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Solar Power, The Future Is Here ?

Updated on December 4, 2015


President Barrack Obama said "The future is here," Obama said during his visit. "We're poised to transform the ways we power our homes and our cars and our businesses. ... And we are poised to generate countless new jobs, good-paying, middle-class jobs, right here in the United States of America."

Solyndra ,a solar company that served as a showcase for the Obama administration’s effort to create jobs in clean technology recently shut down , leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers obligated for $535 million in federal loans.

In June 2011 the US Department of Energy offered a conditional commitment to lend $ 359 million to a solar company ,Sempra Generation, to construct a solar -power project west of Phoenix that will sell solar power to northern California. The total project cost would be $500 million. Solar panels will be supplied by Suntech Power Holdings Co., a Chinese panel maker.

In January, the Department of Energy announced a $967 million loan to NRG Solar to construct a plant in Yuma county, Arizona. The solar panels will be supplied by First Solar Inc of Tempe. Another loan was approved for $1.45 Billion to Abengoa Solar of SPAIN to build a solar-power plant near Gila Bend , Arizona.

Note that the loans are coming from the FEDERAL FINANCING BANK, a government corporation CREATED to cut the cost of federally assisted borrowing. The solar energy loans are government guaranteed by the Energy Department. On the surface it appears that the money and risk is at taxpayer expense if the loans cannot be repaid.

JUNE 25, 2011 an article Budget Ax Hangs Over Aid for Solar

On the endangered list is a US Treasury loan guarantee program, set to expire in December. The Solana project in Gila Bend, it should be noted that the solar energy loan guarantee for the solar power system is slated to end Oct. 1, 2011.

The commercial banks today cannot lend money long-term at acceptable rates. The loans have to have a rate that will leave the company enough revenue to pay off the debt. New banking legislation controls the financing of the developments.

The solar power and wind power alternate energy systems are the most expensive ways to generate electricity according to the US Energy Information Administration. Senator Reid announced last month that the Energy Department will provide conditional guarantees for the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy company solar power system project in Tonopah, Nevada.

Lobbyist for the solar power industry believe that at least one of the two sections of the loan guarantee programs will be approved .Section 1603 Treasury Grant program, which gives solar energy companies a grant of 30% of the cost of a solar power system may be in jeopardy.

The Stimulus Package ( $1 TRILLION ) in addition to financing solar energy companies has also furnished Federal Grant money to train workers for various green jobs. The Opportunities Industrialized Centers of America Inc. was one of six to get $38 million in Green Jobs Innovation fund . OIC officials didn’t know how many workers would benefit from the grant. A previous grant of $ 4.9 million was able to place 50 workers. The organization , OIC was founded as a non profit network of employment and training programs aimed to help those who have a harder time finding work because of the lack of skills or because they have been in prison.

President Obama and the Democrat controlled Senate attempted to pass a Cap and Trade Bill.The Bill was defeated by a vote in Congress. Another version of Cap and Trade for the solar industry in Arizona by Arizona Solar Power Society has surfaced. The ASPS would raise Arizona tax credits for solar power from $1000 to a maximum of $12,000 to pay for the tax credits, the State would sell the Renewable Energy credits, or REC’S from the solar projects getting the tax breaks.

Rec’s represent the environmental attributes from renewable developments such as solar power panels and wind turbines. The plan would set up a REC trading exchange for the State to sell the REC’S it receives from providing tax breaks to solar energy companies.

President Obama on his recent bus trip to Illinois was told that new government regulations were hurting the private sector to create jobs. Recently the President voided a new EPA regulation that would cost the private sector $ millions plus a further loss of jobs.

A recent article dated June 29, 2011 in Opinions section of the local paper was , Navajo Generating Station Key to State Water Supply.

One power plant, the Navajo generating station, provides nearly 95% of the electricity needed to deliver water from the Colorado river to Arizonians. The US Environmental Protection Agency is set to release NEW emission regulations for nitrogen oxides, a haze-forming pollutant. The NGS plant this year.has installed $45 million in new controls for nitrogen oxides.

The future uncertainties of the renewal of land and water leases including the addition of new EPA regulations would force the owners to close the plant. The closing would have consequences on all parties should the plant close. The cost of energy from the Colorado river would affect water rates for most of Arizona’s population. The Navajo Nation and Hopi Indians earn $millions in wages, lease payments, and royalties related to the plant’s operation.

Where is the President and Congress on providing Jobs and fixing the Economy? On Thurs. Sept 8, 2011 the President will offer his new job plan to Congress and the American people. Irrational, insane and irresponsible for the Obama Administration and Congress not to control the EPA and other US Government agencies in these troubled times. Will there be a solution soon?

Some Additional information regarding solar and wind power.

Tracking Obama stimulus money for renewable energy to China

By Russ Choma

Conclusion Solar panel manufacturing may be profitable for some countries where skilled labor can be found cheaply, especially as long as governments direct consumers to purchase electricity from such sources, regardless of economics. But, in the United States, solar panel manufacturing plants are closing and the “green jobs” associated with them are evaporating. One may wonder why, but the economics are clear. Without massive subsidies, these industries cannot survive, and without policies that force these products to be purchased, they can’t survive. European countries (e.g. Spain and Germany) are examples where legislative and regulatory policies required solar energy to be purchased at rates far above the going retail rate. These countries found that they had to slash subsidies because of high rates and little power production due to low capacity factors of solar panel plants.With such European experiences, and with companies closing down solar manufacturing plants and laying off workers, why must our government continue to push for these expensive technologies that cannot survive in the market place on their own?

