panels are inefficient and degrade rapidly. And even if they did work, they would
not help the environment as much as proponents say solar energy will.
A bad bet Obama should regret. Once the Obama administration's paragon of a clean-energy future,
Solyndra has gone bankrupt, taking a $527 million Energy Department-guaranteed loan with it. President
Obama, however, has no regrets.
Solyndra loan supported by Obama fundraiser.
A prominent 2008 Barack Obama fundraiser who held a key role in the Energy Department played an active part in
Solyndra's $535 million loan guarantee despite conflict of interest concerns over his wife's work at a law
firm that also represented the California solar company, according to internal Obama administration emails
released Friday [10/7/2011]. Steve Spinner's involvement in the Solyndra loan had been difficult to
determine until the release of hundreds of emails on Friday included some showing the Silicon Valley energy
consultant engaged in a range of high-level roles while at DOE.
Department Official in Charge of Solyndra Loan Program to Step Down. The director of the
controversial loan program that cleared the way for a $535 million taxpayer guarantee to bankrupt solar
firm Solyndra is stepping down, the Energy Department confirmed Thursday. Jonathan Silver, head of the
Loan Programs Office, plans to join the organization Third Way as a "distinguished visiting fellow."
The career change comes in the middle of heavy scrutiny from Congress over the department's handling of the
The Editor says...
One minor scapegoat is not enough. Somebody higher up needs to step down, too.
Newt: Fire Chu. Finally someone
in the Republican presidential sweepstakes is saying what needs to be said: Fire Energy Secretary David
Chu. ... On Chu's watch, the Department of Energy co-signed for a $535 million loan to a company that
promised to make solar panels in the most expensive way possible using the most expensive materials available
for a market already glutted with cheap foreign competitors. The loan was used to build a second factory
to expand Solyndra's ability to make solar panels no one was buying. This made no sense, yet Chu signed
off on the loan.
The Editor says...
That's all very good, but I think the man's name is Dr. Steven Chu, not David Chu. Am I wrong?
Yes he is Dr. Steven Chu, and the article has been corrected.
Race to impeach: Solyndra or Fast and Furious?
Two evolving scandals are neck to neck in the race to impeach President Obama. While Fast and
Furious — the ATF gun-running for Mexican drug lords — is the more imaginative of the two
scandals, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee
Chairman Cliff Stearns are following the money on Solyndra.
E-mails show Energy Department was moving toward second loan for Solyndra.
Newly released e-mails show the Obama administration's Energy Department was poised to give Solyndra a second
taxpayer loan of $469 million last year, even as the company's financial situation grew increasingly dire.
The department was still considering providing the second loan guarantee to the solar-panel manufacturer in April
and May 2010, at a time when Solyndra's auditors were already warning that the company was in danger of collapsing.
A New Study Takes The Wind Out Of Wind Energy.
Facts are pesky things. And they're particularly pesky when it comes to the myths about the wind energy
business. For years, it's been an article of faith among advocates of renewables that increased use of
wind energy can provide a cost-effective method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The reality:
wind energy's carbon dioxide-cutting benefits are vastly overstated. Furthermore, if wind energy does
help reduce carbon emissions, those reductions are too expensive to be used on any kind of scale. Those
are the findings of an exhaustive new study, released today [7/19/2011], by Bentek Energy, a Colorado-based
energy analytics firm.
Loan Program on Pace to Commit Equivalent of $6M Per Permanent Job. As the Energy Department
moves to finalize the last remaining loan guarantees from a controversial clean-energy fund, the federal
government is on pace to put up more than $6 million for every permanent job saved or created by the
program. As of late Friday afternoon [9/30/2011], the program that doled out money to now-bankrupt
solar firm Solyndra has backed up $16 billion in clean-energy loans.
In happier times, the firm had been celebrated as a harbinger of the future. The political connections
it enjoyed were the fruit not only of well-placed contributions but of a self-imposed ideological mission:
It was going to deliver cheap energy in amazing ways. Top executives had dismissed accounting
irregularities. The normal rules, it was said, did not apply.
Administration's Expanding Scandals. When a presidency is experiencing a political collapse, as
is happening now, the last thing it needs is to face serious legal and ethical problems. But that is
precisely where the Obama administration finds itself with both the Solyndra story and the so-called Fast and
Furious program. It's clear that at a minimum, the Obama administration has given a misleading account of
mention the Fast and Furious scandal?
official praised Solyndra before FBI bust. A top Department of Energy official in charge of the
office that awarded Solyndra LLC $535 million in loan guarantees insisted the company was "headed in the
right direction" months before the firm went bankrupt and saw its offices raided by the FBI.
"by the name of Solyndra". In the course of following the unfolding Solyndra scandal there was
one small detail that piqued my suspicions but which I hadn't had time to chase down further. It
concerns the Obama donor and Solyndra investor George Kaiser, who made numerous trips to the White House
while the loan guarantee was in process, meeting with senior White House staff. ... If Kaiser ever appears
before a congressional committee — or a grand jury — he should certainly be pressed
about whether the "charitable activities" discussed at the White House included his foundation's investment in
Solyndra: Big Three Networks Barely Mention Burgeoning Scandal. Energy Secretary Steven Chu's
admission, on Thursday, that he approved more taxpayer money to the financially strapped solar panel company
Solyndra, after it defaulted on a $535 million loan from that agency. Big Three network coverage?
Zero. This is just a continuing pattern of ABC, CBS and NBC barely touching the bourgeoning scandal for
the Obama administration.
approves $4.7 billion more in solar loan guarantees. The solar industry is in a recession
brought about by what is almost certainly illegal dumping of photovoclaic cells by the Chinese on the
Solyndra probe threatens to ensnare Energy Secretary Chu. Republican lawmakers have set their
sights on Chu, who for three years has managed to avoid being dragged into a litany of political battles
waged by Republicans and the White House on energy and environmental issues.
What's the rush?
Department approves $4.7 billion in solar loan guarantees. The Energy Department finalized
Friday more than $4.7 billion in loan guarantees for four solar projects, bringing an embattled
stimulus-law program aimed at financing renewable energy projects to a close. The approvals come amid
objections from House Republicans, who have alleged that the department was rushing to finalize the loan
guarantees before the program expired Friday.
Opens Wide. It turns out a recent recipient of the administration's largesse is from the House of
Pelosi. The green energy scandal keeps picking up speed.
still silent on brewing Solyndra debacle. President Obama has remained silent weeks after a
green-energy firm that received a more than $500 million loan from his administration went bust,
avoiding a brewing controversy on Capitol Hill even as new details trickle out about the firm facing
multiple investigations by Congress and the Justice Department.
Said to Be Probing Solyndra for Possible Account Fraud. The FBI is investigating Solyndra LLC
for possible accounting fraud and the accuracy of financial representations made to the government, according
to an agency official. ... The company's offices in Fremont, California, were raided by Federal Bureau of
Investigation agents on Sept. 8. The Justice Department hasn't said why Solyndra is being probed.
Energy Industry Staggers. As the Energy Department hustled to get another $4.7 billion in
loan guarantees for green tech companies out the door before time ran out and the program ended last week, yet
another solar panel manufacturer was wilting in the sun, and the green jobs scam was looking more threadbare
More solar companies led by Democratic donors received federal loan
guarantees. A Daily Caller investigation has found that in addition to the failed company
Solyndra, at least four other solar panel manufacturing companies receiving in excess of $500 million in
loan guarantees from the Obama administration employ executives or board members who have donated large sums of
money to Democratic campaigns.
Exactly the opposite is true.
