Solar power

Aside from the bad environmental news you may have heard about the items listed here and here, you may also have heard good things (from the government and from TV "news" programs) about things that aren't necessarily harmless, beneficial, feasible or affordable.

That includes such things as ethanol, windmill power, electric cars, mass transit, fluorescent light bulbs, and 1.6 gallon toilets.  This page is specifically about solar power, which may someday be practical and affordable without government subsidies, but as of today it is not.  Several solar power companies have already gone bankrupt, including Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, and Solyndra.  The people who used to work at these companies were probably proud of their green jobs, but now they know better.

This locomotive battery probably weighs at least 1250 pounds.
Even before the Solyndra scandal erupted, the whole concept of relying on solar power to replace coal and natural gas was utter foolishness.  On a cold winter night — or any night for that matter — solar cells don't produce any electricity at all.  In the winter, the nights are longer than the days, and the days are often cloudy.  Additionally, your solar panels are useless when they are covered with snow.  The farther north you live, the more you experience these effects, and the more you need some kind of reliable power.  If you rely exclusively on solar power, and you want to sleep under an electric blanket all night and then wake up, make some toast and hot coffee, and take a hot shower, you will need to have a garage or basement full of locomotive batteries.  That means you'll have hundreds of pounds of lead in your house.

Large battery banks require constant maintenance, and they hold enough stored energy to easily burn down your house if you're not careful with them.  "Your batteries should not discharge more than 50%, and should be recharged 100% immediately.  Undercharging, continued overcharging, or contamination can badly damage your batteries."*

Oh, but you'll be saving money on your electric bill, right?  By all means, put a pencil to work before you buy your solar power system, and see if you can generate electricity for less than the cost of utility power.  You can't.  That's exactly why solar energy companies are going bankrupt:  With the exception of a handful of utility-hating hippies on the west coast, nobody is ever going to store and use electricity generated by solar cells, and no investor in the world — other than the U.S. government, while it is under Democrat control — will invest in an industry that will never be profitable.

The same is true of wind power.

Most recently, the merits of solar power have been eclipsed, if you will, by Solyndra scandal.  The bankruptcy of several large solar battery manufacturers clearly shows that solar power is not commercially viable.  The scandal lies in the Obama administration's eagerness to keep funding these operations anyway — motivated quite possibly more by politics than environmental ideology.



Wind and solar power are even more expensive than is commonly thought.  The trouble, as Paul Joskow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has pointed out, is that levelised costs do not take account of the costs of intermittency.  Wind power is not generated on a calm day, nor solar power at night, so conventional power plants must be kept on standby — but are not included in the levelised cost of renewables.  Electricity demand also varies during the day in ways that the supply from wind and solar generation may not match, so even if renewable forms of energy have the same levelised cost as conventional ones, the value of the power they produce may be lower.  In short, levelised costs are poor at comparing different forms of power generation.

Intermittent 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.

Most 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.

Things Obama 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.

Wind 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.

Five Fatal 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.

Solar 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.

Solar-panel 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.

Solar (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.

As 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.

Renewable 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.

Energy 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 human health.

Energy 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
  Coal                    0.64
  Hydropower              0.82
  Nuclear                 3.14
  Wind                   56.29
  Solar                 775.64
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.

Study: 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.

California's 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.

Obama 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.

End 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.

Obama 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.

White 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.

German 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.

Judge 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.

Oklahoma 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.

Death 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.

Reviving 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.

Solar 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.

Solar-Panel 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 per hour.

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?

Pilots 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.

Katrina victims 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.

Washington 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 jobs there.

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.

Extreme winter 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.

Kansas 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.

Electricity 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.

Green 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."

US 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.

Dietz & 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 B456.

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.

Prices soar in places that depend on green energy
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.

Don't fall for the solar panel flannel!.  This solar panel installation will pay for itself — when the owner is 154 years old.

SolarWorld 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.

Renewable Energy: 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?

Flabeg, solar 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.

Claim: 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.

Green 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.
Overly Overcast: 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.

Lomborg: 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.

Another 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 waste problem.

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.

Solar 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!

So, 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.

Obama 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.

Taxpayer-backed 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.

Emails suggest 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.

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.

IRS says '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.

Solyndra, 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.

Sources, 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 losers.

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 of 2011.

Lambasted Chinese 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 of them.

Obama's 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.

Obama "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 transportation fuel.

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" jobs.

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 becoming clearer.

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.

Probe 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.

Interior 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 DOE-subsidized boondoggle.

Subsidized failure: 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.

Obama 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.

Obama 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.

GE 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.

Obama 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.

House 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.

Washington's "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.

Obama 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.

More 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.

Solar 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.

Mojave Solar 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 deaths.

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.

Solyndra 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.

First 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.

Obama 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.

DOE-backed 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.
Email 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 federal buildings.

Feds call 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.

World's Largest 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.

Solar 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.

Solar 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.

Treasury 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.

Solar 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.

Documents: 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.

Germany 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.

Obama 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.

My 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.

Firm 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.

Internal 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.

White 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].

Solar 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?

Obama 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.

The 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."

Energy department 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.

BrightSource 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 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.

Obama's 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.

WH 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.

White 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.

Growing 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 isolated failure.

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.

Taxpayers 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.

Another 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.

"Greek 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.

Judicial 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.

