Obama: $12 billion new federal loan guarantees for renewables


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Obama administration has just announced $12 billion in new Federal loan guarantees for renewables businesses.

According to a Whitehouse press release;

FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Actions to Bring Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency to Households across the Country

President Obama is committed to taking responsible steps to address climate change, promote clean energy and energy efficiency, drive innovation, and ensure a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations. That is why at Senator Reid’s National Clean Energy Summit later today, he is announcing a robust set of executive actions and private sector commitments to accelerate America’s transition to cleaner sources of energy and ways to cut energy waste.

To continue to reinforce American leadership in deploying clean energy and cutting energy waste while creating jobs and reducing carbon pollution, the Administration is announcing the following actions:

Making $1 Billion in Additional Loan Guarantee Authority Available and Announcing New Guidelines for Distributed Energy Projects Utilizing Innovative Technology: Distributed Energy Projects are currently driving innovation and transforming U.S. energy markets. Technologies such as rooftop solar, energy storage, smart grid technology, and methane capture for oil and gas wells, solve key energy challenges. Catalyzing these technologies and demonstrating the viability of these markets would create economic opportunity, strengthen energy security, transform certain energy markets, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To accelerate the pace of innovation in distributed energy, the Department of Energy is:

Inviting Innovative Distributed Energy Projects to Apply to More Than $10 Billion in Current Loan Guarantees: The Department of Energy is supplementing its current loan guarantee solicitations to invite applications for Distributed Energy Projects. The current Solicitations, totaling more than $10 billion in loan guarantee authority, are now clearly unlocked to support scale up of Distributed Energy Projects utilizing innovative technology. Today’s announcement includes guidance from the Department on how a Distributed Energy Project transaction could be properly structured.

Making Available $1 Billion in Additional Loan Guarantee Authority for New, Innovative Projects: As part of its new push for Distributed Energy Projects utilizing innovative technology, the Department of Energy is providing up to $1 billion in additional loan guarantee authority through its current Solicitations for new Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects and Fossil Energy Projects. This significantly boosts the resources available to new applicants.

Read more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/08/24/fact-sheet-president-obama-announces-new-actions-bring-renewable-energy

Federal renewable loan guarantee schemes have attracted significant criticism in the past, for example when Solyndra went spectacularly bust in 2012, a bankruptcy which cost US taxpayers $535 million in lost federal loan guarantees. Perhaps President Obama believes his administration has learned from that experience.

120 thoughts on “Obama: $12 billion new federal loan guarantees for renewables

  1. “Perhaps President Obama believes his administration has learned from the experience” of throwing money at renewable schemes/scams!!!
    A fool never learns – A fool and his money are soon parted.
    Some get rich by getting other peoples money.
    Obama the socialist never tires of spending other peoples money, until he runs out of other peoples money!

    • “Perhaps President Obama believes his administration has learned from that experience.”
      When has he learned anything from experience? He plows on with the same agenda he has had from day one. And making energy prices skyrocket is just one of them.

      • Louis Hunt makes the false claim about President Obama: “And making energy prices skyrocket is just one of them.”
        Louis must live in a strange bubble. Energy prices have been falling for a long time – not skyrocketing. Oil cost less, gasoline costs less, natural gas costs less, electricity costs less. Maybe he is only considering nuclear power which costs more and coal which is dirty and polluting.

    • Socialists around the world have found the answer to running out of other peoples money. Just print some more.

      • In the UK we have a system of “Robin Hood in reverse”. People in high-rise blocks of flats (apartments) in our inner cities (people generally on low wages) pay taxes that are given out to people in the suburbs or villages who have bigger houses (higher income citizens) with roof space to fit solar panels. I know people who are receiving upwards of £800 pounds per annum just for having them fitted to their roofs (and more for the trivial amount of electricity that they provide – even if they use the power for their own home, they get an addional premium for every Watt)! Taking from the poor to give to the rich – a great example of the “loony left” in action.

  2. Will Congress approve this or can Obama make spending commitments without Congress approval? Looks odd to me.

    • As far as he his concerned he can. And he is pretty much right. If congress objects they have to go through district court, circuit court, then Supreme Court. By the time Obama can be found to be doing something illegal he will be out of office.

    • Of course Obama can spend money without asking for Congressional approval.
      He has the Speaker of the House (Boehner) and Majority Leader of the Senate (McConnell) is his back pocket and they are his virtual slaves. I would guess it is something from the NSA surveillance, or a promise of dozens of pardons to these men and their cronies.
      Now if one of these men ever decide to be honest and patriotic, then he has a similar deal with Chief Justice Rogers.
      So Obama can rule by decree any time he wishes. He has done so many, many times.