Commerce Secretary: 'U.S. Can't Afford' Not to Subsidize Green Tech. Acting Commerce Secretary
Rebecca Blank said that in a global race for green technology, the United States "can't afford" not to spend
taxpayer money on such projects, and that the price of that spending is an occasional failure. One of
those failures was a $535-million federal loan guarantee to the Solyndra company that makes solar panels but
which recently filed for bankruptcy.
Wins $737 Million Guarantee for Solar Thermal Plant. SolarReserve LLC, a closely held renewable
energy developer, received a $737 million U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee to build a solar-thermal
project in Nevada. ... Lawmakers in Washington are scrutinizing the Energy Department's program in the wake
of Solyndra LLC's Sept. 6 bankruptcy filing.
Mulls Green Energy Loans At $20 Million Per Job. The Energy Department on Wednesday approved
federal loan guarantees for two green energy projects totaling more than $1 billion. It approved
$337 million for a Mesquite Solar project in Arizona and $737 million for a Solar Reserve project in
Nevada. The projects would create a total of 52-55 permanent jobs, according to earlier DOE figures and
company statements. That's about $20 million per permanent job.
Politicizing Energy Independence.
Three years after energy independence and alternative energy measures had bipartisan support under the Bush
Administration, the Obama Administration has not only succeeded in politicizing alternative energy until it
became a divisive issue, but with the Solyndra scandal, it may have also tarred the entire alternative energy
field with another Enron.
Department approves $1 billion in solar energy loan guarantees. The Energy Department announced
Wednesday [9/28/2011] that is has finalized more than $1 billion in loan guarantees for two separate
solar energy projects. ... DOE announced a $737 million loan guarantee to help finance construction of
the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt solar-power-generating facility in Nye County, Nev.
The project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve.
The solar swindle:
Bosses at solar panel manufacturer Solyndra are busy taking the Fifth, and Obama administration officials
are pleading ignorance over how an unsustainable enterprise was able to bag $535 million in taxpayer
loot. In the coming days, Congress is likely to get to the bottom of exactly who knew what and when.
lawmaker demands independent probe into Solyndra. A Republican on the House Energy and
Commerce Committee is calling on the White House to appoint an independent investigator to examine the
administration's decision to approve a $535 million loan guarantee for a now-bankrupt solar company.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said the Obama administration should have quickly appointed a special
investigator to look into Solyndra...
What the President Knew and When He Knew It. According to an investigation by the Los Angeles
Times, President Obama was warned nearly a year ago that Energy Secretary Stephen Chu's department was not
rigorous enough in vetting loan recipients and they ran the risk of funneling federal money to companies that
shouldn't receive it, or didn't need it. And the warnings came from the President's top economic advisers
Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner.
$733M Plant Had Robots, Spa Showers. It wasn't just any factory. When it was
completed at an estimated cost of $733 million, including proceeds from a $535 million U.S. loan
guarantee, it covered 300,000 square feet, the equivalent of five football fields. It had robots
that whistled Disney tunes, spa-like showers with liquid-crystal displays of the water temperature, and
glass-walled conference rooms.
There a Dirty Side to Clean Green Solar Energy? Should Solyndra worry about a Chicago style set-up
from the Obama Administration, and should they protect themselves by requesting a special prosecutor?
Cabinet Does The Hokey Pokey. In May 2009, Secretary Chu put his hands all over the Solyndra
loan which he said would be a model for what the government creation of "green" jobs. Chu attended the
ground breaking with President Obama and cited Solyndra's example in his speeches. Yet, now, with
Solyndra's mind-boggling profligacy, squandering $523 million in taxpayer money in less than two years
and filing for bankruptcy protection, both Chu and Obama are eager to take their hands off...
Eclipse of Solyndra. On Friday [9/23/2011], Solyndra execs Brian Harrison and Bill Stover
invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. ... I thought the execs did the smart thing.
Harrison and Stover have nothing to gain by talking, because there's no good way to explain how they blew close to
a half-billion in taxpayer money. Besides, they didn't need to talk when committee Democrats were so
willing to toss around a few mitigating factors...
Government officials rushed $535 million to Solyndra because the Obama administration was determined
to make the company the centerpiece of its green agenda regardless of the law of supply and demand.
Billions more have been wasted by politicians betting on favored companies and making Washington bigger,
using the brute force of government to force liberal preferences into the economy. Mr. Obama calls
them "investments," but this is really venture socialism.
Did Solyndra Spend All That Money? It seems that in the space of two years, Solyndra managed to
spend $344 million building a factory and $660 million ... doing what?
Politicians & Judges Control Everything. What we have in Washington is a political three-ring
circus performing its various functions on the hugest pile of money ever assembled in one place in all of
human history. Indeed, there is so much money that there is no way that anyone can keep track of how it is
spent, or who gets what, or who steals what. Solyndra is just one small example of legal theft of a mere
half billion dollars.
The green energy lobby is probably hoping that Solyndra's failure can be portrayed as an isolated case of
illegal influence, lest it cast a shadow over the entire edifice of massive subsidies that green energy
requires to survive. But Solyndra is merely the most spectacular of several recent green energy
Solyndra: Dumb and crooked. If
anyone wonders what is wrong with America today, check out Solyndra. Its principal players were well-connected
politically — they knew the White House like the back of their grubby little paws — but
they did not know [much] about business. In the 19th century, Solyndra would have failed an no one would
have noticed. In the 21st century, taxpayers rewarded Solyndra with a half-billion dollars.
Solyndra: Obama's Marble
Boat. Because of the prejudice against fossil fuels in administration quarters, and undoubtedly
because so many Democrat fundraisers and lobbyists are lining their pockets on "green projects," the government,
which should not be providing debt capital for new tech energy start-ups, has jumped into this area, feet
first, and landed on its nose, at huge cost to us.
Taking the Fifth on
the Solyndra scandal. We know that the company applied for an Energy Department loan guarantee
in early 2007, was given a bad credit rating by Fitch in 2008, and was denied a loan by the Bush Energy
Department in January 2009. We also know that in March 2009, Oklahoma billionaire and Solyndra investor
George Kaiser, who raised more than $50,000 for President Obama's campaign, visited the White House four
times. We know that on March 29, 2009, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Solyndra had been
awarded a $535 million loan guarantee.
Democratic Party among Solyndra's creditors. Out of the hundreds of out-of-work employees,
vendors, investors and other creditors in the bankruptcy of government-backed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC,
one name stands out: the California Democratic Party. Why California Democrats would be creditor
to a company that received more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans to build a solar-panel plant
isn't clear. Even party officials say they're not sure.
Obama Speech was "Obama
Unplugged". [Obama is] the fellow who lectured us yesterday about fighting for the middle class
"as hard as the lobbyists and some lawmakers have fought to protect special treatment for billionaires and big
corporations." This admonition comes from the same fellow who presides over a White House that inappropriately
pressured the Office of Management and Budget to approve half-billion dollars to a company, Solyndra, which
wasn't deserving of the money and has now gone belly up. The reason the money was fast-tracked and
funneled to Solyndra was because its chief investor, George Kaiser, is a significant fundraiser for Obama.
Kaiser, by the way, is a billionaire.
netted millions in solar loan deal. In the fallout of the collapse of solar-panel maker Solyndra
LLC — a company awarded more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans before it went bankrupt
late last month — members of Congress are demanding to know how all that money was spent.
Solyndra execs will decline
to testify at hearing. Solyndra LLC's chief executive and chief financial officer will invoke
their Fifth Amendment rights and decline to answer any questions put to them at a Congressional hearing on
Friday [9/23/2011], according to letters from their attorneys obtained by Reuters.
execs to take 5th, refuse to testify before House panel. Solyndra Inc.'s chief executive and
chief financial officer will invoke their 5th Amendment rights and not answer questions during a Friday
hearing before a House investigative committee, their attorneys said.
investigators rip Solyndra execs. Two members leading the Congressional investigation into bankrupt
solar energy firm Solyndra said the company's executives broke their promise to testify openly during a hearing
scheduled for this Friday, instead electing to exercise their Fifth amendment rights not to answer questions.
