Archive for the “Solar Power” Category
“Hey, let’s put them on every school.”
By Jim Hoft
When Webster Groves High School purchased solar panels to put on the roof of the school, no one told them they could catch on fire!
The fire department was called on Saturday to put out the flames. At least one classroom was severely damaged.
There will be school on Monday.
Read the rest at Gateway Pundit.
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By Townhall.com staff. Blogger, Townhall.com
Another federally subsidized green project bites the dust. The Amonix solar facility in Las Vegas, according to former employees, has been out of operation since May of this year. The solar facility was backed by $21.5 million in federal grants and tax breaks. Naturally, Harry Reid was an early and vocal supporter of this undertaking.
Read the rest at townhall.com
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The president’s green energy policies don’t add up
By Donald J Bourdreaux
Speaking recently at America’s largest solar energy plant — in Boulder City, Nev. — President Obama insisted that green energy is so important, “You’d think that everybody would be supportive of solar power. And yet, if some politicians have their way, there won’t be any more public investment in solar energy.”
Indeed. And judging from the recent actions of Obama’s Commerce Department, the president himself is among those politicians.
The Commerce Department has decided to impose tariffs ranging from 2.9 percent to 4.73 percent on subsidized Chinese solar panels that are imported into the U.S.
It takes remarkable cheek for Obama to insist that, while American “public investment” in green energy is virtuous, Chinese “public investment” in green energy is vile.
Not that opposition to subsidies for solar and other “green” energies is to be lamented. Quite the opposite. Politicians have no expertise at forecasting consumers’ energy needs or identifying how best to meet those needs. And the fact that the money politicians spend to promote green-energy firms comes from taxpayers further reduces the likelihood that such subsidies will yield positive payoffs for the general public.
In a sane world, Obama would celebrate Beijing’s subsidies to Chinese solar panel exporters. Those subsidies supply Americans with the alleged benefits of artificially low-priced solar panels, but on China’s nickel!
Read the rest at the Daily.
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By Joel Gehrke
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.
Read the rest at the Washington Examiner.
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Investors Business Daily Editorial
Energy: The White House billed President Obama’s energy policy speech as a response to mounting criticism of record high gas prices. What he delivered was a grab bag of excuses and outright falsehoods.
Obama’s main message to struggling motorists was: It’s not my fault, so stop whining. The speech only got worse from there, recycling excuses and myths that Obama’s peddled for years. But there were some standout whoppers that deserve debunking. The five biggest:
“We’re focused on production.”
Fact: While production is up under Obama, this has nothing to do with his policies, but is the result of permits and private industry efforts that began long before Obama occupied the White House.
Obama has chosen almost always to limit production. He canceled leases on federal lands in Utah, suspended them in Montana, delayed them in Colorado and Utah, and canceled lease sales off the Virginia coast.
His administration also has been slow-walking permits in the Gulf of Mexico, approving far fewer while stretching out review times, according to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permit Index. The Energy Dept. says Gulf oil output will be down 17% by the end of 2013, compared with the start of 2011. Swift Energy President Bruce Vincent is right to say Obama has “done nothing but restrict access and delay permitting.”
“The U.S. consumes more than a fifth of the world’s oil. But we only have 2% of the world’s oil reserves.”
Fact: Obama constantly refers to this statistic to buttress his claim that “we can’t drill our way to lower gas prices.” The argument goes that since the U.S. supply is limited, it won’t ever make a difference to world prices.
Read the rest at Investors Business Daily.
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From CBS San Francisco
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.
And it’s not a few loads. Hundreds of thousands of tubes on shrink-wrapped pallets will meet a similar demise.
Solyndra paid at least $2 million for the specialized glass. A CBS 5 crew found one piece lying in the parking lot. Solyndra still owes the German company that made the tubes close to another $8 million.
Read the rest and see video at CBS San Francisco
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By Doug Powers
Yesterday there was another White House document dump regarding Solyndra’s bankruptcy filing just after the 2010 elections. While Solyndra is the crown jewel in the Department of Energy’s “you can’t make a green omelette without breaking a few hundred million taxpayer eggs” trial-and-error initiative, there are many other examples.
CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson — who was one of the first reporters on the Solyndra trail — featured 11 other DoE loan recipients that either have or probably will take a Solyndra-style plunge and suck down $6.5 billion of taxpayer loans with them.
Read the rest at Michelle Malkin.
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Obama in 2008: “Under my plan… electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket.”
By Dennis Cauchon
Electric bills have skyrocketed in the last five years, a sharp reversal from a quarter-century when Americans enjoyed stable power bills even as they used more electricity.
Households paid a record $1,419 on average for electricity in 2010, the fifth consecutive yearly increase above the inflation rate, a USA TODAY analysis of government data found. The jump has added about $300 a year to what households pay for electricity. That’s the largest sustained increase since a run-up in electricity prices during the 1970s.
Electricty is consuming a greater share of Americans’ after-tax income than at any time since 1996 — about $1.50 of every $100 in income at a time when income growth has stagnated, a USA TODAY analysis of Bureau of Economic Analysis data found.
