Study by Alison Williams
The collapse of Solyndra LLC, the California-based solar module manufacturer, has provided ammunition for critics who believe the government shouldn’t attempt to pick winners among emerging energy technologies. Investigations by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives have generated rancor that threatens to obscure the bipartisan consensus that created the Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office under President George W. Bush.
A Bloomberg Government Study, “Beyond Solyndra: An Analysis of DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program,” provides an in-depth look at the DOE loan-guarantee initiatives and the 28 energy projects that received $16.1 billion in loan guarantees under the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
The study concludes that 87 percent of the $16.1 billion in loan guarantees is backing 18 power generation projects, which have a low risk of default because they were required to have buyers for their power output. Ten manufacturing, fuel production and storage projects, which make up the remaining 13 percent of the portfolio value, were not required by DOE to find buyers in order to receive guarantees.
Alison Williams, an energy analyst at Bloomberg Government, focuses on energy policy, renewable energy technologies and energy modeling. Before joining BGOV, she worked at the U.S. Department of Energy, providing policy and budget recommendations. She also has worked at the World Resources Institute and Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program. She holds a master’s in public policy from American University and degrees in political science and English from U.C. Davis.
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