      • This carping at McConnell is just plan stupid. Would you rather have elected Alison Grimes? As the U.S. government now operates, without the Presidency and the vast bureaucracy the President commands, the opposition has to have veto-proof majorities in Congress. I have no idea how long ago the Republicans held veto-proof majorities, perhaps never, but they do not hold such even now. Democrats had them just 4 years ago. Democrats had a majority in the House for 40 years (1954-1994), and the House grew into a swamp of corruption (Abscam, House post office, House bank) during that time.
        The Republicans are not the problem–the electoral preferences of the American people are the problem. I have no idea what may change this if anything can.

  3. The question is why? The USA has the most nimble puppet government on earth it strings pulled by the corporate elite . Why would it be choosing this type of action? Climate change is a ruse! WHY is the question that no one is answering?

      • Quite the reverse. In reality, Obama’s war on the American economy is being facilitated by the CO2 scam.
        Ever wondered why Obama is giving $billions and nuclear technology to a nation that is STILL pouring bile and hatred upon th USA and STILL threatening to start a nucler war in the Middle East?
        Look at his actions, and question whose side he is on.

    • “climate change” is not a ruse in any way, “change” is the 100% natural state of the climate, the entire record shows constant “change”…….saying humans are the cause of the change, now that indeed is a ruse.

  4. $12 billion for his dinner guests. Very Roman Emperor. Can he arbitrarily hand out public money?

  5. The numbers, if I recall, are that so far under Mr. Obama something in the range of $80 billion has been wasted on guarantees like this. Also, if I recall, not one criminal or civil suit has resulted in judgements or convictions against the wasted funds.
    This is really just patronage reinvented for the 21st century, where political insiders and cronies get loan guarantees (money) instead of jobs.
    Under what authority is this latest round of patronage spending taking place?

  6. In trying to make sense of this it looks like very much like smoke and mirrors. A big chunk of this is “authorizing” HUD to insure home loans related to energy efficiency. That’s a power HUD already has, more or less. But there’s no real oversight, so it’s very possible that a homeowner uses their loan in other ways, like installing a very energy-inefficient hot tub. The remainder will probably require Congressional approval in the forthcoming FY budget, so I suspect most of it will be DOA. Remember, the appropriation for Solyndra came from a Pelosi run House, while her brother listed as an EVP in the holding company.

    • Back in the late 1970s there were a lot of installed hot tubs pretending to be solar water heaters. This is an old scam.

  7. It is odd. What was announced are executive actions, which bypass congress. Lately, Obama seems to be largely forgetting about that whole three separate and equal branches of government thing, and congress is mostly letting him. There will be a little fuss about extending the debt ceiling which we pretend to try to stay under, but the press will blame any shutdown talk on congress, and it seems very likely to continue getting extended without any meaningful spending restraint.
    We are sadly used to leaving a legacy of excess debt to following generations, but it’s a special kind of stupid to spend our children’s and grand children’s futures away without even getting anything for it, not even an extra park or two.

    • Obama is not forgetting the whole three separate and equal branches of government thing, he simply doesn’t believe in it. He is a narcissist infected with DK syndrome who owes lots of favors to those who put him in the White House. And don’t think for a moment that he will try to cook up some reason to run for a third term. Most likely scenario is that he and his henchmen will prop up Hillary so she gets the nomination, then destroy her just before the election having her put away over mishandling of classified email. His argument will then be that since there is no opposition to the Republican candidate the election would be “unfair” to the American people and that he will just have to step in to run to make it a “balanced” election. Remember when he tries this that you heard it here first.

      • Rather think he’ll try to use a Joe Biden sock puppet. Biden has to be extensively obligated to Obama and besides, Obama has to have something on Uncle Joe.

      • Tom says:
        Obama is not forgetting the whole three separate and equal branches of government thing, he simply doesn’t believe in it.
        Then he deserves to be impeached for deliberately violating his oath of office. Presidents swear or affirm that they will abide by and defend the Constitution. That document requires three branches of government. It says nothing whatever about Executive Orders.
        But career politicians won’t do anything. We need a non-politician to get things done. Today’s incumbents only want to keep their cushy jobs.

    • Charles – “but it’s a special kind of stupid to spend our children’s and grand children’s futures away without even getting anything for it”
      Are you forgetting the holding off of 0.010 C temperature change?
      CHAIRMAN LAMAR SMITH: “On the Clean Power Plan, former Obama Administration Assistant Secretary Charles McConnell said at best it will reduce global temperature by only one one-hundredth of a degree Celsius. At the same time it’s going to increase the cost of electricity. That’s going to hurt the lowest income Americans the most. How do you justify such an expensive, burdensome, onerous rule that’s really not going to do much good and isn’t this all pain and no gain.
      ADMINISTRATOR GINA MCCARTHY: “No sir, I don’t agree with you. If you look at the RIA we did, the Regulatory Impact Analysis you would see it’s enormously beneficial.
      CHAIRMAN SMITH: “Do you consider one one-hundredth of a degree to be enormously beneficial?”
      ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “The value of this rule is not measured in that way. It is measured in showing strong domestic action which can actually trigger global action to address what’s a necessary action to protect…”

