One of the reasons government should not be picking winners in the private sector is they are not as good as the market-place in selecting viable companies. Obama’s “green energy” program has wasted many federal dollars and the count goes way beyond the infamous Solyndra.
The latest green companies in trouble are two foreign outfits which received a combined $84,000,000 of our money in the form of Energy Department tax credits. The companies have announced layoffs.
One of the companies, German-owned SolarWorld, was integral in the fight for tariffs against the importation of Chinese photovoltaic solar panels. The other, Chinese company SunTech, blamed those tariffs for its own layoffs.
SolarWorld received a credit worth $82 million, while SunTech’s was worth $2.1 million.
Both companies announced this week that they will shed some employees. SolarWorld, which announced a 47% revenue decline in the third quarter, blamed a potential 37 layoffs at its Oregon plant on “illegal” Chinese trade practices.
SunTech said the U.S. International Trade Commission’s 35.95% tariff on Chinese solar panels was partially responsible for the 50 impending layoffs at its Arizona production facilities.
While heavy Chinese subsidies do reduce the cost of solar panels from that country, Heritage’s Derek Scissors warned against replicating those policies in testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June.
“The U.S. boasts a far better energy and environmental record than China,” Scissors explained, “and moving in China’s direction would be very risky.”
These two companies join the Heritage Foundation’s complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
- Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
- SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
- Solyndra ($535 million)*
- Beacon Power ($43 million)*
- Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
- SunPower ($1.2 billion)
- First Solar ($1.46 billion)
- Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
- EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
- Amonix ($5.9 million)
- Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
- Abound Solar ($400 million)*
- A123 Systems ($279 million)*
- Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
- Johnson Controls ($299 million)
- Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
- ECOtality ($126.2 million)
- Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
- Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
- Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
- Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
- Range Fuels ($80 million)*
- Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
- Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
- Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
- GreenVolts ($500,000)
- Vestas ($50 million)
- LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
- Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
- Navistar ($39 million)
- Satcon ($3 million)*
- Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
- Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.