After Solyndra Loss, U.S. Energy Loan Program Turning a Profit : NPR
Remember all the wingnut crowing over this? Now the critics won’t respond, and with a P&L that would be the envy of some businesses, it’s time to give credit. We are better off for energy and clean energy than at any point since the gas lines of Nixon’s time.
In 2011, solar panel company Solyndra defaulted on a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy. The agency had a few other high-profile bankruptcies, too — electric car company Fisker and solar company Abound among them. But now that loan program has started turning a profit.
Now that the loan program is turning a profit, those critics are silent. They either declined or ignored NPR’s requests for comment. Overall, the agency has loaned $34.2 billion to a variety of businesses, under a program designed to speed up development of clean-energy technology. Companies have defaulted on $780 million of that — a loss rate of 2.28 percent. The agency also has collected $810 million in interest payments, putting the program $30 million in the black.
When Congress created the loan program under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, it was never designed to be a moneymaker. In fact, Congress imagined there would be losses and set aside $10 billion to cover them.