      CHAIRMAN SMITH: “Do you disagree with my one one-hundredth of a degree figure? Do you disagree with the one one-hundredth of a degree?”
      ADMINISTRATOR MCCARTHY: “I’m not disagreeing that this action in and of itself will not make all the difference we need to address climate action, but what I’m saying is that if we don’t take action domestically we will never get started and we’ll never…”
      Read more: http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/07/15/epa-chief-admits-obama-regs-have-no-measurable-climate-impact-one-one-hundredth-of-a-degree-epa-chief-mccarthy-defends-regs-as-enormously-beneficial-symbolic-impact/#ixzz3jxPsOENF
      Washington, D.C. — Today, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), a 501 (c) (3) watchdog group, released an investigative report, Private Interests & Public Office: Coordination Between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the “Climate” Agenda
      I think is was Will Rogers who said “Best government money can buy!”

  8. The government should be spending this huge amount of money on contracts to harden (from EMP) the complete electrical grid and sub-pathways. This $12B would be enough to do autos, trucks, & trains too.

  9. Whew! I’m relieved to hear that there really is plenty of money to go around for pet projects.

  10. President Obama is committed to taking responsible steps to address climate change, […]

    I’d love to hear just what are the “responsible steps” to address climate change. I could use a good laugh.
    I’d also like to see how much that $12 billion affects the global average temperature, but then that would have me weeping.
    If we wanted to put a stop to this type of looting the American taxpayer and their succeeding generations spending, we should start sending the IRS around the neighborhood to collect – upfront, in cash – the money to pay for the various programs like this.
    For example, a quick, round number calculation spits out that $12Bn/350mm population is about $3.40 for each person in the US. So someone comes to the door to collect $13.60 for your family of four. What’s the big deal if it will save the planet, right? However, the next day they come around to collect $22.84, $6.28, $37.72, and $16.34 for four other “responsible” programs that were just announced. And the next day… and so on. Oh, and those withholdings in your paycheck? You should get your whole check and then open your wallet to pay out those withheld amounts when the tax collector comes around.
    If we had immediate pay-as-you-go taxation in the US, my guess is there would be very, very little spending on nonsense and not a heck of a lot of deficit spending. When your pocket is picked, you don’t notice until it is too late and there’s not much you can do about it after the fact. But when you have to open your wallet and count out the cash, it tends to focus the mind on how much and where the money is going.
    /end wishful thinking that there could be such a thing as “responsible” spending in D.C.

      • Yep, Gary. In a hurry and lost or added a zero in there somewhere ==> $34. Thanks.
        And I used a round 350 million for the US population. So while I was taking a closer look, I found the US population is more like 320 million.
        It’s worse than I thought.

      • H.R. says:
        It’s worse than I thought.
        It’s even worse than that. Back in 2004 I read that there were 34 million illegals in the U.S. They’re still using that number. A big fraction don’t pay any taxes. So we have to make up the difference.

    • HR, when the federal government started the paycheck withholding tax my grandfather told my dad that when that money starts rolling in the politicians will spend us broke. I guess the withholding started in WW2.

      • Yes, withholding started in WW 2 but just prior to this you paid at the end of the year. And some didn’t have the money to pay so withholding was brought in.
        Increased income taxes were supposed to end when the war ended but then there was the Cold War and so on.
        Prior to WW 2 very few people paid income taxes.
        When it became fashionable to tax the very wealthy, foundations were created to beat these taxes. Now look how foundation money is spent. Should have just left it so that wealthy heirs could instead squander the money.

  11. Renewable drivers. Limited-use technology. Waste in China. The Press and Academia going into overdrive in order to obscure local consequences to the environment. The “green” myth lives on. Misaligned development is probable.

  12. Obama can’t get Congress to give money to his friends (FriendsOfObama), so he gets banks, etc., to give money to FOO, by giving the banks “loan guarantees.”
    Sooner or later, a court must declare that an Executive created loan guarantee is bogus, and the banks get stiffed. Then they won’t be lending money to FOO.

  13. There are remarkable strides being made in solar PV cost reduction, but of course this administration is betting on all the wrong bets in tech, rooftops of the rich, and fraudsters. The benefits that make it to the industry leaders will be held up as success stories and used as cover for the tranche of bad apples. This pattern is familiar now.

    • PV solar power can never overcome dirty power if it is connected to the grid. The PV cells may get more efficient, but it is stilling highly variable power and goes off at night.

  14. At least we will have clean energy while reading the demands of international lenders in coming years.

  15. “Despite an old saying that taxes are the price we pay for civilization, an absolute majority of the record-breaking tax money collected by the federal government today is simply transferred by politicians from people who are not likely to vote for them to people who are more likely to vote for them.” – Thomas Sowell

  16. ‘Perhaps President Obama believes his administration has learned from that experience.’
    They have. They’ve developed new ways to either cover up or hide the failures.

