Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2015 at 7:39 am
The U.S. Department of Energy’s latest report on its $34.3 billion investment portfolio performance, all of which have been made in wind farms, solar power as well as other types of renewable energy projects. In 2009 the Obama administration charged the DOE’s Loan Programs Office with cutting-edge jump-starting green technology endeavours that appeared too expensive and risky to attract private investors.
In September, the portfolio showed a loss rate of 2.28% along with a $30 million profit. Presently. The DOE is now funding 20 projects. According to the report, “These projects currently produce enough clean energy to power more than 1 million American homes (roughly the size of Chicago), have supported the manufacturing of more than 8 million fuel-efficient vehicles, and have avoided carbon pollution equivalent to taking more than 3 million cars off the road”, noting that this particular program has saved or created 55,000 jobs.
Until now the DOE has collected $3.5 billion and disbursed $21.7 billion in the form of repayments with $180 million given away in interest. The losses have reached as far as $780 million. Half a billion dollars of this loss occurred due to the Solyndra failure, a solar panel manufacturer of the Silicon Valley whose bankruptcy gave Republicans the chance to attack the loan program.
Several private investors, including those from the Silicon Valley venture capitalists, have lost $600 million and more on this company. Solyndra happened to be one of the many creators of advanced solar technology within the country, that could not compete with the flooding cheap solar panels produced by China.
As indicated in the DOE report, Solyndra was not an indicator of portfolio performance but an outliner. Meanwhile, the agency has $40 billion left with it to spend.
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