DOE Green Energy Loan Guarantee Watch Update

|

A costly solar field of dreams

An earlier blogpost at Hit & Run cited reporting from Investor's Business Daily that U.S. Department of Energy is rushing to finalize loan guarantees for nine green energy projects before the deadline at the end of the month. So far, DOE has announced two projects backed by taxpayer guarantees totalling about $1 billion. According to the press release for the first project, the DOE is offering

…a $737 million loan guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC to develop the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project. The solar project, sponsored by SolarReserve, LLC, is a 110 megawatt concentrating solar power tower generating facility with molten salt as the primary heat transfer and storage medium.

Total jobs: 600 construction and 45 permanent. 

For the second project, the DOE is offering

… a $337 million loan guarantee to Mesquite Solar 1, LLC to support the development of an innovative photovoltaic solar generating project. The optimized 150 megawatt (MW) alternating current photovoltaic (PV) solar generation project will be located in Maricopa County, Arizona….

Total jobs: 300 construction jobs. Oddly, there appears to be some reticence about mentioning any "permanent jobs" associated with the project in the press release. Fortunately, another DOE website was more forthcoming, listing 7 operating jobs for the project. 

Of course, DOE bureaucrats are so clever at "investing" in innovative projects that the loan guarantees will never actually be paid out. But just for fun, let's parse how much job bang these projects are supposedly getting for the billion bucks.

Dividing 952 jobs into $1.074 billion, the cost per job would be about $1.1 milion and change. During the halcyon era of fiscal stimulus, Obama administration defenders actually argued that government spending would produce jobs at a cost of only $63,000 per copy. However, data in a February, 2011 report by the Congressional Budget Office suggested that government spending had actually stimulated job creation or salvation at a cost of around $225,000 each

So if these DOE backed green energy projects were to go bust, that would imply that each job would cost taxpayers about four times more than those allegedly created by the stimulus. But surely that could never happen

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

29 responses to “DOE Green Energy Loan Guarantee Watch Update

  1. Remember when we thought Bill Clinton was nakedly corrupt? Those were the days.

    1. I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m still stunned at the level of gall and audacity it takes to do this during a solar energy scandal. It’s beyond insulting; these people are corrupt, but know they’re safe, and they’re spitting right in the taxpayers’ faces.

      1. You and I know a fuck you when we see it. Maybe they figure most people are too polite to? I dunno.

        1. The thing is, this administration seems to specialize in the “fuck you”. Is it the Chicago way or something? And do other people not see it? It’s so fucking blatant.

            1. Fuck me? Hey, Warty, can you read lips? FUCK YOU. Next time I’ll call NutraSweet!

            2. Fuck us all – each and every one!

              Seriously, this is unbelievable coming right after Solyndra. I figured there would be a hurried response from the WH stating that the IBD story was about a “idea in progress” that “is no longer considered good policy” or some such.

              It’s not just the corruption, it’s the staggering incompetence.

              1. Incompetence? Or arrogance? Or both?

              2. It’s not incompetence at all, it’s them letting us know what they think of us yet again. I expect the next stimulus to include a grant to build millions of gigantic bronze middle finger statues and put them in every front yard in the country.

                1. It’s incompetence in that it will lead to an (R) landslide. If they weren’t equally as venal and incompetent, they could stay in power for a while.

                  1. A whole bunch of people in the administration need POOR IMPULSE CONTROL tattooed across their foreheads.

                    1. It’s enough to make me turn to flatbread pizza. I’m starting to be pissed at Chicago for foisting this retard on the rest of us.

                    2. Ditch that slab of dough you call pizza, and don’t look back. Once you start eating actual pizza, you won’t believe you ever liked deep-dish.

                    3. Cardboard pizza is the pizza of fascism.

                    4. As a former Schaumberg resident: agreed.

                    5. A whole bunch of people in the administration need POOR IMPULSE CONTROL tattooed across their foreheads.

                      And if no one seems to react, they can jog their memory: “[Office of the] President of the United States.”

                    6. Christ, next you’ll want to give them each their own personal nuke.

  2. ” solar generation project will be located in Maricopa County, Arizona….”

    So if I go out there and bust them all up with my baseball bat, will that create MORE than 300 jobs?

  3. A Green Job is 5-6 times “better” and mucho sanctified than regular government make-work jobs.

  4. Scared to have your name in the main page Ron?

    1. Fixed. Squirrels!

  5. During the halcyon era of fiscal stimulus, Obama administration defenders actually argued that government spending would produce jobs at a cost of only $63,000 per copy.

    Economics tip #4: If a job is costing money rather than making money, you’re doing something wrong.

    1. Re: BakedPenguin,

      Economics tip #4: If a job is costing money rather than making money, you’re doing something wrong.

      In the upside-down world of government economics, you would be doing something right – as long as the “job” votes for you.

  6. So if I go out there and bust them all up with my baseball bat, will that create MORE than 300 jobs?

    If the government steals money from other people and buys you a new bat, you’ll have a “multiplier,” which is a magic thing like guys in video games have, and you could create as many as 500 jobs by smashing that shit up.

    Start lobbyin’.

  7. Yeah, the jobs may cost a little more, but saving the environment is something you just can’t price.

  8. However, data in a February, 2011 report by the Congressional Budget Office suggested that government spending had actually stimulated job creation or salvation at a cost of around $225,000 each.

    Isn’t that the report that doesn’t actually have any data in it, but simply reiterates the CBOs model for stimulus spending?

  9. Dividing 952 jobs into $1.074 billion, the cost per job would be about $1.1 milion and change. During the halcyon era of fiscal stimulus, Obama administration defenders actually argued that government spending would produce jobs at a cost of only $63,000 per copy.

    Sure, for jobs created. But jobs saved are priceless.

  10. I welcome this news. In another couple of years, when all of these companies have gone bankrupt, the scandal will be that much bigger.

    I look forward to the congressional hearings where former Obama administration officials get grilled over why they approved so much loan money even after Solyndra went spectacularly bust.

    Perhaps it will put a permanent nail in the coffin of all this green jobs bullshit.

  11. The administration has just provided a handy list of stocks to short, because chances are every one of these companies will go down the tubes.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.