  17. I hope Repubs don’t think this thing they are handed is too big to fail. Probably US needs a ‘buffoon’ like Trump to put humpty dumpty together again.

  18. A lot of WUWT readers may historically be “democrats,” or “liberals.” I would consider myself a democrat if that party had not been surreptitiously taken over by Marxist ideals and people.
    We have to recognize that decent government is withering. And largely because of of our big-business sell-out elected officials.
    If you have not noticed, the Republican party is going through this right now. The inside-the-beltway conservatives have upset rank-and-file Americans, who have Trump as an antidote. These locked-in conservatives are just as bought-and-paid-for as the democrats – by the banks, etc.
    If you generally consider yourself a “democrat,” “liberal,” or “progressive,” but see this unfortunate turn away from decent government, you need to be honest about it, recognize it, and begin speaking out.
    Several years ago, I decided to go ahead and grab some genuine original-source studies on global warming. I had no expertise on the subject, but I know principles of science, and how to lie with statistics.
    I quickly ran into “ground zero” of MBH98, and was stunned that this was one of the foundational supports for The-End-Is-Near-Send-Money.
    I then ran into Mann’s 2004 corrigendum. I had never encountered a “corrigendum” before. This led me to MM03, which had prompted Mann 2004.
    I broke with my fellow liberals on the global warming idea. I then was compelled to figure out how the global warming deal was such as cause celebre. This really showed me that much of my compatriots were motivated more by a cult-like mentality where the orthodoxy cannot be questioned or you face ostracism, and the ever-stalking Bad Guy must be countered at all turns; if you break rank and do not parrot the party line, the only option in this simplistic, cult-like world is to be cast from “All-good” to “All-bad.”
    It is tragic that we on the liberal side have bought into this. Instead of recognizing that frank Communists were guiding our best intentions away from good government, we fell for the “red-baiting” cover story.
    Now, we have a frank socialist as the leading nominee for our party, and our VP saying, it is just a question of how much socialism should we have.
    There are four direct solutions:
    if you consider yourself a “democrat,” “liberal,” or “progressive,” speak up when and where you can, recognizing that you are going against black-and-white cult thinking. This indoctrination is not as complete in some as others.
    1 Define your principles. I myself believe that regulated capitalism produces wealth, and lots of good things. I have a decent set of principles that underlie my political positions. If I reflect on these, I cannot be swayed too far afield. I am more for students than teachers, so I am more for high education standards rather than for political alliances with teacher unions. Sorry, I just really have a passion for bringing kids up the right way; your pension will have to suffer.
    2 We need VERY open government. In my mind, this includes possible ideas such as training citizens to be able to look over the shoulder of government regulators of industry – i.e., be trained to know what protections and oil rig should have, then be able to shadow a regulator as he or she reviews oil rig, coal mine, etc. Also, we the people should be able to audit how IRS selects nonprofits to investigate or harass, etc. Campaign finance, who visits with any elected official, etc.
    3 Congressional term limits. Cozy relationships grow and grow. We need these to be broken regularly. I have no idea how this would ever happen, since congress would have to vote themselves out of a job. But somehow we need to achieve this, or we are locked in place for corruption and stagnation.
    4 Recognize the rhetorical tricks used to paint political pictures. The “war on women,” the “greedy banks,” etc. With your principles, get to the bottom of these issues and ask yourself if not having everyone pay for some women’s birth control is or is not a “war on women.” Ask yourself: when is it proper to redistribute wealth/use power of taxation? taxation is a big deal – should it be used to allow some women to have a life style they prefer without themselves having to pay the $20/month? Nope. Doesn’t fit the tax principles I have: there are things the private market can do far better than govt, and there are things the govt can do far better than private market. A woman affording the very modest cost of BC, a life style option and not a necessity of life, ought to be left to the private market, as it has been doing very well since the 1950s. -So, I break rank rather than buy in to the rhetoric of “war on women.”
    Maybe, soon enough, we “democrats” and “liberals” can clean house like Trump is doing by highlighting the entrenched political inside-the-beltway” class on the conservative side.