Solyndra Scandal and the Future of Green Energy. An investigation by the Energy and Commerce
Committee has revealed that, for political reasons, the White House rushed a $528 billion federal loan to
solar firm Solyndra, which went bankrupt two weeks ago. Taxpayers should be outraged. Not just
about Solyndra, but about the inherent corruption of government's entire push to pick winners and losers
in the energy sector, and micromanage the economy in general.
Solyndra Investor admits:
wanted the loan so we could 'go public and cash out'. A clearer picture of the underlying
insider scheme at Solyndra is beginning to emerge. Yuliya Chernova of the Wall Street Journal writes a
superb column today regarding all the business problems that beset the scandal plagued Solyndra. There
were a litany of engineering and business problems that were very apparent to everyone except, apparently, the
White House politicos that pressured career officials in the government to extend a 500 million dollar
scandal unraveling Obama's credibility. An Energy Department analysis of Solyndra's business model
performed two years ago predicted that the firm would run out of money in September 2011. But that fact
was ignored by the president and his political advisers who wanted a "green jobs" photo op, no matter the cost.
Kaiser Family Foundation 2009 grant sparks more Solyndra questions.
A Daily Caller review of the George Kaiser Family Foundation's income tax returns found that during the same
year billionaire investor George Kaiser successfully secured $535 million in government loan guarantees
for the now-failed solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, his private philanthropy donated to a political cause
close to the hearts of several high-ranking Obama administration officials. Kaiser, a major Obama donor,
was a frequent White House visitor during the week before the Obama administration approved that
taxpayer-underwritten financial deal.
solar company to put shine on law firm's wallet. U.S. taxpayers risk losing more than a half-billion
dollars from the collapse of solar-panel maker Solyndra Inc., but former Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld
and his associates stand to earn a windfall in fees representing the bankrupt company in coming months.
Solyndra Damage Control. The latest batch of e-mails documenting the Obama administration's
involvement in a $535 million federal loan to bankrupt solar company Solyndra has liberals scrambling
to point fingers at an array of perceived villains.
Rahm Emanuel on
Solyndra: 'I don't remember'. Chicago mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel
said he doesn't recall anything about the Obama administration's $535 million loan to the recently
bankrupt solar company Solyndra.
At least there's one bright side:
over Solyndra loan threatens to sunset solar energy investments. Political fury over a failed
$535 million loan guarantee to an Obama administration-backed solar company is threatening to poison the
well for future green investments.
the Solyndra Scandal Reaches the West Wing. Andrew Stiles has a good round-up of the latest news
and e-mails that show the West Wing's interest in getting a quick approval of the Solyndra loan, over the
objections of OMB. This e-mail stands out: "We have ended up with a situation of having to do
rushed approvals on a couple of occasions (and we are worried about Solyndra at the end of the week)," one
scandal exposes the lie of government 'investment'. Beware of a company that claims it can make
widgets for $10 each, sell them for $8 apiece, and then "make up the losses on volume." No banker or
venture capitalist would invest in such a foolhardy scheme. But substitute "solar panels" for widgets
and that is exactly what Washington's professional politicians and career bureaucrats did with $535 million
in loan guarantees for Solyndra LLC, the now-bankrupt California company that was the centerpiece of President
Obama's "clean energy future."
officials grilled on Solyndra loan. Obama administration officials refused to say Wednesday [9/14/2011]
whether anybody would be fired over the decision to award solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra LLC a half-billion dollars
in loans before it went bankrupt and saw its headquarters raided by the FBI.
Government as Venture Capitalist. We've been posting on Solyndra since the date of its first loan
in 2009. The fact that nobody on any oversight committee, of either party, raised any serious objection
until now is a bigger problem than the Solyndra bankruptcy itself. Dear Congrees: What you're doing
now isn't oversight, it's grandstanding. If you can't find time to notice that a $535 million dollar
loan doesn't make any sense, then maybe the legislative branch of government isn't for you.
admin tries to blame Bush for Solyndra. As the Congressional hearing on the failed solar energy
manufacturer Solyndra gets under way, it's already clear that the Obama administration is prepared to fall
back on a tried and tested strategy: blaming Bush.
'Someone should be fired' over Solyndra bankruptcy. Republicans made it clear Wednesday that they
intend to continue shining a spotlight on the bankruptcy of a solar company that received a $535 million
loan guarantee from the Obama administration. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Energy
and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, even said he wants to see an administration
official fired over the incident.
administration marches forward with 'green' agenda despite Solyndra scandal. The Obama
administration continues to move forward with its "green" agenda, despite new concerns on the heels of a
high-profile bankruptcy in the solar-energy sector. More recently, approximately 500 Texans lost
their jobs Monday [9/12/2011] because of Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the energy industry.
And the president has offered no specific regulatory relief, other than a single ozone regulatory proposal
he nullified a few weeks ago.
Spreading Green Jobs Scam. As solar panel manufacturer Solyndra was sliding into a long-predicted
bankruptcy, Energy Department officials began negotiations with the company and two of its main investors about
restructuring its $535 million loan to keep afloat the business that was supposed to be a good investment.
Under the restructuring agreement, Solyndra's private investors were moved to the front of the line and taxpayers
were put on the hook for at least the first $75 million if the company should default. Subordinating
taxpayers to private investors in recovering loan money is an "apparent violation of the law," according to
Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Solyndra scandal reeks of the Chicago Way. This is not a new kind of politics. It's the old
kind. The Chicago kind. And now the Tribune Washington Bureau has reported that the U.S. Department
of Energy employee who helped monitor the Solyndra loan guarantee was one of Obama's top fundraisers.
Barack Obama, Flim-Flam
Man. Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has an important column in which he argues that
the Solyndra fiasco is not just a garden-variety scandal, but a criminal fraud that should land someone, inside
and/or outside of the Obama administration, in the slammer. ... The facts warrant a full-scale criminal
Workers Looking for Non-Green Jobs. And if you needed more proof that "green" jobs are a myth,
the workers of Solyndra are applying for government assistance to learn a new trade: ["]Ex-employees of
the failed solar panel company Solyndra have applied for aid under the federal government's Trade Adjustment
Assistance program, the Labor Department has confirmed.["]
No, Bush Was Not Responsible For
Solyndra. It's true that the Solyndra loan application was filed during the Bush
years, and kicked around with varying levels of enthusiasm. Evidently proceeding on the
assumption that their remaining supporters are idiots, the Obama people just decided to leave
out the part of the story where the Bush team voted against the Solyndra loan, for precisely
the reasons Obama tried to cover up when he was pushing it through.
solar industry faces clouded future. Hemlock Semiconductor's $1.2 billion plant rises up
like a new city over the trees and fields near Clarksville, Tenn. More than a dozen cranes dot the
skyline of towering arc furnaces and industrial buildings, linked by a network of pipes that grows by more
than a mile each week.
Did the MSM Know and When Did They Know It? When it comes to protecting democracy,
an over-zealous media is always preferable to a lapdog media so enamored with those in power that
they lose their curiosity, skepticism and willingness to dig or ask questions for fear of what
they might find.
Breaks, Then Ignores News on Obama White House Ties to Solyndra. On Tuesday
and Wednesday's World News, reporter Brian Ross exposed e-mails indicating that the Obama
administration gave a $535 million loan to the green company Solyndra, despite deep
misgivings inside the government about its viability. Yet, Good Morning America has
declined to follow-up on the ABC scoop.
