Michael Bastasch, DCNF
The Energy Department has wasted little time handing out millions of dollars for green energy technologies to meet the goal laid out in President Barack Obama’s global warming agenda.
The DOE’s latest tranche of funding directs $102 million in taxpayer dollars to support the government’s goals of expanding access to solar panels and drive down the costs. But as much as $3.9 million is going to a foreign-based solar company — something the administration has been heavily criticized for in the past.
The DOE has announced $32 million for concentrated solar projects, with a huge chunk going to the heavily-subsidized foreign company Abengoa Solar.
Abengoa is set to get millions of dollars from the DOE in its solar effort. The Spanish solar company is one of a handful of companies that have gotten generous subsidies from the Obama administration. A report by the liberal group Good Jobs First found that Abengoa got “$605 million in grants and allocated tax credits.”
According to GJF, Abengoa got “$464 million came from Section 1603 and most of the rest from Energy Department research grants.”
Republicans and some liberals have been critical of the Obama administration’s subsidies to foreign-based companies, but that hasn’t stopped the White House from keeping the money flowing. The administration has announced at least a billion dollars in funding for solar and other green energy projects and technologies ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Paris later this year.
Obama has even sent Vice President Joe Biden, who will soon decide whether or not he’ll run for president, to make a major speech Wednesday about all the money going to solar. The Secretary of Energy will also be talking about government efforts to improve the efficiency of green energy.
“Since President Obama took office, the total cost of a home solar energy system has fallen by nearly 50 percent, while solar deployment is up nearly twenty-fold. Today, solar energy is cost-competitive with traditional energy sources in 14 states,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement.
With the Iran nuclear deal coming to a close, President Obama has shifted his focus to his next big foreign policy push — to get UN member states to agree to an international deal to cut carbon dioxide emissions. The administration hopes that newly finalized EPA regulations and more green energy subsidies will show other countries the U.S. is serious about tackling global warming.
“The projects announced today will help more communities nationwide reach the goals laid out in the Clean Power Plan, while ensuring that America continues to lead the world in clean energy innovation,” Moniz said.
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