Solar Winds Keep Blowing Taxpayer Money Away

It was reported by Forbes less than three weeks ago that Tempe, Arizona-based, solar panel maker First Solar was to receive $2.1 billion in partial loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy, with the money to be used in building two new generating stations in Southern California.

In the last week, it was reported by Bloomberg that First Solar stock was downgraded from "neutral" to "sell" by a securities analyst following the company.  Furthermore, it was reported that the share price of First Solar has dropped 59% this year and is trading at its lowest point since early 2007.  Market forces are the reasons for both the downgrade and the stock price decline.  Also in the last week, a Business Week report indicates that First Solar rival General Electric Co. will soon be producing a solar panel product that surpasses in efficiency the one made by First Solar.

$1.46 billion of the loan guarantees to First Solar is for the 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight project in Riverside County, according to Forbes. A report prepared for First Solar states that this project would provide the area with $336 million in "additional economic activity through its development, local supply chain and employee spending."

So, the Obama Administration is spending almost $1.5 billion to generate economic activity of just over $300 million?

Meanwhile, according to Business Week, GE is spending $300 million of its own money to build a 400-megawatt facility in Aurora, Colorado. (Of course, let's not forget that Obama favorite GE did not pay a dime in corporate income taxes last year).

One can draw a conclusion from the above that the White House is continuing to throw dollars into a green sky where solar winds keep blowing taxpayer money away.

J. James Estrada's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.

If you experience technical problems, please write to