Likely to Cram Down Solyndra Billionaire. Sources close to the Congressional
investigation into the loans that the Obama administration made to bankrupt solar company
Solyndra, say that Congress is likely to attempt to scuttle an agreement that the
administration reached last February that allowed major investors to take precedent over
US taxpayers in the liquidation of the company.
Solar Dole. Last week, Solyndra, which builds industrial solar panels in the Bay Area,
announced that it was filing for bankruptcy. The company, whose officials and investors visited
the White House at least 20 times and have donated to the Obama campaign, chewed through
1,100 employees and piles of other people's money, including $535 million provided by taxpayers,
before it finally succumbed to reality.
Lied, Solyndra Died. The Obama administration is joined at the hip to Solyndra,
the company that in happier days manufactured solar panels. The Obama administration
touted Solydra as a model. According to Obama, Solyndra pointed the way to the future.
It served as the administration's flagship example of using taxpayers' money to boost clean
energy manufacturing and create jobs.
exactly happened with the government's Solyndra loan? Under the Bush administration,
the Department of Energy rejected Solyndra for a loan in early 2009, worrying that the company didn't
have good long-term prospects. Yet only two months later, Obama's newly appointed Energy
Secretary Steven Chu announced the government would give the company a $535 million
loan, funded with money from the stimulus.
Not the Only Firm to Hit Rock Bottom Despite Stimulus Funding. Solyndra, the solar
panel company whose highly publicized failure and consequent investigation by federal authorities
has flashed across headlines recently, isn't the only business to go belly up after benefiting from
a piece of the $800 billion economic stimulus package passed in 2009. At least four other
companies have received stimulus funding only to later file for bankruptcy, and two of those were
working on alternative energy.
controversy, White House doubling down on clean energy loans. The Energy
Department (DOE) is not backing down in its efforts to support clean energy companies, despite
Republicans pummeling the Obama administration for approving a $535 million loan guarantee
to a now-bankrupt solar firm. The department could approve as many as 15 renewable energy
loan guarantees by the end of the month when a program launched under the stimulus law ends.
Solyndra saga. We know the Obama administration can't get enough of renewable energy.
We know it can't get enough of "shovel-ready" projects for soaking up its taxpayer-funded economic
stimulus handouts. Now a colossal green stimulus failure has put Democrats on the defensive
and raised the prospect of an ugly scandal.
Corruption is not an energy policy. Emails released to the Washington Post before Wednesday's
hearings on the $535 million stimulus loan guarantee issued to now-bankrupt Solyndra Inc. reveal
the extent of, and resistance to, White House pressure to get the loan approved so Vice President Joe
Biden could announce it at a Sept. 4, 2009, groundbreaking event. The White House has denied
applying pressure or even monitoring the review process, saying the stimulus loan guarantee was a good
Don't Bet on Green.
No legislator would seriously suggest that a roulette wheel be employed to dig California out of
its financial mess. Yet elected officials routinely gamble with taxpayer money. Lawmakers
don't bet on red or black. They bet on green. ... We now know that Solyndra was a $535-million
bad bet. The money gambled and lost at the federal level is now being traced by forensic
accountants using government resources.
the logical endpoint of Obamanomics. Obama claimed his election would mark "the
moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." But that
was just the cover story. At its core, Obamanomics is about the top-down redistribution
of wealth and income. Government spending on various "green" subsidies and programs, along
with a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions, would enrich key Democrat constituencies:
lawyers, public sector unions, academia and non-profits.
The Green Bay Of Pigs? It seems that Uncle Sam's Mickey Mouse loan deal to the
now-bankrupt solar manufacturer Solyndra was not only a bad investment decision, but likely a
contributing factor to the company's implosion. ... The loan, it appears, bought a factory
that was too large, too expensive, and ill-suited for the market.
Didn't Happen By Accident. After Stimulus I was passed in 2009 the White House
wanted to champion so-called "green jobs." So, they set out to find an energy company to become
the "poster-child" for their efforts — a company that they could offer loan guarantees to
as proof of their investment and commitment to "clean" energy.
abused the public trust to fund pet solar firm. [President Obama] stood before the
nation and asked for hundreds of billions of dollars in further stimulus, even as Americans learned
one of the many ways in which the first batch of $859 billion was squandered. Taxpayers
deserve to know how and why Obama wasted their money on Solyndra. They deserve to know whether
it has anything to do with the fact that George Kaiser, a major Obama bundler, was the company's largest
corporate investor. They need to know whether that has anything to do with the extraordinary
agreement the Energy Department made, allowing private investors like Kaiser to be made whole before
the government in the event of bankruptcy.
Solyndra Fraud. The Solyndra debacle is not just Obama-style crony socialism as
usual. It is a criminal fraud. That is the theory that would be guiding any competent
prosecutor's office in the investigation of a scheme that cost victims — in this case,
American taxpayers — a fortune. Fraud against the United States is one of the most
serious felony offenses in the federal penal law. It is even more serious than another apparent
Solyndra violation that has captured congressional attention: the Obama administration's
flouting of a statute designed to protect taxpayers.
Solar Scandal. Solyndra. That's the name of a company that manufactured solar
panels in Fremont, Calif. (which voted 71 percent for Obama in 2008). It was the first
company to receive a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy as part of the 2009 stimulus
package. This wasn't small potatoes. The loan guarantee was for $535 million.
Nation. To find a metaphor for the failed Obama presidency, look no further
than Solyndra. ... "Keep up the good work!" wrote an administration official to a Solyndra
executive last May. "We're cheering for you." That was before the bankruptcy
filing. Before the 1,100 lost jobs and the empty 650,000-square-foot production facility
in Fremont, California. Before the FBI raid of Solyndra headquarters. Before the
House Energy Committee released emails suggesting the Solyndra loan was rushed and improperly
vetted. These days the White House is tight-lipped. The only cheering comes from
Republicans sensing a possible Obama scandal.
admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor. The Obama administration restructured
a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private
investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead
of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show.
Pet Billionaire at Solyndra. A high profile, politically well-connected California
solar energy company that had won a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama Administration
declared bankruptcy earlier this month and closed its doors sending 1100 workers to the unemployment
line. The demise of Solyndra has already sparked an FBI investigation, congressional hearings,
and raised numerous questions of political cronyism and corruption connected to the highest
levels of the Obama Administration.
Reveal Direct White House Tie to Solyndra Scandal. Yesterday [9/13/2011], ABC
News dropped the bombshell that Bush era Energy auditors actually nixed the loan as unsound,
nd that Obama OMB staffers raised similar concerns upon their own evaluation. The White
House's political team seemed to disagree, putting the deal on a "fast track." Mere days
later, the massive government loan to the unstable "green" poster-child — backed by
major Obama donor cash — was fortuitously approved.
raids solar panel company hailed by Obama. FBI agents executed search warrants Thursday
[9/8/2011] at the California headquarters of Solyndra LLC, which was awarded more than $500 million
in federal stimulus loans in 2009 to make solar panels in what the Obama administration called part of
an aggressive effort to put more Americans to work and end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Raid Homes of Solyndra CEO, Execs. Federal agents have expanded their examination of the
now-bankrupt California solar power company Solyndra, searching the homes of the company's CEO and two
of its executives, examining computer files and documents, iWatch News and ABC News have learned.
search warrants at Solyndra. FBI agents served search warrants this morning at Solyndra, the
Fremont solar company that abruptly closed last week, two years after receiving more than $500 million
in federal stimulus money, an agency official said. The search is part of a joint investigation
involving the FBI and the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General, said FBI spokeswoman
Julianne Sohn, who declined to elaborate.
