Obama gives $2 billion to solar energy companies

Jul 03, 2010
US President Barack Obama (R) tours a solar energy centre in Arcadia, Florida in 2009. Obama has announced the awarding of nearly $2 bln to two solar energy companies that have agreed to build new power plants in the US, creating thousands of new jobs.

US President Barack Obama announced on Saturday the awarding of nearly two billion dollars to two solar energy companies that have agreed to build new power plants in the United States, creating thousands of new jobs.

"We're going to keep fighting to advance our recovery," Obama said in his weekly radio address. "And we're going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America."

One of the companies, Abengoa Solar, has agreed to build one of the largest solar plants in the world in Arizona, which will create about 1,600 construction jobs. When completed, this plant will provide enough to power 70,000 homes.

The other company, Abound Solar Manufacturing, is building two new plants, one in Colorado and one in Indiana.

These projects will create more than 2,000 construction jobs, and over 1,500 permanent jobs as the plants produce millions of each year, according to White House officials.

"So that's some of what we're doing," Obama said. "But the truth is, steps like these won't replace all the jobs we've lost overnight. I know folks are struggling."

The president warned that it would "take months, even years, to dig our way out" of the most recent economic recession.

The announcement came as the US government reported the US unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent last month as more than half a million people abandoned the job hunt, fueling doubts about the economic recovery.

The Labor Department reported on Friday a net loss of 125,000 jobs last month.

The biggest cause for concern had been the weakness of the private sector, which created a modest 83,000 jobs in June, well up from May's revised total of 33,000.

Faced with an uncertain outlook and poor access to credit, US firms have been reluctant to rehire workers.

Explore further: Solar energy prices see double-digit declines in 2013, trend expected to continue

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NeuroPulse
1 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2010
"the US unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent last month as more than half a million people abandoned the job hunt, fueling doubts about the economic recovery."

Less unemployment causes doubts about economic recovery???
Jigga
2.1 / 5 (7) Jul 03, 2010
Well, solar cells cannot escape to ocean and to cause global ecological catastrophe. Solar Now Cheaper than Coal.

http://www.celsia...w-cheap/
Quantum_Conundrum
2.3 / 5 (6) Jul 03, 2010
NeuroPulse:

You didn't read the statement correctly...

The reason unemployment rate "improved" is because so many people have just flat given up looking for a job. You don't count as "unemployed" unless you are actively looking. Many people have quit looking because they have realized there isn't anything available that is even worth applying for.

So there is no "recovery". The economy is actually continuing to get worse.

Oh yeah, I sure wish I could get 2 billion dollars from the government to start my own business.
Shootist
2 / 5 (8) Jul 03, 2010
"Obama gives $2 billion to solar energy companies"

The pResident never gave nobody nuthin'.
StandingBear
2.6 / 5 (10) Jul 03, 2010
Right above our comment field is an ad attacking our President for being a leader for the people and not for special interests and their fellow travelers and useful fools. The President is actually helping Americans, and this depression is not of his making. We need all the energy that we can get from whatever source but 'oil', especially foreign oil that comes with political, religious, social, and societal strings. I live in an area that has fourteen percent officially admitted unemployment. Actual unemployment using the definitions used in the 'dirty thirties' would be closer to over thirty percent. Our economy has been and remains built on not slave labor muscle, but energy and the increased productivity that made slave labor uneconomical. This is a fact of life that is ignored at the peril of any developed economy that seeks for whatever specious economic sabotage, like the DMCA, to circumvent it. For monopolies this is an 'Inconvenient Truth'
trekgeek1
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 03, 2010
Things are bad, no doubt. We must however realize that the president was handed a broken system and it takes time to fix it. Imagine somebody handing you a project at work that had gone to hell and when you still haven't fixed it because of it's complexity, people gripe about you. This is a great step for energy production and some people need to stop being negative and give credit where credit is due.
Truemen
1.3 / 5 (9) Jul 03, 2010
You got to be kidding, This guy is 18mos into his job and we are out of work because of his lack of knowledge. Is it 2012 yet?? 2 Billion for 70,000 you do the math. Cant wait for him to go back to Chicago with his Wife an kids. Soler is just another way to funnel money to his buddies.
trekgeek1
4.2 / 5 (6) Jul 03, 2010
You got to be kidding, This guy is 18mos into his job and we are out of work because of his lack of knowledge. Is it 2012 yet?? 2 Billion for 70,000 you do the math. Cant wait for him to go back to Chicago with his Wife an kids. Soler is just another way to funnel money to his buddies.