    • I have a slightly different take, along the same lines, as a long-time liberal. All of these “War on XXX” memes have worn me out (yeah, some of them began in Republican years!), since there is never a credible campaign hitched to the “war” rhetoric. However, “We” have not allowed anything to happen to the parties, in my view, because “we” cannot afford to affect the parties. Heck, “pay to play” is as American as [Shari’s] apple pie, but the game has outgrown my budget. And how long did we cruise along, just fine, before we discovered party politics, at which moment the US went to Hell in a handbasket? About 2 seconds; and don’t forget dems used to be republicans, and reps used to be whigs, and now my head is spinning. Why do we need just 2 parties, when neither of the 2 we have has a clue? Why dress dreck in political clothing, just to sell the mannequins? Just present the dreck, let me dismiss it, and then move on….
      I just noticed the next comment down (ScienceABC123 @7:25 am), who adds “Progressives/leftists never admit their plans fail….”. The Right never admits failure, either, and both sides gleefully ignore the real harm done by even well meaning programs that are allowed to operate without oversight. Bad ideas on the Right and Left, born of similar corporate interests with different cognomens, rarely pass ideological filtering, i.e., stripped of rhetoric, these ideas sink (and stink) on their own terms, and are fully capable of embarrassing members of any political party. We to the left of center may be puzzled as to why our leaders consider anything so anti-social as dismantling our economy–the very Engine of our freedom and democracy–as some kind of liberal beacon in a bleak (read Dickensian) capitalist-controlled, slave-powered 19th-Century British Imperial Hell. Anti-social acts may be “Communist” (but not “communist”), but never “socialist”.
      And, for Heaven’s sake, when did the ideals of the Founding Fathers become “communist?” I realize it is fashionable to dismiss the Preamble to the Constitution as somehow “not part of” the Constitution, but it is the entire justification in a sentence for our departure from the British plan. It is a small departure, however, on paper, and is perhaps best seen as the culmination-in-codification of that first great attempt to forge a legal definition of Democracy in the English-speaking world, the Magna Carta. My favorite parts stand out in HD: “… promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, ….” In other words, we are in this together (collectively, socially), it will be a difficult, on-going balancing act, but together we can prosper.

    • I may be older than you and have been a Democrat my whole life and will remain so. Some Democrats believe in agw. I don’t. Some Democrats believe in all kinds of different things. Just because the media puts a label on people doesn’t mean they have to conform to a set system that says that because you believe this you must be that. What nonsense! History has taught me that Democrats at their best have represented the working man, fought for racial and ethnic equality and ecconomic opportunity. References to Marxism because a person favors a higher tax on hedge fund mavens is so much exageration.
      Additionly it always amazes me that so many smart people do not remember that a union teacher really helped them along the way.

      • Hornblower

        History has taught me that Democrats at their best have represented the working man, fought for racial and ethnic equality and ecconomic opportunity.

        History has taught me that Democrats at their worst have represented the union bosses and bankers and government bribers against the working man, fought fanatically for AGAINST racial and ethnic equality from the early 1800’s through the Civil Rights Act of the 1960’s and against economic opportunity in favor of always ever-stronger government socialism since the 1870’s – and all of its ills and favoritism towards the ruling class that government favoritism uses and requires – who have been democrats.

  19. Progressives/leftists never admit their plans fail. They simply believe they didn’t try hard enough or with enough money.
    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

  20. I read this site daily and agree with most. However, some of these comments are really silly. Please react to the points in the article and stop ranting about how the whole world is going to hell and its Obama or someone behind the scenes fault. I have lived a longlife and believe me the country is much better now than years ago.
    Renewable energy is a good idea. There are good reasons to pursue it. One does not have to subscribe to Agw to see that it can be helpful in the future.

    • Large scale, subsidized renewable energy is a terrible idea. If implemented it will drive up the cost of energy for everyone. That will affect the lower and mid income families the worst, as well as impacting businesses with a likely result of increased unemployment from layoffs.

      • I agree. Renewable energy is hugely expensive, and it requires massive taxpayer subsidies. But even that is not enough to support it. The “war on coal” has resulted in shutting down dozens of power plants, forcing electricity users to pay for whatever is available.
        Coal power costs 6¢ – 9¢ a kwh. Alternative energy costs exceed 25¢/kwh.
        This giant scam is based on the totally discredited idea that a rise in the trace gas CO2 from 3 parts in 10,000 to 4 parts in 10,000 over the past century is bad.
        But there is no evidence whatever that more CO2 has caused any global harm – or any measurable global warming. In addition, agricultural productivity has tracked the rise in CO2. So the only evidence we have is that more CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere.
        Mr. Hornblower says:
        …believe me the country is much better now than years ago.
        It is. But it would be in much better shape without the massive government interference caused by subsidizing expensive alternative energy, prematurely shutting down dozens of our power plants, and replacing them with very costly, unreliable alternatives.

    • I agree with goldminor and dbstealey. The push into “Renewables” is forcing up costs, stressing the grid, wrecking the environment, and – something its proponents are blind to – it is unsustainable. Why is it unsustainable? Because it requires such massive areas for so little generation. Instead of trying to force fossil fuels out before their time, people should recognise that fossil fuels have been so very effective and so very beneficial because of their high intensity (lots of power for little footprint). When replacements are needed, the best candidates are likely to be high intensity. Consider this : low-intensty sources like windmills and watermills have already been replaced by fossil fuels because of their low efficiency, and the “equations” that caused that still apply.
      So what high-efficiency power source will replace fossil fuels? Well, it’s alway dangerous to try to force the ftuture, so the candidates should be left free to compete, but as things stand nuclear is an obvious candidate, and is already a measurably better option than “Renewables”. But note that new technologies have a habit of emerging when needed – the internal combustion engine is a good example – and there is no reason to suppose that human inventiveness will fail in future.