Week in Climate News. Ho-hum, another day, another solar power company in bankruptcy,
this time in down in Australia, and for the same reason: the subsidies ran out. Instead
of calling it "green energy," maybe we should just start calling it "socialist energy" because it
has the same flaw: sooner or later you run out of other people's money.
officials made numerous trips to the White House, logs show. Not only does the
now-bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra have a cozy financial relationship with the Obama
administration, company representatives also made numerous visits to the White House to meet
with administration officials, The Daily Caller has learned. According to White House
visitor logs, between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011, Solyndra officials and
investors made no fewer than 20 trips to the West Wing.
Green Pigs Don't Fly.
Reportedly, Obama's jobs speech will focus on infrastructure spending, and much of that spending will
undoubtedly be tied to the creation of "green jobs." The problem is, what he has already spent
has not created jobs. According to the Heritage Foundation, it may well have cost jobs. It
has, however, enriched some of his wealthiest political contributors. And that seems to be the
real motive behind the president's infrastructure spending. Not green jobs, but green pork.
Watermelon Regime's Pay-to-Play Way. The recent domino-like downfall of a slew of solar
energy companies is shedding light on both the failure and corruption inherent in green politics.
Most prominently in the news was the bankruptcy of Solyndra LLC, a Fremont, California-based manufacturer
of solar panels.
A top bundler and major investor in a now-bankrupt green company made multiple White House visits before
he got a guaranteed stimulus loan that the administration monitored to ensure it was granted.
solar plant closes; $535 million vanishes. This ought to be the top story on every news outlet
nationwide, and ought to be the death knell for the "Stimulus" concept and for the "green jobs" fallacy.
But I get the feeling the MSM will bury it.
Solyndra, a manufacturer of solar panels, is bankrupt, which is inconvenient for the Obama
administration, which extended half a billion dollars' worth of loan guarantees to the firm as part
of the president's stimulus effort. The inconvenience extends to the 1,100 Solyndra employees who
have just lost their jobs and to the U.S. taxpayers who may be on the hook for the bankrupt firm's loans.
Bad Bet on Green Energy. Obama and Biden were literally invested in Solyndra's success. The
company got a half-billion-dollar federal loan guarantee, the first in a highly vaunted Department of Energy
green-jobs program, as part of the stimulus. This was supposed to be the new economic model:
government and its favored industries cooperating to lead the country into a green, politically approved
recovery. The showcase firm is now filing for Chapter 11 in an embarrassing blow to the
premises of Obamanomics.
wants White House papers on loan to failed solar company. House Republicans are demanding White
House paperwork related to a $535 million loan guarantee to a solar company that shut down this week.
The Republicans are probing the White House role in the 2009 federal loan guarantee to Solyndra Inc., a
California solar panel manufacturing company that ceased operations and is filing for bankruptcy,
resulting in 1,100 layoffs.
Administration's Solar Eclipse. Solyndra is a poster child for the pitfalls of
crony capitalism and what happens when government attempts to pick winners and losers in the
marketplace, particularly in the energy sector. It underscores the dangers of an energy
policy driven by ideology and not available resources and economic need.
and the stimulus. Solyndra was the first company to be awarded a federal loan guarantee under
the stimulus, worth $535 million. Taxpayers are likely to end up on the hook for much if not all of
that amount, a highly embarrassing development for President Obama because he was among the company's biggest
there a Solyndra/ObamaCare Connection? Chatter began to emerge on Thursday [9/1/2011]
about the unique treatment received by the bankruptcy-declaring Solyndra, a government-dependent maker
of solar panels whose scheme, shaped somewhere between a pyramid and a trapezoid, was described in the
Washington Post no less...
solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin. A solar energy
company that intends to file for bankruptcy received $535 million in backing from the
federal government and has a cozy history with Democrats and the Obama administration, campaign
finance records show. Shareholders and executives of Solyndra, a green energy company producing
solar panels, fundraised for and donated to the Obama administration to the tune of hundreds of
thousands of dollars.
solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin. A solar energy company that
intends to file for bankruptcy received $535 million in backing from the federal government and has
a cozy history with Democrats and the Obama administration, campaign finance records show. Shareholders
and executives of Solyndra, a green energy company producing solar panels, fundraised for and donated to
the Obama administration to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Republicans: Solyndra investment
'dubious' from the start. DOE initially made the loan guarantee in 2009, shortly before
the company closed one of its factories and laid off workers. Solyndra executives have more
recently insisted the company was healthy, but on Wednesday it announced that it has suspended
manufacturing, is laying off 1,100 workers and will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Besides questioning whether the company was a poor risk, critics have seized on news reports that
one of Solyndra's prime financial backers was an Obama campaign bundler in 2008.
lobbyists. The Obama administration sure liked to tout Solyndra, the solar-power
company that took in millions of federal subsidies before going bankrupt this week. Given
that this company's short life was dependent on government connections, it's worth looking at
stimulus snafu. President Obama made a high-profile visit in May 2010 to Solyndra Inc., a
solar-panel manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif. The company received $535 million in
loans from the Energy Department and was a centerpiece of the Obama administration's economic stimulus
effort. "Companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future,"
Mr. Obama chirped. On Wednesday, Solyndra closed its corporate headquarters, announced that
it's filing for bankruptcy and laying off 1,100 workers.
files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The frequently lauded and taxpayer-funded SpectraWatt
Inc. — which closed its solar cell plant and laid off workers earlier this year — has
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Obama's Real Energy Policy.
[Scroll down] Test data on solar modules indicates a failure rate of between 3-7% within seven years of
installation. Failures of inverters are exceeding 10%. None of this data is reflected in the
current economic models for solar power. The assumption is 25 years, but there is very limited
data. The business model for solar panels is becoming ever more challenging with rising materials costs
globally and that of labor in China. In North America Solyndra has gone through over $535 million in
government funding and is on the edge. Evergreen Solar, another poster child for solar power in this
country, filed for bankruptcy last week.
The Masses On Unicorn Ribs. The belief that green jobs would drive a new era of American prosperity
was — like the large majority of green policy chat — intellectually incoherent. The
goods that drive renewable energy industries, like so much else in this world, are far cheaper to construct
Sets On The President's Policies. It's bad enough we lavish and often waste huge subsidies on green
companies like the now-bankrupt Evergreen Solar, based in Marlborough, Mass., trying to promote an energy source
that would not be able to compete in the marketplace without them. We're even promoting such failures
abroad. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, an independent agency of the federal government, has announced
$500 million in loans for new solar energy projects in India. This is on top of about $75 million
already approved for similar projects in fiscal 2011.
shutters U.S. solar panel plant amid shakeout. Solar manufacturer Solon said yesterday [8/15/2011]
it will close a solar panel factory in Arizona in response to intense global competition on prices. The
Germany-based company said it will phase out a Tucson panel facility by October, cutting 60 jobs in the
Solar files for bankruptcy, plans asset sale. Evergreen Solar Inc., the Massachusetts clean-energy
company that received millions in state subsidies from the Patrick administration for an ill-fated Bay State
factory, has filed for bankruptcy, listing $485.6 million in debt. Evergreen, which closed its
taxpayer-supported Devens factory in March and cut 800 jobs, has been trying to rework its debt for months.
face £1,000 bill for green energy. Families face punishing increases in energy bills of up
to £1,000 a year to fund a switch to green energy and build new nuclear power stations. Energy
Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday outlined a new regime that will encourage firms to build thousands of wind
turbines, tidal power stations and nuclear plants.
OMB ignores document subpoena. Solynydra was the first firm to receive a loan guarantee under
Obama's $859 billion economic stimulus program in 2009. Obama has pushed billions of federal tax
dollars to so-called "clean energy" firms like Solyndra, which makes proprietary solar energy panel equipment.
