Safe Mode: On
The Green Graveyard of Taxpayer-Funded Failures

Amy Payne

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.

These green government “investments” take from one (by taxing or borrowing) and give to another, but they merely move money around. They do not create jobs. They send labor and resources to areas of the economy where they are wasted. Proponents of special financing and tax credits for solar companies claim that these benefits will pay for themselves down the line—but when the companies receiving them are going bankrupt, that is highly unlikely.

Kate Adams, a member of Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, and Heritage’s Rachael Slobodien compiled a list of the 12 members of the Green Graveyard—companies that received taxpayer money for green initiatives yet have filed for bankruptcy.

[list=1]

  • 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.
  • [/list]Some lawmakers are looking for a solution. The aptly named No More Solyndras Act would prohibit any new loan guarantees from Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

    As Heritage’s Nicolas Loris wrote,

    Republicans and Democrats alike need to end their addiction to energy subsidies, or we’re going to continue down the same failed path of wasteful spending…We don’t need to fix the energy subsidy programs. We need to abolish them.

    President Obama said in 2010 that “the true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.” He couldn’t be more wrong. Companies that are innovating and creating real value for consumers are the engine of economic growth, and they’re doing it without millions in taxpayer funding.

    http://blog.heritage.org/2012/07/24/morning-bell-the-green-graveyard-of-taxpayer-funded-failures/


    Added: Jul-26-2012 Occurred On: Jul-26-2012
    By: marc1921
    In:
    Politics
    Tags: solyndra, boondoggle
    Location: New York, New York, United States (load item map)
    Views: 1265 | Comments: 23 | Votes: 2 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
    You need to be registered in order to add comments! Register HERE
    '
    Sort by: Newest first | Oldest first | Highest score first
    Liveleak opposes racial slurs - if you do spot comments that fall into this category, please report them for us to review.
    • Great report.

      So, I'm off to the local hardware store for one of those $50 LED lightbulbs.

      Thank you Greenies!

      Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

      (5) | Report

      • @Arizona_Patriot Of course they're expensive...incandescents were expensive when they were an emerging technology. LED's are the most efficient and durable light sources available. Just check the specs on any modern Luxeon or Cree...

        Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

        (-1) | Report

    • When you hand over to the federal government a blank check what do you expect? When you are told that the “other party” is solely responsible how do you expect this to EVER change?

      Eliminate the Fed, stop the fiat Ponzi scheme, return to sound money, no more income tax, tax on consumption ONLY. Stop funding these thieves.

      When someone is allowed to pick winners and losers they usually pick their friends.

      Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

      (5) | Report

    • Green is the new RED!

      Beware

      Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

      (4) | Report

    • It was designed to fail. It was a good cover to embezzle government funds into the pockets of a few.. It was never meant to be successful.. It was all about stealing money and covering it up from the start.

      Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

      (3) | Report

    • Comment of user 'Nazel_Hut' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Idiot Obama. I pass by Solydra every single day, such a bummer to see it.

      Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

      (2) | Report

    • Any company that needs public funds to get started / stay afloat isn't an "engine" of anything unless Obama means that they burn money to continue running.

      Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

      (1) | Report

    • Oblamme
      Yes We Can
      theLAB

      Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

      (0) | Report

    • Given our current economy, who here is really surprised that a company might fail? I know this makes good political theater but even Romney will tell you that not all investments pay out (unless you kill the companies like he did).

      The fact is that fossil fuel is a finite resource and one day we will run out. Not only that, but the supply we have is not on an open market. The prices are fixed and manipulated to ensure that we pay more and more regardless of demand. We need to find and imp More..

      Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

      (0) | Report

      • @mabutoo "..." fossil fuel is a finite resource..."

        Yes and the price mechanism allocates scarce resources.

        "...prices are fixed and manipulated to ensure that we pay more and more regardless of demand."

        I disagree. But if you are correct, then the price is actually making fuel less competitive relative to any alternatives because it is higher than it's market price. When an alternative truly is competitive, you will not be able to stop businesses from exploiting that More..

        Posted Jul-27-2012 By 

        (1) | Report

      • @Yukon6400 I agree with you analysis, but oil is not traded on a free market. I think the Obama administration wants the US to explore these alternatives to accelerate their competitveness.

        I can't think of a way to make a 'seamless' transition off oil but I know I am not the smartest guy in the room on that subject. Someone else might.

        Posted Jul-27-2012 By 

        (0) | Report

      • @mabutoo "...but oil is not traded on a free market."

        How can it not be? Yes, there are forces at work that add additional influences (gov't regs, etc.), but the amount of oil sold by vast numbers of sellers & buyers on the world market basically drive it. If your price is slightly higher than everybody else's, everybody will flock to your competition. If your price is slightly lower, the demand will come to you. And it's not just one market. From producer to middle man to refiner More..

        Posted Jul-27-2012 By 

        (0) | Report

      • @Yukon6400 OPEC controls the price of oil through controlling the supply into the market.

        I know they tell you and the media that those are the reasons but they (OPEC) are currently trying to determine what the market will bear for price, but keep it below the price of alternative fuel sources. It is not a free market at all.

        Posted Jul-29-2012 By 

        (0) | Report

    • OK:

      1. Go to a filling station
      2. Fill your car up
      3. By doing so, you make sure that these companies make a billions of profit and pay some tax dollars from YOUR dollars
      4. And don't forget to blame some green failures
      5. This makes you a smart a guy..or maybe not?

      Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

      (-2) | Report

      • @blue-navigator

        Each fill up is a decision, a voluntary exchange that does not take place if both parties do not think they will profit from it.

        Each subsidy is a command transaction where one group of persons property is confiscated to give to another group for a reason the market place deems not necessary.

        My question to you is, How many watts of solar or wind power generation have you purchased or built on your own property to supply your needs?

        Posted Jul-26-2012 By 

        (2) | Report

      • Comment of user 'Amusing' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
      • Comment of user 'GraveMatter-' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
      • @Yukon6400
        This is at least a good comment on my comment!
        1. Sometimes you need to subsidize new technologies because they cannot compete with technologies that work for 50 years or so and have reached the end of their development. The market reasons for market rules with are not always the best for a society on the long term.
        And don't you think that the average american should pay a little less for gas and Chevron should have a little less "biggest gain in company history"? But what More..

        Posted Jul-27-2012 By 

        (0) | Report

      • @GraveMatter-
        The german accent is back on track :-)!

        Posted Jul-27-2012 By 

        (0) | Report