Archive for the ‘Green Energy’ Category

“Making dishwashers great again”

August 16, 2019

For years, my wife has been justifiably complaining about how  dishwasher performance has gotten way worse because of goofy environmental rules enacted by the Feds.

Ostensibly, DOE rules were put in place to reduce energy and water consumption.

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While well-intended (maybe) , from the get-go, consumers started complaining that dishwashers made under the new rules don’t clean very well — dishes come out dirty and smelly … and take forever to run … often requiring follow-on runs to finish the job.

DOE itself has acknowledged this is caused by its regulations, saying: “To help compensate for the negative impact on cleaning performance associated with decreasing water use and water temperature, manufacturers will typically increase the cycle time.” Source

The news: help may be on the way….

(more…)

23 and counting …

November 2, 2012

No, it’s not the number of consecutive weeks that the BLS has under-reported initial unemployment claims … it’s the number of taxpayer-funded green energy companies that have failed so far … another 27 are reported to have very short financial runways..

Would you invest in this venture capitalist’s next fund?

* * * * *
Source

  1. Solyndra*: Received $535 million DOE loan and $25.1 million in California tax credit. Bankrupt: September 2011
  2. Abound Solar*: Received part of a $60 million grant under the Bush administration, and was awarded a $400 million loan under Obama in December of 2010. Abound was awarded a $9.2-million loan from the Export-Import Bank in July 2011. Bankrupt: June 2012
  3. Beacon Power*: Received more than $25 million in DOE grants and a DOE loan for $43 million. Bankrupt: October 2011
  4. A123 Systems*: Received $390 million, of which $249 million of it was a Recovery Act Grant. Filed for Bankruptcy October 16, 2012, and two companies are seeking to buy A123; Johnson Controls and the Chinese firm Wanxiang Group Corp.
  5. AES Eastern Energy/Energy Storage*: Received $17.1 million DOE conditional commitment on August 2, 2010. Bankrupt: December 31, 2011.
  6. Amonix*: Received $6 million in federal tax credits a $15.6 million grant from the DOE for research and development. Bankrupt: July 18, 2012.
  7. Azure Dynamics*: Received millions in stimulus funds and over $1.7 million in Michigan state tax credits. Bankrupt: March 27, 2012
  8. Babcock & Brown: Received $178 million in the largest federal (1603) stimulus wind grant in December 2009. Placed into voluntary liquidation: March 13, 2009
  9. Energy Conversion Devices Inc./Uni-Solar: Received a $13.3 million Stimulus tax credit. Bankrupt: February 2011.
  10. Ener1*: Received a $118.5 million DOE Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: January 26, 2011.
  11. Evergreen Solar, Inc.*: Received Stimulus funds, grants, tax-credits, low-interest loans and subsidies. Bankrupt: August 15, 2011
  12. Konarka Technologies Inc.: Received $20 million in grants from government agencies such as the DOE and the Pentagon. Bankrupt: June 4, 2012.
  13. ADDITION Range Fuels*: Range Fuels: $162.25 million in government commitments since 2007, of which $64 million came from a USDA Biofuel loan in 2010 alone, despite financial and technical difficulties, and opposition inside the USDA.
  14. Raser Technologies: Received $33 million Treasury Department Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: May 2, 2011.
  15. SpectraWatt*: Received $500,000 grant from the Renewable Energy Lab via the Stimulus. Bankrupt: August 23, 2011
  16. Stirling Energy Systems: Received $7 million from a federal renewable-energy grant and was eligible for nearly $10.5 million in manufacturing September 28, 2011.
  17. Thompson River Power LLC: Received $6.5 million in Stimulus funds from Section 1603. Bankrupt: July 2, 2012.
  18. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)
  19. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million);
  20. Nordic Windpower* ($16 million)
  21. Satcon ($3 million) As reported by the Heritage Foundation October 18, 2012, “A solar company that got a multi-million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy earlier this year announced Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the second taxpayer-backed green energy company to file for bankruptcy this week.”
  22.  Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981) ($6 million); in our unconfirmed bankrupt list
  23. Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co.: Received $480,000 through the Section 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit Program. During Obama’s visit to Cardinal Fastener, he took a “green Recovery Act victory lap,” and touted it as means for “Made-In-America Jobs” for Ohio. Yet, just two weeks after the Obama visit, Cardinal laid off 12 percent of its staff, and in June 2011, Cardinal Fastener filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Lastly, in January 2012, Cardinal Fastener was acquired by Germany’s Wurth Group for just $3.9 Million.

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Just in time for tonite’s debate … battery maker A123 files for bankruptcy.

October 16, 2012

Hot off the wires from Bloomberg

A123 Systems —  the electric car battery maker that received a $249 million federal grant —  filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to make a debt payment that was due yesterday.

There is “no assurance” that A123 will be able to find a way to continue to operate its business as a going concern, the company said.

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For those keeping score,  Solyndra left taxpayers holding a  $535 million loan guarantee granted by the U.S. Energy Department.

Another gov’t funded green energy company bites the dust …

September 2, 2011

Punch line: A big chunk of the Stimulus money was thrown at the development of green energy technology. Unfortunately, the recipients have proven to be non-competitive.

Excerpted from SFGate.com: Solyndra closes Fremont plant – stimulus hopes dim

Solyndra received $535 million of stimulus money in 2009 to build a solar panel plant.

This week, Solyndra announced that it will close its last remaining factory, lay off its 1,100 employees and file for bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy also represents a high-profile failure for a federal stimulus program that gives loan guarantees to green-tech manufacturers.

Solyndra, whose solar modules are thin tubes rather than flat panels, struggled to compete against a flood of low-priced solar cells pouring out of China.

Solar module prices have plunged more than 40 percent in recent years, squeezing companies’ profit margins even as sales of solar systems grow. Two other U.S. solar companies, Evergreen Solar and SpectraWatt, filed for bankruptcy protection in August.

The administration’s response: “We have always recognized that not every one of the innovative companies supported by our loans and loan guarantees would succeed, but we can’t stop investing in game-changing technologies that are key to America’s leadership in the global economy,”

Full article: Solyndra closes Fremont plant – stimulus hopes dim

Ken’s Take: I’m all for green energy alternatives, but I certainly don’t think that the Feds should be in the venture capital business.

There’s a reason that these companies couldn’t raise private capital: they’re not competitive in the world market.

Think about it: Would you put your company’s manufacturing plant in China or California?

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