At least one major fund raiser for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, Tulsa, Oklahoma, billionaire George Kaiser,
is among Solyndra's venture capital backers and there have been multiple questions about the firm's future
The solar plant to
nowhere. Evergreen Solar stock is plunging this week into a black hole of probable bankruptcy.
The losers — aside from shareholders and employees — are the taxpayers from Massachusetts.
Their government, just in the last few years, received $58 million in taxpayer subsidies. This slug
of money was given to Evergreen to get them to open a factory on a former military base in the town of Devens.
Within two years of the opening, Evergreen closed that factory and shifted operations to China. Now it
looks like even that move is coming up a cropper as Evergreen seems headed to bankruptcy court.
The Real Cost of Solar
Energy. President Obama has thrown down the gauntlet, spending billions of dollars to chase the
green energy alchemy of solar harvesting. ... Obama is the self-appointed champion for solar power, dolling [sic]
out billions for and energy source that has failed to run profitably anywhere in the world. The economy of scale makes apparent the physical impossibility of solar harvesting. Using the sun
to provide 50% of America's electricity needs would necessarily cover tens of thousands of square
miles with solar panels and mirrors, with all of it costing tens of trillions of dollars.
Solar Power Encounters Head Winds from
Environmentalists. [Scroll down to page 6] A high-profile solar energy project in California
is facing serious delays as the Obama administration's push for renewable energy has collided with its enforcement
of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
farm near Climax losing money because of property taxes. Producing 225,592 kilowatt hours of
electricity in its first year of operation, a solar farm in eastern Kalamazoo County that went online in
early 2010 has exceeded expectations. Also exceeding expectations is the property tax, said Sam Field,
a Kalamazoo attorney and one of the owners of Kalamazoo Solar.
Grand dream loses sheen
in glare of daylight. L.A. community colleges' green energy plan proves wildly impractical.
The blunders cost taxpayers $10 million.
Dark days for solar
power. Ever heard of the Solyndra solar-cell plant in Fremont, California? Most people
haven't. That's a shame, considering how much taxpayer money has been poured into it. Solyndra
is in serious financial trouble. Despite getting a $535 million bailout — part of the
taxpayer-funded "stimulus" — the company subsequently announced it would lay off more than
17 percent of its work force. It also had to close one of its manufacturing plants about a year
after it got the money.
Hurdles, and Other Solar Obstacles. Solar thermal energy is a technology for harnessing solar
energy for thermal energy, differing from photovoltaics, which converts solar energy directly into electricity.
But the use of solar power, thermal or otherwise, is not as reliable as purported. Maintenance proves to
be a problem and the savings aren't realized in actual applications.
Solar Industry Leading U.S. to Nowhere. A report last week estimates that the Spanish solar
industry has lost more than 30,000 jobs since 2008, due to the rollback of solar subsidies.
Power Generation: Boon or Boondoggle. [Scroll down] California, New Mexico, Florida, and
Arizona are just a few of the states forcing the owners and ratepayers of utilities to buy expensive "part-time"
power that destabilizes the electrical grid while not replacing a single kW of conventional power generation.
Such mandates take resources from those who would be productive and give them to those who produce an unwanted or
unnecessary product, leading to unemployment for many. Green jobs destroy twice their number of productive
jobs, as we have learned from Spanish studies about that country's green-energy nightmare.
Away: Wind Energy Analyzed. Hardly a stump speech goes by without a political candidate
calling for "more renewable sources of energy such as wind or solar" to either stop our dependence on foreign
oil or to slow the CO2 emissions that mean certain doom for our planet. The politicians are doing what
most politicians do: spewing rhetoric that they know voters want to hear; proposing programs they know
little or nothing about.
Why the Government Should Stay Out of Green
Energy. In the realm of solar power, there has never been more fanfare for a startup than in the
case of Solyndra. Founded in 2005, the company's rooftop-mounted solar panels were immediately touted as
"the next big thing" in alternative energy. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Solyndra has been
a magnet for venture capital cash from the Silicon Valley. However, just before Solyndra's promising
glow of success began to fade, the last big investor stepped into the boardroom: The Obama Administration.
And man, did the American taxpayer get played.
Solar Eclipse. The
prospects for solar and wind companies have declined significantly in the last few years. Those who
have been unfortunate enough to invest in solar and wind enterprises have, on the whole, experienced mediocre
returns even as the overall market has risen 50% since its low of March 2009. Over the last twelve
months, one popular global alternative energy index fund has declined in price from $25 to $20.50.
Over the past two years, it has produced a return of zero.
Keen Graphs of the Obvious.
The U.S. leads the world in recoverable fossil fuel resources, which are enough to last many more decades at
least. "Renewable" energy resources, other than hydroelectric dams, supply less than 5% of all energy in
the U.S., even after years of government-funded research, incentives, regulations, and subsidies. Fossil
fuels, nuclear, and hydroelectric will dominate for decades to come. The most economical source of
electricity for some time to come is natural gas. The most expensive is solar panels.
Green Power generates Red Ink.
It's time to end the mollycoddling of wind and solar energy toys before this stupidity does irreversible
damage to Australia's electricity supply and costs. The mindless green dream of producing serious base
load power from whimsical breezes and intermittent sunbeams has caused a halt to new low-cost coal power, a
boom in expensive gas power, a national debate about nuclear power and no effect at all on global climate.
Never Ready for Prime Time.
Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen (November 2010): "Allowing the tax incentive to expire would risk
jobs in a very important domestic energy sector and across rural America." Of course, it is only natural
for aid-dependent industries to warn that they would suffer without the continuation of aid. Employing
this circular logic, taxpayer funded renewable power has remained the "energy of the future" for decades.
But American taxpayers simply cannot afford to subsidize industries that are forever-nascent.
Solar Energy Is Far from
Ready to Replace Petroleum. The principal use of petroleum in the United
States is for transportation, not electrical generation. In 2002, petroleum generated
slightly more than 2 percent of total electricity generated at U.S. power plants. That
same year, solar sources generated about 0.01 percent of the nation's electricity. The
biggest competitor to solar electrical generation is not petroleum but coal, which generates
about 54 percent of the nation's electricity. The source of this coal is the United
States, which has immeasurable amounts of it and requires no military commitments outside its
borders to protect it.
Obama's Solar Energy Fantasy.
This is more than a repeat of the 19th century's error of subsidizing railroad construction. ... Here, though,
the situation is even worse than simple crony capitalism, given its unique 21st century twist. The
wrinkle is that at least in the 1860s it was possible to deploy a technology that could conceivably fulfill
its purpose. Trains could potentially deliver freight and passengers from point A to B in a
cost-effective way. No such claim can be made for large-scale solar power technology, at present.
Power Generation: Boon or Boondoggle. Obviously even the hottest tropical sun won't boil water, so all solar
thermal generators are based on concentrated solar thermal (CST) generation, which is exactly what the name implies:
concentrating light to produce heat. ... The materials required for such a facility are awesome. Not just the mirrors,
but the plumbing, wiring, hundreds of tons of structural materials, and thousands of tons of concrete foundations
The late Petr Beckmann calculated that a solar plant would not be able over its lifetime to produce enough energy to
build another solar plant of comparable size.
Solar Sticker Shock Hits Wash. County.
Kittitas County, Washington is experiencing sticker shock as the true cost of solar power is coming in at more
than three times the promised price. In less than one month's time, the cost estimate for a proposed
75 megawatt solar power plant has soared by more than 200 percent.
Florida Electricity Costs Skyrocket
as Utility Invests Heavily in Solar. Florida Power & Light (FPL) customers are being hit with a
16 percent hike in electricity prices as the utility company invests more heavily in solar power. FPL's
ongoing solar investment appears to violate a state law requiring utilities to provide power from the least
expensive available source.
