Department of Energy Awarding Billions in Energy Subsidies Despite Sequester

April 5, 2013

More than $1.2 billion in cash payments has been awarded to renewable energy projects by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Treasury Department since the beginning of the year, with the majority of them going to solar electricity, says the Washington Examiner.

  • While other agencies grapple with furloughs and service cuts, the DOE continues to hand out 30 percent of the cost basis for renewable projects under its 1603 program, part of the 2009American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • Between January 1 and February 14, $1,254,769,726 was awarded to435 renewable energy projects,381 of which were to solar.
  • The 1603 program had awarded more than $9.2 billion to 748 wind projects and $2.7 billion to more than 44,000 solar projects through July 2012.

The program won't escape the sequester completely unscathed. Projects awarded between March 1 and September 30 will be reduced by 8.7 percent.

But the DOE is pressing ahead with awards to green technology. The department also announced last month it will award $150 million left over from a separate stimulus program, 48C manufacture tax credits.

Among the original recipients were companies like Abound Solar, which declared bankruptcy last June; First Solar, which laid off one-third of its workforce last year; and Amonix, which closed down after determining it lacked an economically viable product.

Source: Michal Conger, "DOE Awarding More than $1.2 Billion in Energy Subsidies Despite Sequester," Washington Examiner, April 3, 2013.

 

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