      • Mike J says:
        …there is no reason to suppose that human inventiveness will fail in future.
        Exactly right. The apparently unstoppable horse manure crisis in the 1890’s was solved completely by new petroleum technology, which also saved the Right whales from extinction .
        The average horse defecates ≈9 tons of manure annually; that’s about 35 pounds of manure a day, plus up to 10 gallons of urine — all of which had to be picked up and carted away by an army of sanitation workers. Alarmist predictions were being made at the time that industry would grind to a halt. And 25% of agricultural output was required simply to feed all the horses.
        The Erie Canal was built based on the argument that farms supplying big cities could not be farther than 200 miles away, since a horse being fed from the wagon of grain it is pulling will run out of food in 200 miles. (Canals tripled this distance, but they only lasted about ten years before railroad technology made canals obsolete.)
        Human ingenuity will solve energy problems just like it solved pollution emissions from coal plants using by scrubbers. Now, the only emissions from those power plants are CO2 and H2O — both are beneficial, and necessary for all life on earth. Neither is pollution, despite EPA politics.
        To the extent that government meddles in the economy, human inventiveness is smothered. Money is mis-allocated into inefficient and wasteful projects. Government subsidies make individual progress difficult because it allows subsidized companies to undercut the true costs of power generation. Unsubsidized products and inventions cannot compete, when $12 Billion is funnelled into competing power sources. The result is unreliable power at a very high cost to consumers. That is what’s going on now.
        So why does it happen? The answer is obvious: a small minority of the population financially benefits at the expense of everyone else. That is the same basic problem with the ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ scare. A small clique of rent seeking scientists, politicians and bureaucrats are sticking it to the public for their own self-serving interest.
        I can almost not blame them. At least they have a reasonable motive, even if it is dishonest. What astonishes me are the legions of true believer lemmings; people who gain nothing, and who will lose money like the rest of us — and still they try to convince everyone that there is measurable MMGW, and that it’s a problem. They have no credible data, all they have is their quasi-religious belief. MMGW has become a matter of faith to them, and they proselytize endlessly.
        At least they give my ocular muscles a workout, because every time I read a comment by one of them, I do a reflexive eye roll.

      • It is a classic ruse to conflate energy with electricity.
        Aside from the extraordinarily inefficient, intermittent, and unreliable transduction of wind and solar energies to electrons is the stupendously difficult task of storing those electrons. With a few billion in federal and state gifts, subsidies, land grabs … Elon Musk will not be able to save us. The entire annual output of the “gigafactory” if charged, might provide sufficient power to the US grid to provide us with 5 minutes of baseload needed electricity (assuming anything could draw down all the batteries that fast and direct it everywhere!) And then what?
        I’m not saying Musk, and many others, shouldn’t engage real R & D on batteries, but going to giga production with one that won’t satisfy ain’t R & D. It sure tells us volumes about what is really going on though. Mass production of DOA wind technologies is equally as bad.
        We can transport and store coal, gas, nuclear to make and ramp up electricity when and where needed, but one cannot pour electrons into a tank or a rail tanker. Nearly 100% of electricity used is generated immediately for that use. That is the nature of electricity supply and demand.
        Well, perhaps not in 1850 where we are headed.

    • If renewable energy is a good idea then let it succeed without taxpayer subsidies. If it does not pass that test, it is not ready for implementation. Sadly when we subsidize something we get more of it and build a political base that prevents the subsidies from ever ending.
      It can only be helpful if it makes economic sense.

      • Actually, the transcontinental railroad was subsidized by the government. Sometimes goverment funding is a good idea.

      • Hornblower:
        The primary “subsidy” for rail in the 1800’s was the granting of land next to rights of way. At the time, that cost nothing except for a small surveyor’s expense. There is no comparison whatever to the $Billions of taxpayer dollars currently being given away to cronies.
        Furthermore, the railroads would have been built regardless. The demand was there, and businessmen like James J. Hill were getting rich building railroads without any government handouts.

    • How can renewable energy save nature from fossil fuels when Green Energy industrializes nature with Wind that kills birds and Bats and vistas while needing fossil fueled backup energy? How does green energy help the poor by being 2-4x more expensive per KWh? Why does the Dems turn their backs on 4th gereation nuclear energy that is the least impacting on nature? Why do the Dems allow the teachers unions to kill off School vouchers and Charter Schools, while producing an illiterate underclass?