San Francisco Solar Initiative Too
Costly. $100 million solar power initiative approved by San Francisco voters
in 2001 has yet to produce any solar power, San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission
reports. Prior to the 2001 solar power ballot initiative, solar power advocates promised
the costs of solar panel technology were poised to drop dramatically. [And they were wrong.]
Solar Power: Too
Good to Be True. For decades, there have been delirious proclamations
that the world would soon run on solar energy. Those statements always have
sounded too good to be true … and, sure enough, they always have been false.
Solar panels a 'loser,' professor
says. Installing solar panels on homes is an economic "loser" with the costs far outweighing the
financial benefit, a respected University of California-Berkeley business professor said Wednesday [2/20/2008].
The technology, using photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, is not economically competitive with fossil
fuels and costs more than other renewable fuels, said Severin Borenstein, who also directs the UC Energy
Institute. "We are throwing away money by installing the current solar PV technology," he said.
Over Trees, Solar Power. In an environmental dispute seemingly scripted for eco-friendly
California, a man asked prosecutors to file charges against his neighbors because their towering redwoods
blocked sunlight to his backyard solar panels.
Landowner Must Cut Redwoods to Accommodate
Neighbor's Solar Panels. In a battle between next-door neighbor environmentalists, a Sunnyvale,
California couple is being ordered to cut down their backyard redwood trees or face up to $1,000 per day in
fines. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office issued the order to Richard Treanor and Carolynn
Bissett after their neighbor, Mark Vargas, complained the redwoods were partially shading a solar power panel
Vargas had installed a few years after the redwoods were planted.
The Editor says...
This decision sets an important precedent: Solar panels trump redwood trees, even if the trees were
Block Solar Panels, and a Feud Ends in Court. Call it an eco-parable: one Prius-driving
couple takes pride in their eight redwoods, the first of them planted over a decade ago. Their
electric-car-driving neighbors take pride in their rooftop solar panels, installed five years after
the first trees were planted.
Misfires With Solar Subsidy. Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight
into electricity. This is great, but for a few problems: They are costly, they
rarely produce the electricity claimed, and, even with subsidies, PV does not pay for itself.
Solar Junk: In
California, where solar energy usage has become most common, some 20 homeowners'
associations have laws in place making it harder to install solar panels.
Read more about the California Energy
Crunch of 2000, and see if all those solar panels did any good. California
ran into an energy crisis because the population is growing steadily but there are no new
power plants. Environmentalists have made it all but impossible to build new power
plants in California.
"Million Solar Roofs" Bill Dies in
California Assembly. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Million Solar
Roofs" program (the state Senate bill known as SB1), which would give billions of tax dollars
to the solar power industry and force home builders to offer solar power as a standard
component of all new home construction, died in the state's assembly
September 8. Spiraling cost estimates largely killed the bill.
Renewable Portfolio Standard Threatens Consumers.
The notion that an RPS will include a "portfolio" of renewable energy sources is misleading — wind
energy is the only economically viable renewable energy source given current technologies. Although
other renewable sources, such as biomass and solar, have long-term potential, they are currently no more than
Voters Reject Solar-Powered Housing
Development. Voters in Livermore, California on November 8 rejected an initiative that
would have allowed construction of the nation's largest solar-powered community.
MSNBGreen: The King Kong of the
corporate world needs tax breaks, subsidies and favorable regulations in order to make green technology
profitable. Indeed, GE has nearly cornered the market on the solar panels necessary to implement
Kyoto-style reforms. Global warming hysteria is good for its bottom line.
Meets Polar as Winter Curbs Clean Energy. Old Man Winter, it turns out, is no friend of renewable
energy. This time of year, wind turbine blades ice up, biodiesel congeals in tanks and solar panels
produce less power because there is not as much sun. And perhaps most irritating to the people who own
them, the panels become covered with snow, rendering them useless even in bright winter sunshine.
Problems with 'green' energy
you may not have heard about. After a big snowstorm, your electricity supply is reduced or terminated, if you
are depending on solar. ... Keep in mind the unreliability and hazards of alternative power the next time Obama sings the
praises of green energy and tells us how wonderful it will be when he shuts down coal powered facilities.
E-waste looms behind solar-power boom.
Solar is a renewable source of energy, and solar panels don't pollute when they are generating electricity.
But the upstream process of making solar panels involves a number of toxic chemicals. Most solar cells
are made out of silicon, the same material embedded in billions of electronic chips. As a result, the
burgeoning solar photovoltaics (PV) industry faces an electronic-waste problem.
Solar and Renewable Utopia: Carter Redux, that's the only way to put it. After 30 years
out of power, the purveyors of the Solar and Renewable Utopia are back. We're going to develop
windmills, make solar panels affordable, and redesign buildings so they use only half as much
energy — in theory, at least. The subtext, of course, is this — we won't
have to deal with coal, nuclear, or any of those other nasty technologies that aren't "clean and
renewable." So what's wrong with this picture? Well, the problem is that 30 years hasn't
changed the physics of things like the intensity of sunlight or wind power.
Cost of New Electricity Generating Technologies. Analysis shows wind and solar power are ridiculously
expensive, compared to natural gas, coal and nuclear power.
No Substitute For Fossil Fuels.
Earlier this year, Congress approved a scheme to pour $80 billion — on top of the tens of billions
already spent — into renewables. A government report released last week indicates the money
will be wasted. Renewable energy is the shiny gem that everyone wants but no one can have.
The Green Energy Collapse. Across
the world, unsustainable subsidies for wind and solar are being cut back. The Ontario government paints
itself in extreme green. It has outlawed coal — the only jurisdiction on the continent to have
done so. It boasts the world's biggest solar plant. It boasts the western world's biggest
subsidies to the renewables industry. And now, it also boasts the western world's fastest-growing
Green power's hidden
agenda: Wind, solar, and geothermal, by contrast, are the most expensive alternatives to
coal. A kilowatt of power from such renewables typically costs about ten times as much as a kilowatt
from coal — and more than six times as much as a kilowatt from nuclear or hydropower. Alternative
energy promoters, including former vice president Al Gore, promise that these prices will decline if only the
government subsidizes the necessary technological innovation. Those promises have not come true over the past
three decades, and it's extremely unlikely that they ever will.
celebrated solar house left in dark. It was supposed to be a shining example of the green
movement — a completely independent solar-powered house with no gas or electrical hookups.
Seven months ago, officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the $900,000 house owned by
the city of Troy that was to be used as an educational tool and meeting spot. But it never opened to the
public. And it remains closed.
burst in solar house. Students from Lawrence Technological University, with help from DTE Energy,
built the house as part of a national solar decathlon two years ago, said Eric Pope, the news bureau managing
editor at LTU in Southfield. [Rush] Limbaugh said the solar home "looks like a trailer and cost
900 grand. The floors blew up because the pipes froze. No electricity. No gas. The
future!" And he was just getting warmed up.
Green Follies: Gov't Built Solar House Falls
Apart. Oh, there are all sorts of reasons why this engineering marvel was an utter failure.
There is finger pointing and head scratching all around. But the singular fact of the matter is that this
project is a failure because it was not undertaken by business in a situation where success meant fulfilling a
business plan to satisfy investors in order to obtain profit. No, it was a dalliance by professors financed
by government without any expectations or requirements for success.
