Can President Obama Name ONE Clean Energy Success?
UPDATE 8-7-12: The fallout from Solyndra is apparently far from over for the Obama Administration. Last Thursday, emails were released that showed, among other things, that the CEO of Solyndra called the Obama Administration the “Bank of Washington,” that then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was the one who pushed President Obama into the deal, and that the administration “love[d]” Solyndra.
But that’s not all!
The Washington Examiner reports that taxpayers will recover just $24 million from the $527 million spent by the company. Just like the auto bailouts, taxpayers will only recover a small percentage of what they were forced to “invest.”
UPDATE 7-25-12: Thanks to analysts at The Heritage Foundation, a list has been compiled of 12 “green” energy companies which received Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees but are now bankrupt. Five of the companies on that list have not been mentioned here, so those have been bolded and included at the bottom of this post:
- “Abound Solar (Loveland, Colorado), manufacturer of thin film photovoltaic modules.
- Beacon Power (Tyngsborough, Massachusetts), designed and developed advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation.
- Ener1 (Indianapolis, Indiana), built compact lithium-ion-powered battery solutions for hybrid and electric cars.
- Energy Conversion Devices (Rochester Hills, Michigan/Auburn Hills, Michigan), manufacturer of flexible thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology and a producer of batteries and other renewable energy-related products.
- Evergreen Solar, Inc. (Marlborough, Massachusetts), manufactured and installed solar panels.
- Mountain Plaza, Inc. (Dandridge, Tennessee), designed and implemented “truck-stop electrification” technology.
- Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsens Mills Acquisition Co. (Berlin, Wisconsin), a private company producing ethanol.
- Range Fuels (Soperton, Georgia), tried to develop a technology that converted biomass into ethanol without the use of enzymes.
- Raser Technologies (Provo, Utah), geothermal power plants and technology licensing.
- Solyndra (Fremont, California), manufacturer of cylindrical panels of thin-film solar cells.
- Spectrawatt (Hopewell, New York), solar cell manufacturer.
- Thompson River Power LLC (Wayzata, Minnesota), designed and developed advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation.”
UPDATE 7-19-12: In January of this year, the “green” energy company Amonix laid off about 200 employees. Since then it has continued to circle the drain and this week, the company will be closing their North Las Vegas solar plant.
Amonix received $6 million in federal tax credits and $15.6 million from the Department of Energy loan guarantee program. It was highly touted by the Obama Administration and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Unfortunately, politically motivated loans haven’t proven successful for this administration, and now, just 14 months after the plant opened, it is closing.
More money down the drain for taxpayers.
UPDATE 7-9-12: We’ve discovered three “green” companies that are not yet on the list. The first, Brightsource, received a $1.6 billion loan guarantee (three times that of Solyndra) and then racked up losses totally $177 million.
Next up is ECOtality, which received $126.2 million but has since lost over $45 million. The company stated, “We may not achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.” The company is also under investigation for insider trading.
And finally, there’s Raser Technologies, who received a $33 million grant to build a power plant in Utah. They filed for bankruptcy this year.
It is now July, and we have yet to find one successful “green” company which received taxpayer funds. If one existed, don’t you think the President would be touting it from the mountains?
UPDATE 7-6-12: Last October, and auditor for Nevada Geothermal Power said the company would probably not survive much longer, despite receiving $98.5 million in loan guarantees from the federal government.
Last week, another audit showed the same outlook. In the past few years, the company has lost $98 million. Last October they laid off 100 workers, a large percentage of their workforce.
It just proves yet again that no amount of taxpayer funds that have been misappropriated to a politically correct company despite a poor business model can prop up a struggling industry.
UPDATE 6-28-12: At the end of February, we wrote that Abound Solar, which received $400 million in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy, had announced that it would lay off 280 workers (a 70% workforce reduction) and put off building a new factory.
Today it was announced that the company would file for bankruptcy next week. While Abound only borrowed $70 million of the $400 million it was authorized, it is still a huge blow to the “green” movement as Americans see more and more firms that were given taxpayer funds go bankrupt.
UPDATE 6-13-12: Solyndra, the company synonymous with both the stimulus’ failure and crony capitalism, actually laid off 1,861 employees when it went bankrupt, not the 1,1000 previously reported.
Last year, the company increased production, even as it spiraled downward and couldn’t even sell all the panels made the previous year. As we later learned, once the company went under, those excess solar panels were destroyed rather than sold.
How much longer will Solyndra continue to provide damage to those who support crony capitalism in government?
UPDATE 5-24-12: Another energy company which received stimulus funds is laying off workers AND moving them to another country. While Schneider Electric is not technically a green energy company, it did receive $86 million to make energy upgrades to its plant in Cedar Rapids, IA.
The company is cutting 80 jobs, roughly 20% of it’s Cedar Rapids workforce, and moving those jobs to two other plants, one of which is in Mexico. More money well spent!
UPDATE 5-15-12: President Obama finally found a clean energy success! Well, not exactly.
A new campaign ad from President Obama features a man who claims his job was saved by President Obama’s meddling in the auto industry. The company that the man works for, Johnson Controls, received $299 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies from the stimulus and promised to build two factories in America. They built one in America, and will build the other one in Hungary. Not only that, but Johnson Controls will be laying off workers in the coming months.