  21. Who pays the piper when interest rates rise on federal debt? Answer: Not the banana republic guy slinging billions from the podium.

  22. “$1 Billion in Additional Loan Guarantee Authority for New, Innovative Projects”
    (Suppressed possibilities might be a clue)

  23. Eisenhower warned of the Military-Industrial complex in the 1950s. The problem has now morphed into a Big Government-Big Business complex. Climate Change, Immigration, Iran negotiations all fit into the model of big government supporting big business.
    The idea of defined and distributed power has somehow gotten lost in the process.

    • Eisenhower’s other warning is a better fit to the present situation regarding climate science:
      “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
      In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government. Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields.
      In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
      The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
      Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

  24. One of the very-hard-to-know aspects of the defaults is what happens to the “assets” that remain after bankruptcy and reorganization. Land, machines, buildings and the like do not just vaporize. These are marked down and sold. A few years ago the same moneyed folks that started the corporation ended up with the assets. I do not remember if this story was about Solyndra or another company. The transactions happen long after the story is no longer news.

  25. Someone asked where BO will get this money: check out the CEDA (clean energy developnent agency ?). It has an unlimited spending “budget” and little to no congressional oversight.

  26. “Brits to Force £2 Wind Power Outfits to Hold £Millions in Reserve to Pay Damages to Victims & for Decommissioning”
    ” David Davis MP recently introduced a Bill in UK’s Parliament which will allow Britons to enforce judgments against wind power outfits; and which will ensure the removal of these things when they grind to an inevitable halt within the next decade or so”
    Hope it passes.

  27. Look at Ontario. The government paid others to come in and increase the cost of electricity. Any surplus (a sunny or windy day) gets sold to the US for well below cost. You see, they guaranteed a price to Samsung for their windmill farms. Renewable energy sucks!

  28. The fraudster-in-chief is not averse to going back to the well even as the IG report comes out on Solyndra. There is no remorse from gangsters either.

    • Renewable energy will certainly be used greatly in the future. We are in its early stages. Experimentation requires financial support. I dont mind the government helping. I think the father of this board supports it as well.

      • “Experimentation”? Give me a break. Outright thievery, and for something there is no reason to believe “will be used greatly” in the future.

      • Hornblower:
        You claim renewables are in their “early stages”. I presume that includes solar? Well, it just so happens that the solar panel was actually invented in 1954:
        http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/pdfs/solar_timeline.pdf. I’ll do the math for you — that’s 61 years. I don’t think one can say that something that has been around for 61 years is in its “early stages”.
        So the solar PV panel is probably about as old as nuclear technology is in this country, and nuclear has been providing 20% of our electrical energy needs for some time now (although that number is now slipping a bit because of the shutdown of some nuclear plants).
        So how much energy has solar been providing us with? If you check with the federal government’s Energy Information Agency, you will find solar provides about 0.4% of our electrical energy as of March of this year. Why is this still the case? Because solar is a lousy energy source — it is low density, diffuse, intermittent and unreliable.
        http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3. So we have 20% versus 0.4% for two energy technologies that are roughly the same age — even with all the govt support that solar has been getting for — what — how many years now?
        And how long have windmills been used down on the farm? A century, or more? Yet wind only provides 4.4% of our electricity today according to the EIA.
        Might I suggest you check your facts before making claims about renewables — or anything else for that matter.

      • Hey, you do get points for word choice in deflecting the hard questions like fraud and illegal activity. But that does not work in the real world with auditors and the FBI. It does work in DC much of time though. There is no excuse for covering it up now and doing more of it with taxpayer funds in a double down bet. Let’s see now, which Senator sponsored the bill to be able to fire IG inspectors?

      • Housing loan scams with subprime mortgages was fraud, not experimentation. The same applies to misrepresentation of packaged subprime loans for investment purposes. There have been many convictions and court settlements since then.

      • Renewable energy is certainly not in its early stages – and many years ago it was replaced by higher-intensity energy sources. Expect high-intensity power sources, not renewables, to replace fossil fuels in due course.

      • If you believe this, why don’t you lead by example and support renewables out of your own pocket. Why do the taxpayers always have to supports someone’s “good idea”?

  29. Note the protection racket to shield the current administration by only mentioning the loan program as originally setup by the Bush Administration with no mention of who abused it later. The same technique is routinely applied to the ethanol scam, as though everything bad that happens in public policy is from an auto pilot mistake.

  30. Great. Spend more money you haven’t got on something you don’t need. Just like a single mother on benefits, in debt, buying another tattoo.

  31. Back in the 1927 the basic principle behind the design of the first commercially available wind turbine was to fit blades to a directly driven generator unit.
    During my lifetime, I have constantly encountered schemes and dreams that would radically change the design of turbine from this basic horizontal axis fan principle.
    Meanwhile, what has happened is that the same design principle has been scaled up.
    Geared drive systems and blade pitch controls have been introduced.
    BUT – how much money has been spent along the way on all the radical new designs that are constantly being unveiled and sucking in investor money and govt. subsidies?
    I’m not the only person making this point. See link – recommended.