You're out of work because of him? The recession began in December of 2007. 2 Billion was for all three projects, not just the one that supplies 70,000. 2012? Do you know something we don't? Maybe a super president that will save us all? They all use the same bag of tricks and nobody can do anything special to save us. Time is all that is needed. Don't be so spoiled as to believe a recession/depression can be fixed in 5 years. History has shown it can take much longer.
labtvonline
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 04, 2010
I'm so glad to see the president taking large strides toward real change in our domestic energy policy. It is becoming more and more practical everyday to use solar energy. It seem like daily I'm reading about a new technological breakthrough in solar power technology. One of my recent favorites is about a solar cell that the military has developed that is not only cheap and flexible but 10,000 times more efficient. This is the kind of progressive thinking we need more of in the world today. I'll post a link to the video about the technology if you would like to learn more.

http://www.ndep.u...ll-World
alfredh
2.3 / 5 (6) Jul 04, 2010
Obama is no better than the worst, the big guys get the stimulus, while the guys who actually pay the taxes, get to pay for the power that our taxes are subsidizing. What a crock. A distributed system would work much better, and might actually help the people the govt is impoverishing
jay66
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 04, 2010
So this is good right? 2 billion for what?We already have free market solar panel producers why are we giving them tax money? Any american that wants solar power can go buy it right now.In fact if your house qualifies there are companies that will install them on your house and you just pay a normal power bill.So if you want solar go get it in the free market.If you dont want some company to get rich then buy a piece of that company and you share in the profits real simple.This 2 bill. is nothing more than subsidized venture capital with govt. control
the lefts modus-operandi destroy the market and take over.And if you think this is green where is all the raw material coming from plastic,aluminium,silica,and a host of rare earth metals, so bring on the resource extraction
industries.Not only that but like the previous poster said the military has developed cheap and flexible panels that are 10,000 times more efficient.Who already paid for that?Do you think this tech. is for us.
JerryPark
2.1 / 5 (7) Jul 04, 2010
I wish Obama had 2 billion to give to solar energy (or anything else).

We are co-signing a note for 2 billion to waste on an industry which is already working well without any need for more government grants.
ScientistAmauterEnthusiast
1 / 5 (5) Jul 04, 2010
the military has developed cheap and flexible panels that are 10,000 times more efficient.Who already paid for that?Do you think this tech. is for us.[/q

i think that is a mistake, 10,000 times more efficient does not seem possible From wiki "As of late 2009, the highest efficieincy PV cells were produced commercially by Boeing/SpectroLab at about 41%" so.. 10,000 times that would be 410,000% efficiency which is impossible. Correct me if i am wrong, just seems to be like claiming i can fill up a bath tub with 1 tsp of water by improving the spoon. =]
Newbeak
3 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2010
What about giving a grant to a company developing solar roadways: http://www.solarr...me.shtml
The company has already received a small development grant from the Feds.
A few hundred million would be enough to bring the product to fruition.As well,someone commented that rail beds would be ideal for this concept,as the panels wouldn't be subjected to the wear and tear of traffic.It could be put into use faster too,as the panels could be placed atop existing rail ties,rather than being used as replacements for asphalt roads in the process of being replaced.
bhiestand
5 / 5 (3) Jul 04, 2010
To everyone complaining about subsidies: just stop. Oil, coal, and natural gas receive far larger subsidies from the federal government. Subsidizing renewable (and local) energy sources is one of the best long-term moves we can make.

But seriously, $2B for 1,500 permanent jobs?! That's $1.3m per semi-permanent (30 years?) position... Let's not pretend this is an efficient jobs creation mechanism. Handing over billions to large corporations has never been an effective method of long-term job creation, and this project is no exception.
ForFreeMinds
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 04, 2010
I don't like to see the government playing favorites, which it must do, when it provides tax money for research. I believe our research would be much more productive if it wasn't government funded.