Another Taxpayer 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.

Problems cast 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.

Republicans 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 staff."

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.

L.A. Times 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 bureaucrats proud.

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.

White 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.

More about Friday night document dumps:  the technique used by "the most transparent administration in history" to hide embarrassing developments from the news media.

Germany's Solar 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.

15 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.

Solyndra 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.

Germany's 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.

Did someone mention ethanol?

Another 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.

Attorneys 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.

EPA 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.

Bankrupt 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.

White 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.

House 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.

The 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 called "night".

Solar 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.

When 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.

BrightSource 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.

Solyndra: 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.

Obama's 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.

Chris 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.

Did 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.

Grand 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."

Solar 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.

How Goldman 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.

Barack 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.

The 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.

Post 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.

New 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.

Deconstructing Solyndra.  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.

Steven 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.

Chu 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 Steven Chu...

Solyndra's 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.

DOE's 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."

Energy 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.

Chu: 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].

Energy 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.

Solyndra 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.

A 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 already caved.

Before 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.

Troubles 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.

Solyndra 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 House Republicans.

Sorry, 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.

Executive 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.

Solyndra 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.

WH 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.

Look 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.

House 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 maker Solyndra.

House 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 communications.

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.

Jobs 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.

Solar 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.

Beacon 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.

Second 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?

Beacon Power 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.

White 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 economic growth.

House 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.

Obama 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.

CEO 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.

Solyndra-linked 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.

Holding 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.

Taxpayers 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.

The Bizarre 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.

Congressional 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:
Busted: 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.

Solyndra Questions 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.

Judge 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].

Solyndra 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.

Solyndra 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.

Kaiser 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].

Energy 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.

Solyndra Redux?  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.

Who 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.

Another 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.

Court 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.

Solyndra 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.

Solar 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.

Solar 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 has resigned.

Shedding 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!
Colorado 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].

Solyndra 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.

Chicago's 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.

A 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.

The Real 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.

Solyndra: 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.

E-Mail 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.

Obama fundraiser 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.

Obama 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].

Doubling 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.

Solyndra: 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.

Huge Email Dump Implicates Obama And Rahm In Bankruptcy Scandal.  The White House released a bunch of emails related to the Solyndra bankruptcy scandal to Congressional investigators today, in what has become a regular Friday evening email dump.  The emails, obtained by several news organizations, implicate the most senior levels of the Obama administration in the scandal, which has tainted the White House since the solar company went bankrupt last month, leaving taxpayers on the hook for a $534 billion federal loan.

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.

Energy 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 Solyndra agreement.

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?

Update:
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.

Solyndra 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.

Solyndracracy.  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.

The 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 both matters.

Did someone mention the Fast and Furious scandal?

Energy 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.

A Company "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.

Spiking 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.

DOE 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 American market.

GOP's 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?
Energy 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.

Solargate 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.

Obama 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.

FBI 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.

Green 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 than ever.

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.
Acting 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.

SolarReserve 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.

DOE 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.

Energy 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.

GOP 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...

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.

Solyndra's $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.

Is 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?

Obama's 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...

A Total 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...

Venture socialism.  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.

How 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?

545 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.

President Solyndra.  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 failures.

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.

California 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.

Lawyers 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.

Solyndra 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.

House 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.

The 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:
We 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 loan guarantee.

Solyndra 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.

FBI-targeted 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.

The Left's 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:
Fury 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.

[Investments?  Really?

And 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 official wrote."

Solyndra 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."

Administration 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.

The 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.

Obama 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.

Stearns: '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.

Obama 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.

The 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.

Obama's 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 investigation.

Solyndra 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.

Tennessee's 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.

What 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.

ABC 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.

Congress 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.

The 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.

Obama 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.

What's 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.

Solyndra 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.

Despite 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.

The 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.

Solargate Unraveled.  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 "investment."

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.

Solyndra, 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.

Solyndra: 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.

'Solargate' 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.

Obama 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.

The 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.

Obama's 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.

Solyndra 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.

Obama 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.

Obama's 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.

Emails 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.

FBI 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.

Feds 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.

FBI serves 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.

This 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.

Solyndra 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.

The 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.

SolarGate.  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.

Solyndra 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.

Sunburned.  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.

Obama's 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.

GOP 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.

The 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.

Solyndra 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 cheerleaders.

Is 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...

Bankrupt 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.

Bankrupt 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.

Solyndra's 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 Solyndra's lobbyists.

Obama's solar 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.

SpectraWatt 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.

Feeding 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 in Asia.

Sun 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.

Solon 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 process.

Evergreen 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.

Families 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.

Obama's 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 viability.

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).

Solar 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.

Turtle 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.

Spain's 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.

Solar 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.

Blown 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.

Solar 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.

Neighbors Clash 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.

Update:
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 there first.

Trees 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.

Schwarzenegger 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 niche technologies.

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.

Solar 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.

The 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.

Levelized 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 renewables industry.

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.

Troy's 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.

Pipes 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.

"Sustainability" 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 earth.

Bono 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".

Austin 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 aren't buying.

Environmentalist Economic 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.

L.A. 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 can't be.

Solar Power 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.

The Unbearable 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 other countries."

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 commercially.

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 energy."

Huge Solar-Plant 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.

Peak renewables.  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 subsidies.

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Updated July 30, 2014.

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