Oh yeah, and the company was just fined for using an unreasonable amount of lead. So much for a success. If that’s the best President Obama can do, Americans are in for a dire situation should he be re-elected and allowed to invest more of our money in these companies.
UPDATE 5-7-12: It’s just about done, First Solar reported 1st quarter losses of 8 cents a share, a 12% revenue decline. It’s just a matter of time before it joins the bankruptcy ranks of Solyndra and Beacon Power.
UPDATE 4-20-12: First Solar, which received $1.46 billion in loan guarantees, announced on Tuesday that it will lay off another 2,000 employees. In December, the company announced it would lay off 100 employees. The Export-Import bank also subsidizes First Solar.
UPDATE 4-10-12: The Willard & Kelsey Solar Group claimed they only received money from Ohio taxpayers. The Ohio-based solar company has gone bankrupt, and according to Recovery.gov (the website set up so that taxpayers could track the money they spent in the “stimulus”) they actually received $6 million from U.S. taxpayers thanks to President Obama’s “green” energy loan program. The company received this money, despite recording just over $500,000 in revenue in 2009 (which was a grant from the state) and a loss of $4.2 million. Money well spent!
UPDATE 4-5-12: A123 Systems, an electric vehicle battery manufacturer which shipped faulty batteries to Fisker Automotive, has seen it’s stock fall to less than $1 and is filing for bankruptcy. It is now fighting a class action lawsuit because of the faulty batteries, charged with deceiving the public, artificially inflating its market price and causing investors to purchase stock at the artificially inflated price. A123 received $279 million from taxpayers thanks to President Obama’s Department of Energy loan guarantees.
UPDATE 4-5-12: Solar Trust for America declared bankruptcy on Monday after receiving a conditional commitment of $2.1 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. President Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu hailed it as “the largest amount ever offered to a solar project.” Solar Trust was supposed to use the money (we don’t know how much was actually received or spent at this time) to build a massive solar panel project in California.
NOTE: Solar Trust never got the money, as their plan to use cheaper but older technology was not good enough for the DOE and the company would not change to more expensive technology just to get a government handout (get that? The DOE’s loans are not about saving people money, just being politically correct). While this shows yet another failed green energy company that our government considered giving money to, at least taxpayers didn’t actually lose the money.
UPDATE 3-2-12: GM has announced that it will lay off 1,300 Chevy Volt workers while it halts production for five weeks. GM spokesman Chris Lee described the layoffs:
““Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand.”
The Chevy Volt is not selling, plain and simple. The cars are just sitting on dealer lots even with a $7,500 taxpayer subsidy for buying one. Production was far exceeding demand. The fact that they have to halt production for 5 weeks to align production with demand shows just what a failure this vehicle was.
UPDATE 2-29-12: The Obama Administration made it a whole 22 days without another embarrassing “green” energy failure! Abound Solar, which received $400 million as part of the Department of Energy’s loan program, announced today that it will lay off 280 workers (a 70% workforce reduction) and put off building a new factory.
UPDATE 2-7-12: Fisker Automotive is laying off staff in order to – get this – qualify for more government loans from the Department of Energy. President Obama’s “green” energy stimulus was supposed to create jobs, now its destroying jobs so that companies can get more stimulus? Outrageous.
Seriously, can he point to ONE clean energy success? On January 27, 2012, we learned that Ener1, a lithium-ion battery maker filed for bankruptcy. Ener1 owns EnerDel, which received $118.5 million dollars from President Obama’s “green” energy stimulus plan. Also, Amonix, a solar plant touted by President Obama in 2010, has laid off 200 of its 300 employees.
For those who only hear about these failing companies one by one, the following is a list of all the clean energy companies supported by President Obama’s stimulus that are now failing or have filed for bankruptcy. The liberal media hopes you’ve forgotten about all of them except Solyndra, but we haven’t.
- Evergreen Solar
- Solyndra (received $535 million)
- Beacon Power (received $43 million)
- AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy
- Nevada Geothermal (received $98.5 million)
- SunPower (received $1.5 billion)
- First Solar (received $1.46 billion)
- Babcock & Brown (an Australian company which received $178 million)
- Ener1 (subsidiary EnerDel received $118.5 million)
- Amonix (received 5.9 million)
- The National Renewable Energy Lab
- Fisker Automotive
- Abound Solar (received $400 million, only borrowed $70 million of that)
- Chevy Volt (taxpayers basically own GM)
- Solar Trust of America
- A123 Systems (received $279 million)
- Willard & Kelsey Solar Group (received $6 million)
- Johnson Controls (received $299 million)
- Schneider Electric (received $86 million)
- Brightsource (received $1.6 billion)
- ECOtality (received $126.2 million)
- Raser Technologies (received $33 million)
- Energy Conversion Devices
- Mountain Plaza, Inc.
- Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsens Mills Acquisition Co.
- Range Fuels
- Thompson River Power LLC
That’s 27 (that we know of so far). We also know that loans went to foreign clean energy companies (Fisker sent money to their overseas plant to develop an electric car), and that 80% of these loans went to President Obama’s campaign donors.
The President is trying to claim in his first official campaign ad that he’s created 2.7 million clean energy jobs. When you look at all the companies going bankrupt, some of those jobs might have been paid for by the stimulus, but they are gone now. You can’t claim we’re up 2.7 million jobs if so many of those jobs have been subsequently lost.
Keep this list in mind the next time the media pretends that Solyndra was the only failure.