Regarding unemployment, taxes are a disincentive to produce, so government spending, since it must be paid for, creates more unemployment.
ormondotvos
3 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2010
I WISH renewable energy was a "favorite"! Have you looked at the oil, coal and natural gas subsidies already in place, which reduce the REAL cost and contribute to fossil fuel warming of the earth, which will then cost trillions to reverse?
UncleMatt
1 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2010
Okay, people, this was a LOAN GAURANTEE by Obama, NOT a grant! I know, I know, that doesn't fit the pre-packaged anti-Obama arguments many of you came to post today, but that is a fact! Read, learn, engage brain, THEN post.

And the fact the article title is so misleading doesn't help much either...
HealingMindN
1 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2010
I WISH renewable energy was a "favorite"! Have you looked at the oil, coal and natural gas subsidies already in place, which reduce the REAL cost and contribute to fossil fuel warming of the earth, which will then cost trillions to reverse?


I agree that a subsidy to distributed energy production would be far more effective, but $2 B is dwarfed by those already in place. I don't agree with further notions of "fossil" fuel. The eruption in the Gulf proves the existence of abiogenic petrol. Please look it up.

Is this a political article? How does throwing a bone at these 2 particular solar co's make up for the media blackout in the Gulf? More misdirection?
DADDYBEAR
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 05, 2010
I undestand that these are not US companies. If this is so why would we give this kind of money to other then companies here in the US? Do we not have any companies that can do the same thing? If I'm wrong then I apologize but if I'm not then once again we are being had by this man and his kind. We are spending this much money for 1500 permanet jobs? I'm sorry but that would buy a lot of real jobs in stead of a "Feel Good" project.
DADDYBEAR
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 05, 2010
What is a loan guarantee if not a promise to pay if they default? Get real,they will take the money and run,watch and see. So please do not give me the song and dance that this is not a grant.Only a fool would use that excuse.
theophys
1 / 5 (2) Jul 05, 2010
I'm glad this country is finaly investing in solar energy. I think the thing that would really help, though, would be to fix the oil tax system that actually pays oil companies to exist (at the average american's expense) and invest the billions we would save into research projects. Where's the Manhattan Project for sustainable nuclear fusion? Why aren't we funding projects for more efficient solar cells? And where the hell is my hover car?
getgoa
1 / 5 (6) Jul 05, 2010
It is not surprising that it took the nation a whole year to vote for a "pothead". The real problem is that Obama as president symbolizes the Nostradamus prophecy of the weed getting "high".

The bible say this about giving rise to slaves:

21 By three things the earth is disturbed, and the fourth it cannot bear: 22 By a slave when he reigneth: by a fool when he is filled with meat: 23 By an odious woman when she is married: and by a bondwoman when she is heir to her mistress.

Proverbs Chapter 30 Drbo.org.
dacarls
3 / 5 (2) Jul 05, 2010
I can imagine that any decline in support for the US military will cause total consternation....if and when we do not have to support overseas oil interests (a massive subsidy) that are not even US owned.
elisevil
3 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2010
I guess this is better than our continued subsidies to the untaxed oil and coal industries. It helps unemployment and moves us a tiny step away from carbon fossil fuels that are causing our climate problems. But aren't there U.S. companies that he could support other than Spain's Abengoa that's getting about 1.4 Billion in guarantees? Also, who will then own these solar energy plants?

We need to get off oil faster. Solar panels should be on every roof and electric cars in every garage!

And we need to get some cash into the long empty pockets of our long-term unemployed yesterday.
pubwvj
1 / 5 (3) Jul 10, 2010
This will drive demand for solar panels which will drive up prices because supply won't keep up. This subsidization then makes it more expensive for people who don't get the subsidy to buy solar panels. Bah.
Buyck
not rated yet Jul 11, 2010
Its only good news!

1. Creating thousands of new jobs.

2. It give green energy.

3. With better performance in the future of solar cells the profit will increase and prices will go down just like in the chip industry.