Isn't Sustainable. A number of college and universities have introduced "Sustainability
Studies." Of course, "sustainability" is just another term for environmentalism, but it exposes the
mentality of the environmental movement very well. The idea is that unless we are forced use fewer
resources, we will not be able to sustain our life on earth and humanity will disappear or at best face
massive disaster. ... What sounds good, however, often is not, and "sustainability" has become yet another
scam — yes, scam — the statists have foisted on people in the name of saving humanity and planet
Discovers Sustainable Development Isn't Sustainable. The big problem with renewable energy is
that it just doesn't renew itself. The sun does not shine enough and the wind doesn't blow enough to power
the towns, cities, factories, hospitals and schools that make our lives so livable. No environmentalist
would ever allow their child to be treated in a hospital fully powered by "renewables". They would not
take the risk that the wind might stop whilst their baby was on the operating table. ... Renewable energy and
sustainable development are for "other people".
Consumers Avoid Pricey Renewable Power. Austin Energy, a publicly owned power company and a city
department of Austin, Texas, has found itself stuck with surplus renewable power as city residents have
declined to sign up for higher rates under the city's voluntary GreenChoice program. Contracting with
renewable power providers and offering the service to customers sounded like a good idea to city officials
until the price tag came in at up to three times the cost of conventional power. City residents
Strangulation. Solar energy requires vast territories for solar cells — as many as
46,000 square miles would have to be covered by solar panels. One logical place for a "solar
energy farm" would be the wide-open, sunshine-rich, sparsely populated Mojave Desert. However, Sen.
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) already has nixed that possibility in the name of wilderness protection. As
a frustrated Gov. Schwarzenegger lamented, if you can't put solar panels in the Mojave Desert, then where
can you put them?
Is Solar Power Dead in
the Water? Congress's rush to embrace solar power is having some unintended consequences. It will turn
over a large chunk of federal land to private energy companies, and it may involve withdrawing billions of gallons of water
from sensitive desert habitat. By 2015, Congress wants the Interior and Energy Departments to place, on federal land,
renewable energy projects that can generate at least 10,000 megawatts of electricity. The Energy Policy Act of 2005
has set off a frantic land grab as solar and wind energy companies rush to obtain permits for projects in Arizona, California,
Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
Voters Reject Solar Initiative. In a surprising blow to environmental activists and the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union, Los Angeles voters rejected a ballot
initiative that would have required the city to install 400 megawatts of solar panels by
2014. ... The opposition took offense at the secretive manner in which the initiative was
drafted, and they also focused on the high cost of solar power.
Global Warming Blues:
Green electric power from windmills and solar energy is impracticable. Its expensive and due to the
erratic nature of sunshine and wind, solar and wind power must be backed up by duplicate power plants or by
energy storage systems that are as expensive as duplicate power plants. It sometimes seems that the
advocates of solar power don't realize that the sun does not shine at night.
Spain's Solar-Power Collapse Dims Subsidy
Model. Spain's hopes of becoming a world leader in solar power have collapsed since the Spanish
government slammed the brakes on generous subsidies. The sudden change has rippled across the global
solar industry, in a warning of the problems that government-supported renewable-energy programs can encounter.
Highest Cost Generating Plant Comes On Line
in Florida to Obama Fanfare. Florida Power & Light (FPL) has built a 25 megawatt
photovoltaic power plant in Southern Florida that will supply power to 3000 homes and businesses —
a small fraction of the company's over 4 million customers. ... FPL spent $152 million building the
plant, which amounts to $6,080 per kilowatt — a figure substantiated by the Energy Information
Administration, who ranks photovoltaic solar the highest cost technology of a potential slate of 20 possible
future generating technologies.
Energy to spare.
Under the inspiration of the Green Zeitgeist, I cannot go into a magazine shop without finding some science-lite
cover story on new prospects for harnessing solar, thermal, wind, tidal, or whatever "renewable" forces.
There is an immense credulous audience out there, willing to be entertained by such nonsense. No one
with a grasp of high school physics should take any of these schemes seriously. In each case, we are
looking at a crank idea from the hippie era, which has not since been significantly improved, because it
Realities: Solar power is uneconomic. Government mandates and subsidies hide
the true cost of renewable energy but these additional costs must be carried by others.
Unsustainable cow manure. Wind,
solar and bio-fuels will ensure an eco-friendly, climate-protecting, planet-saving, sustainable inheritance
for our children. Or so we are told by activists and politicians intent on enacting new renewable energy
standards, mandates and subsidies during a lame duck session. It may be useful to address some basic
issues, before going further down the road to Renewable Utopia.
Lightness of Solar Power. [An article in the New York Times] features a dramatic photo of
500 acres of solar panels sitting next to an innocuous looking natural gas plant in Indiantown, Fla., owned
by Florida Power & Light. The natural gas plant — which occupies no more than
15 acres — produces 3,800 megawatts of reliable electricity. The gigantic
500-acre solar complex next to it (that's about three-quarters of a square mile) will produce
75 MW of electricity AT ITS MAXIMUM, i.e., on a hot summer afternoon.
So Long, Solar. Oh, the glory days
of almost a month ago, when advocates promoted the promise of solar energy in the United States. ... Fast-forward
to a report in today's [3/27/2010] Washington Post: "BP will close its solar-panel manufacturing plant in Frederick,
the final step in moving its solar business out of the United States to facilities in China, India and
A big bet on big government: ' Al Gore, solar power, and
corporate welfare. The New York Times reports on the venture capital firm Kleiner
Perkins Caufield & Byers, and its "big bet on solar technology." Read the post closely,
and you'll see that the success of solar technology companies is utterly tied to corporate welfare.
How High are Your State's Electricity Prices?
Electricity prices are nearly 40 percent higher in states with renewable electricity mandates.
Petroleum produces only 1 percent of our electricity. Using wind power or solar to produce electricity
will do nothing to reduce our use of foreign oil. Thirteen of the 15 states with the least expensive
residential electricity prices produce at least 50 percent of their electricity from either coal or
hydroelectric power. Americans need more affordable energy now, not vague promises for the future.
Affordable energy is under
assault. Many politicians and ideological special-interest groups are working to place
onerous restrictions on the energy we use and on how we use it. The energy resources that supply
85 percent of our energy needs — coal, oil, and natural gas — are the most
affordable and therefore the targets of this assault. The regulations are intended to make energy
from these sources harder to produce and more expensive to use. But these policies not only
decrease the availability and increase the price of natural gas, coal, and oil, they also force the
American people to use energy sources that would otherwise be too expensive and unreliable to exist
Obama's Green Energy Myth.
Both wind power and solar power are more expensive — incredibly so in the case of solar — than
either fossil power or nuclear power. Worse, you can't count on either wind or solar as a reliable source
of energy, since the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. Accordingly, for each
megawatt of wind and solar capacity we develop, another megawatt of back-up power, typically powered by
fossil fuels, has to be in place. This redundancy adds to the already unacceptable cost of "green
Project Approved. A proposal to build the world's biggest solar-thermal power plant in the
Southern California desert got the go-ahead Monday from the Obama administration, which used the announcement
to bolster its message that renewable energy creates jobs. The $6 billion project is being developed
by Solar Trust of America, a joint venture between Germany's Solar Millennium AG and privately held Ferrostaal AG
on 7,025 acres of federally owned land near Blythe, Calif. The approval clears the way for the
developers to seek federal grants and loan guarantees.
The Editor says...
It's a socialist trifecta: Using taxpayers' money to let a foreign company build a subsidized
business on federal land.
The "peak oil" scare has long been used as an excuse for alternative-energy providers to demand government
subsidies. We are told that oil production will reach a zenith and the wells will run dry any day now,
so failure to provide billions in handouts to the providers of other fuels would be irresponsible. Forget
peak oil — the world may be on the verge of peak renewables. The much-hyped intermittent energy
sources such as solar and wind have proved so expensive to maintain that other developed nations are trimming
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