Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beyond Solyndra : Energy Department Brags About What's Next

The Energy Department thought that Solyndra was so good that they put it in the title of a presentation to show how much more good they will do with the same policies. Below is a hot-linked slideshow thrown together. You can go to the original slideshow too.

 01 of 14  

All this really is is a list of upcoming scandals and how much it will cost us.

Ivanpah $1.6 Billion
Aqua Caliente $967 Million
Abengoa Solana $2.466 Billion
Caithness Shepherds Flat $1.3 Billion
Ford Unknown

You may have noticed Ford on the list and you may know that I have ragged on Obama about taking credit for Ford when Ford did not take the bailout. In this case, Ford has taken loans. Unlike the other companies on the list, Ford has an amazing amount of assets and produces a product. If Ford were to default on its loans it could be liquidated and the loans would be repaid.

However, I find it unsettling that the DoE does not tell us how big Ford's loans were. Ford shouldn't have taken them in the first place anyways.

The slide show starts with $35 billion in loans and $55 billion in economic investment for the energy grid. That is $90 billion total from the DoE. It will support 60,000 jobs and thousands more coming down the pike.

Just to have some numbers, let's say we get an additional 60,000 jobs for a total of 120,000 jobs. That means the DoE has spent $750,000 per job. If the loans get paid back and these companies can become self sufficient this is not a problem. But if subsidies will always be needed it is a raw deal for everyone! Changes are being made to our energy infrastructure that will eventually fail!

In the auto industry we have $8.3 billion in loans and $14 billion in investment to support 38,000 jobs. That is $586,000 per job.

This is a little better because we are talking about products and liquid assets. Updating factories to be cleaner, okay. Investing in all electric car companies, not so okay. We have already seen one of those fail, or is it more than one?

This is all a waste.

At the end are quotes that should be positive, but they really describe how shaky and unstable this all is. I'll just go over one quote and you can mull over the rest:
Once so risky that only government backing could draw private capital, solar projects now are making returns of about 15 percent, according to Stanford University's center for energy policy and finance...

Don't go to Stanford if you want to understand business, the economy, and capitalism.
Risk is something the private sector is supposed to invest in. The government is not supposed to be taking risks with our money. This creates unfair competition for legitimate investments because the government can just steal more of the people's money to prop up a failure to compete with better concepts. This is how you end up with a messed up economy and infrastructure when the best product doesn't win. The product that the government dumps our stolen money in does and we lose because it only stands if we continually dump money into it.

If something can not draw private capital there is a reason why. Why can't the government get this through its thick skull!?

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