  32. Is there a mathematical relationship between the number of days left in office and the amount of wasted taxpayer funds to be thrown to the wind?

    • Seems to be inversely proportional, doesn’t it?
      Now, if we had a real opposition party, this could be blocked, or at least reined in. But $12 Billion is irresistable to both parties, and to heck with the taxpayers who are expected to fund this inefficient, expensive nonsense.

    • Spot-on! And perhaps if this subsidy was for perfecting molten salt reactors we would be on our way to the next cheap, reliable and eco-friendly energy platform, while developing cleaner coal tech to bring affluence to the remaining undeveloped world. Global population would inevitably begin to drop, and more educated and inspired individuals would join the ‘brain pool’ of humanity, who otherwise would have just existed and reproduced uncontrollably.
      An bright and optimistic future is only a few key decisions away. So is a dark and despotic one.

  33. Wisconson, tv was invented in the 1920’s but not common until the fifties. A few solar panals in the 50’s hardly represent a trend. Renewable energy will be around long after we are. It makes sense to pursue it.

    • Hornblower:
      First of all, the cathode ray tube was invented and commercialized in 1922, according to Wikipedia:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_television. If I recall correctly, the first commercial TVs for homes appeared in 1948 or 1949. That is only 26-27 years, and its development was probably interrupted by WWII. So you can probably take about 4-5 years off of that development time. That is significantly less time than the development of solar panels has taken.
      Second, I don’t think you fully understood the reasons WHY solar panels have been going close to nowhere for 61 years despite the big push in recent decades. I told you that solar is a low density and diffuse energy source. I am not a scientist, but I understand that any energy source that is low density has a POOR energy content. That matters. And it is a diffuse energy source that is spread out making it difficult to collect and concentrate for effective use in one place, making its limitations worse yet. That also matters. And those issues are just for starters. Wind has issues that place it in the same camp as solar on top of the bird life it kills. Fossil fuels have a significantly higher energy density and nuclear fuels (especially thorium) higher yet, if I am not mistaken.
      Hornblower, for our purposes here, it does not matter how much longer humanity will be here on Earth. Yes, we will run out of fossil fuels someday if we do not find the technological replacements for them in time. That however has nothing to do with the physics that make wind and solar poor choices for our energy needs. Having Obama throw another $12 billion at them isn’t going to change that. Wind and solar are BIG steps backwards because of their physical limitations and inferiority, and humanity has always sought to move in the opposite direction.
      Thorium is an example of a nuclear fuel which has an incredible energy density that leaves wind and solar VERY far behind in the dust. I am told that it is the most energy dense material on this planet. Its supporters say that we have enough of it just here in the US to last far, far longer than fossil fuels, probably into the next century. That is how humanity moves forward with its energy requirements instead of backwards. Nuclear power is superior in many ways to fossil fuels, and it is the ONLY technology we currently have that can replace our fossil fuel power plants for the reasons I have explained here.
      And you can take that to the bank.

      • ….my comment above should have said that thorium could take us into the next millenium, rather saying into the next century.

    • If it makes sense to pursue, it will not need to be government subsidized. All practical inventions reach the market when they become profitable for the private sector to manufacture. This will happen for the next generation of nuclear power probably before the present failing attempts at grid generation through the intermittent sources of sun and wind are scrapped. We have shown that they are useful generation for point of use (e.g. highway warnings, electric livestock fencing, remote dwellings, etc. in small installations which have no negative impact on the ecology. Large installations and commercial grid supply are ecologically impractical to the point of absurdity. This is presently being ignored by policymakers who are jumping on the cash wagon for themselves.

  34. Resourse, I’ll leave you to the low rent talk show rhetoric you seem so fond of. You give this useful site a bad name.

  35. Since the government fully pays the huge expenses of renewables, they’re actually free energy!

  36. At the same time, many Solyndra executives and employees were opening up their checkbooks to make political donations. Additionally, iWatch News reported that Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, who bundled between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign, was one of Solyndra’s lead investors.

    Solyndra was a huge huge huge success story for the Democratic Party. This “Green” Economy is the looting opportunity of a lifetime, and looting is what Democrats do best.

  37. Germany has built roughly 40,000 MW in both solar and wind.
    When the weather is fine they produce roughly 50% of those 40,000 MW. When the weather isn’t fine they produce an amazing 0%.
    This stuff is a complete disaster.

  38. So let’s get this straight… for many years America has had many businesses getting along under there own steam, employing people, paying taxes and contributing to the American economy … and never receiving a government handout … except a handout of more and more regulation.
    Yet Obama ensures green businesses, that will never be commercially viable, get all the money they need. Incredible!!!!

Comments are closed.