Posts Tagged by Solyndra
|October 29, 2011||Posted by Beth Shaw under Issues|
How could the cost of copper and the Solyndra scandal be connected? Well, copper is part of everything we use, even ‘green energy’ sources. Over Regulation from the Federal government and sky-rocketing demand have caused the price of copper to skyrocket. The increased cost of copper MAY have inadvertently contributed to the downfall of Solyndra and other ‘green energy’ companies.
From Resourceful Earth:
The saga that is the story of Solyndra is guaranteed to stick around through a good part of November, as Energy Secretary Steven Chu has agreed to testify before Congress in the middle of November. If you aren’t familiar with Solyndra, we have written previously about the situation here and here.
Aside from the question of sustainable demand for photo-voltaic cells in the United States (held up partially by state electricity mandates), the Solyndra story is particularly interesting because Solyndra built photovoltaic cells without using silicon, thinking that using alternative materials (namely copper) at a lower cost would give them a price advantage. During this planning and manufacturing stage, the price of copper shot up while silicon prices tumbled, going from as high as $500/ton to $50/ton over the past few years.
Why has the price of copper shot up? Mostly due to increased demand for its use in thousands of industrial processes, especially growing demand from China and India. However, as demand for copper has shot up, strict environmental regulations and permitting requirements have helped to freeze the supply of copper in place, notably in the United States which is the 4th largest global producer of copper.In the United States alone environmental activists have helped to shutter mining projects in Montana, in Arizona, and Alaska.
Ironically, the environmental left’s radical anti-mining stances may have contributed to the downfall of Solyndra. By keeping the price of copper higher than it would have been had these projects gone forward, the cost of producing solar cells at Solyndra was much higher. Now its not easy to say that this would have saved Solyndra, but a lower copper price certainly would have helped. Policies that overburden resource extraction industries leads to a low supply and high prices, hurting American consumers and businessmen alike.
Solyndra Scandal Continues to Grow: White House Favors, Stimulus Bailout, Low-Interest Loans, Bankruptcy
|September 7, 2011||Posted by Beth Shaw under Energy, Issues|
The Solyndra scandal continues to grow with revelations of White House favors using tax-payer funded loans and bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration continues to stonewall answering any questions about how and why the solar-energy company, who had made significant contributions to the Obama campaign, was given special favors for loans when they had been rated sub-par for loan requests by the Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank prior to Obama becoming President.
Solyndra was given over half a billion in loans at far less than its competitors. George Kaiser, a major investor in Solyndra, Obama’s poster-child for green jobs, and frequent visitor to the White House is to get his investment back before tax-payers are reimbursed for the half a billion dollar loss in the Solyndra collapse. In addition, 1,000 more people are out of work due to the company’s collapse.
From ABC News:
The $535 million loan to Solyndra Inc., issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank, included a quarterly interest rate of 1.025 percent, the government bank reported in July. Of 18 Energy Department loans cited in the bank’s report, Solyndra’s rate was lowest. Eight other Energy Department projects, each also backed by the Federal Financing Bank, came with rates three or four times higher, the report shows.
That treatment is in keeping with the history of the loan to the California solar panel maker, an arrangement inked in September 2009 with great fanfare — and touted, not long after, during a factory visit from the president. Monthly government bank reports filed since then reveal Solyndra’s rate as the lowest for any energy-related project in nearly every report; in every case its rate was well below that of most energy projects, which ranged from cutting-edge electric car makers to wind and solar ventures. …
Solyndra’s most prolific financial backer is George Kaiser, an Oklahoma oil billionaire who was a bundler of campaign donations for Obama’s 2008 race. Kaiser’s Argonaut Ventures and its affiliates have been the single largest shareholder of Solyndra, according to SEC filings and other records. The company holds 39 percent of Solyndra’s parent company, bankruptcy records filed Tuesday show.
Under terms of the bankruptcy filing, investors including Argonaut — which led a $75 million round of financing for Solyndra earlier this year — will stand in line before the federal government and other creditors.
When Solyndra announced that round of fundraising this February, it noted that the DOE had refinanced terms of the $535 million loan to extend the payment period. Under an “inter-creditor agreement” cited in the bankruptcy filing, the investors in the $75 million financing are considered first lien holders. That leaves Obama officials to confront the prospect of waiting behind private companies.
It seems it time for the Obama administration to start answering some questions about the Solyndra scandal.
UPDATE: The FBI is now investigating Solyndra.