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POLITICS

Another federal agency throwing subsidies at failing solar companies

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Everyone knows that the U.S. Department of Energy has thrown millions of dollars in subsidies at failed or failing solar companies. But did you know that our export-subsidy agency is doing the same?

Andrew Evans at Free Beacon reports on this:

The bank financed $355.5 million for renewable energy in fiscal year 2012, down from $721 million in 2011, according to data provided by the bank. The bank financed almost $36 billion total in fiscal year 2012.

Critics of the bank say the experience of two solar energy companies illustrates how politics unfairly props up connected industries.

First Solar cut 2,000 jobs and announced a factory closure last April. Just a few months later, the federal government financed a deal between the struggling solar panel manufacturer and two Indian companies wanting to buy First Solar’s products.

SolarWorld is another struggling solar panel manufacturer that received financing from the bank. SolarWorld announced layoffs and the closure of one of its manufacturing plants at the beginning of September 2011. The company benefitted from an $18.9 million dollar loan to an Indian company to support its purchase of its solar panels at the end of the month.

Also, Ex-Im threw a $10 million lifeline to taxpayer-financed Solyndra as it drowned.

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