Read the rest at USA Today.
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From Plains Daily
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is announcing a lawsuit against the State of Minnesota over the latter state’s restrictions on using power from coal plants, among other sources.
“It is unfortunate it has come to this. As Minnesota seeks to rebuild its economy, it will need energy,” said Stenehjem in a press release. “Much of that energy will need to come from sources outside Minnesota.”
In its lawsuit, North Dakota alleges that the Next Generation Energy Act violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, unconstitutionally interfering with North Dakota’s energy production. The NGEA imposes prohibitions on energy imported from North Dakota, and while the law does make some exemptions the State of North Dakota is alleging that those exemptions benefit only Minnesota-based businesses and projects.
Read the rest at Plains Daily.
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By Stephen Clark
With the Solyndra scandal still swirling, the Obama administration is under pressure to reveal the financial condition of the solar companies that received $4.75 billion in similar federal loan guarantees on the last day of the program.
Republican lawmakers on two House committees are seeking details about the loans given to First Solar, SunPower Corp. and ProLogis. Of those three companies, troubling financial revelations have emerged about SunPower, which sponsored a solar project that received a $1.2 billion loan, more than twice the money approved for Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy last month after receiving a $528 million loan.
The Energy Department says on its website that the $1.2 billion loan to help build the California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, a project that will help create 15 permanent jobs, which adds up to the equivalent of $80 million in taxpayer money for each job.
Read the rest at Fox News.
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By Martin Gould
GOP claims that the Obama administration’s green energy loan guarantee program is mired in cronyism grew on Friday after a company tied to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law got the lion’s share of the final government hand-outs made before Friday’s end of the fiscal year.
The decision to guarantee $737 million comes hard on the heels of the loss of more than $500 million of government money due to the bankruptcy of solar panel company Solyndra.
The new grant went to Tonopah Solar Energy, a subsidiary of SolarReserve, which started building Crescent Dunes, a massive solar-thermal plant in the Nevada desert in early September.
Read the rest at Newsmax.
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By Matthew L Wald
The top two executives of a solar-energy company that filed for bankruptcy after getting $528 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration said Tuesday that they will invoke their constitutional rights against compelled self-incrimination when they appear at a Congressional hearing.
The chief executive of Solyndra, Brian Harrison, and Bill Stover, the chief financial officer, hired lawyers in preparation for the hearing this week before the House Energy and Commerce committee and got advice not to say anything, according to a representative of the lawyers.
The offices and the homes of some executives of Solyndra, a California solar-panel manufacturer, were recently raided by the F.B.I. as part of a criminal inquiry into the bankruptcy. The company said in a statement that it was â€œnot aware of any wrongdoing by Solyndra officers, directors or employees in conjunction with the DOE loan guarantee or otherwise.â€
Read the rest at the New York Times.
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Subsidies fail to help sector take root
By Ben Wolfgang
The green-jobs revolution may be going up in smoke.Despite billions of dollars in federal investment and cheerleading from President Obama, even the most ardent supporters of a transformed, job-generating energy sector based largely on wind, solar and other renewable sources acknowledge that their dreams have not translated into reality. The records for other countries chasing green employment opportunities have been equally unimpressive.
Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, told MSNBC last month that, despite impassioned support from liberal Democrats and environmentalists, “green jobs” initiatives “have been about a lot of talk, and not a lot has been happening on that.”
The absence of a promised boom in environmental jobs has become a talking point among Republicans who are campaigning to unseat Mr. Obama in the 2012 election.
Mr. Obama “keeps talking about green jobs,” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said during the GOP candidates debate Wednesday night. “Where are they? Let’s have real jobs.”
Talk of green jobs was conspicuous by its absence from Mr. Obama’s jobs speech to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night. He gave the address on the same day that the FBI raided California solar-energy company Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy and laid off at least 900 full-time employees.
Read the rest at the Washington Times.
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By Amanda Carey
Despite Solyndra’s abrupt closing and bankruptcy announcement last month, the Department of Energy (DOE) is undeterred. Just this month, the agency made two more loan guarantees worth millions of dollars to alternative energy firms.And, as was the case with Solyndra, officials and investors with the two new companies have strong financial ties to President Barack Obama.
On September 7, the DOE announced its plan to guarantee 80 percent – or $275 million – of a $344 million private loan taken out by the firm SolarCity. The company installs rooftop solar systems that harvests electricity SolarCity then sells.
Read the rest at Daily Caller.
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By Amanda Carey
Not only does the now-bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra have a cozy financialÂ 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. In the week before the administration awarded Solyndra with the first-ever alternative energy loan guarantee on March 20, four separate visits were logged.
George Kaiser, who has in the past been labeled a major Solyndra investor as well as a Obama donor, made three visits to the White House on March 12, 2009, and one on March 13. Kaiser has denied any direct involvement in the Solyndra deal and through a statement from his foundation said he â€œdid not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan.â€
Read the rest at Daily Caller.
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