Green Energy Chickens Coming Home to Roost

A few bits of bad news on the green energy scene (especially for taxpayers.)

In mid-January, Evergreen Solar announced it would close its solar panel plant in Devens, Mass., eliminating 800 jobs in the state. The company won $58 million in state incentives, although it hasn’t received them all, but after receiving an estimated $38 million, ( that doesn’t include road improvements etc.) the company is up and getting out of Deven. (Read more about the move here.)   that’s quite an expense for the state to end up with nothing in return.

Guess where the company is moving To?

China.

If that isn’t enough to make you think all this government “investment” (funded by the taxpayers) in “green tech” isn’t worth it, there was a story on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal last week (link here, subscription required) about Range Fuels, a “green” company of a different ilk.

Range Fuels, a “manufacturer” of cellulosic ethanol from wood chips, received $76 from the Bush administration, $6 million from the state of Georgia, and another $80 million loan from the Obama administration.

After all that “investment” by the taxpayers, Range produced all of 4 million gallons, far short of their goal of 100 million, or even the 20 million the company had predicted it would produce in 2008. And they didn’t even produce cellulosic ethanol, but instead–methanol. (Methanol has been made for decades. It’s not exactly one of those things that taxpayers really want to find out they paid $162 million for.)

What does Range blame their failure on?  The lack of a carbon tax on cap and trade.

As President Obama reveals his budget, it will be interesting to see how much more taxpayer money he plans to “invest” in green technology after these recent successes.

aln

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