President Obama says that the time for action is now. On Sept.8, 2011 the President will lay out his jobs plan to a full session of Congress and the American people.The President wants the public to ''BUY AMERICAN''

Your Author Jon Ewall

Jon's website

Your author is a online marketing consultant of products offered on the internet. Jon’s website blog contains a variety of interesting subjects and articles that he has written


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    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 4 years ago from usa


      An update

      ''One power plant, the Navajo generating station, provides nearly 95% of the electricity needed to deliver water from the Colorado river to Arizonians. The US Environmental Protection Agency is set to release NEW emission regulations ''

      6/14/13 the new regulations will force the plant to CLOSE.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa


      Check this one 3/13/13

      Norway shows the way with electric cars, but at what cost?

      relies on public subsidies worth as much as $8,200 per car, every year.

      Alternate energy industry subsidies are $ 90 billion compared to oil,gas and coal of $4 billion.

      Obama should be called to respond on the big differences.The media is SILENT!

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa


      When the sun is shinning, solar is working otherwise it's resting some 14 hours a day.How long will it take to pay off the cost of the solar system?Are you aware that the government gives the solar industry $9 billion of tax payer subsidies? The oil/gas industry only gets $ 4 billion.

      The Truth on big oil earnings. The big government wants ‘’ fairness ‘’

      The oil/gas industries return on the Government's investments is a far better deal.

    • profile image

      LikaMarie 5 years ago

      Solar power has actually been known to help save 40% or more in energy costs. Currently, we have our City Hall & City Hall Annex buildings using solar power, as well as a church, a couple schools, and our eco-justice center. All of which report that they get financial benefit from having those installed.

      It's a viable project, by ensuring that more get built, and re-educating the unemployed workforce to actually learn how to service and maintain these things.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 5 years ago from usa


      An update ,6/13/12

      The Truth on big oil earnings. The big government wants ‘’ fairness ‘’

      Administration Oil Strategy Contributes to Price Increases 2009-2012

      EPA official under fire for calls to ‘’ crucify’’ oil companies.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa


      THE GOVERNMENT should not be putting taxpayer money into risky private ventures. OBAMA calls it an investment but in reality pushing the solar industry and crippling oil production is disingenuous. New government regulations are imposing directives that will increase the cost of energy.

      High gas prices increase the cost for many commodities to the consumer at all class levels.

      CONGRESS PASSED a 2 month extension of the Payroll Tax holiday today, Dec. 23, 2011.Obama and the Democrats fought hard for the 2 month extension. Obama claimed victory for the people, some how he is satisfied with 2 months rather than the Republican House bill that was a 1 year extension. The House bill was deficit neutral as required by Pay-Go legislation signed by President Obama in 2010.

      The President held a press conference ( no questions as usual ) said that the tax extension would save working workers $ 1200 a year , somehow he forgot that the Senate bill was for ONLY 2 MONTHS. The factual savings varies from $20.00 / week to $40.00/ week. The total would save about $180.00 average to a worker. Obama and Congress working hard for the people left Washington, will return in January to re start the negotiations on passing a longer term.

      Here’s the real scoop. The senate passed the bill for 2 months because they could only find enough cuts to offset the expenditure of $ 33 billion. What a waste of taxpayer time and money!

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      Perhaps I am showing my ignorance here, but it seems to me if said companies had any shot of doing what they claim they can they would not need all of this money. Capitolism is supposed to about innovation, invention, supply, demand and hard work, not about government funded pie in the sky solutions that don't work, again and again.

      This man spends money like it's not even his... Oh wait, it's not. IT'S OURS.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa


      Check this site.

      Tracking Obama stimulus money for renewable energy to China

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      While solar panels have their uses, providing power to our infrastructure isn't one of them. As you point out they are simply too expensive plus, of course, they only work when the sun is shining and energy can't reasonably be stored.

    • profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago


      Today in North Carolina, the President (highest office in the land ), Barack Obama told the college audience ‘’if you love me ( is he a king or dictator),you got to help me pass this bill’’,’’ it’s about giving the American people a win’’. ‘’we have been in a national crisis for 3 years’’, ‘’we need action now’’.

      President Barack Obama taught Constitutional law at Chicago University. There is absolutely no way Congress can pass ANY law until it is written and sponsored. Next a it has to be approved to go to committee after which, upon approval of the Speaker and the Majority Leader in the Senate , Senator Reid, a bill requires their approval to even go to the floor for debate, amend and vote. In order to move to the President’s desk ,both the House and the Senate jointly need to pass the legislation.

      The President does what he does best. He is in campaign mode ,’’it’s time for action now’’. His actions today were disingenuous to Congress, the people and was a pitiful example of incompetence, irresponsible and disrespect of the highest office of the country, the Presidency.

      The US Constitution is the foundation of our government, somehow the President don’t follow it. It’s about checks and balances.

    • profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago


      Congress is holding hearings on the bankrupt solar company , Solynda, this week. It appears that the Obama Administration fast tracked a $535 million loan to the company. The owners of the bankrupt company were subpoenaed to appear at a Congressional hearing. According to Congressman Issa, the company executives requested a one week delay to be able to prepare for the hearing. The loans were approved by the Energy Department using Stimulus package funding.

    • profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago


      An update on the Jobs Bill.

      Today, 9/12/11 at a brief press conference ( no questions allowed ) in the rose garden, President Obama produced an UNBOUND copy of the American Jobs Bill held together with a large paper clip ( what a joke ).The bill was on it’s way to Congress today, not prior to his speech to Congress on last Thurs. President Obama announced that he would take his plan to the people and urged the people to call their representatives to ‘’ pass the bill’’. That’s called Obama campaign style propaganda.

      Just another Hollywood production for all to see how Congress needs to take immediate action on passing HIS BILL.

      SOMEHOW PRESIDENT OBAMA FORGETS PAY-GO LAW and the recent agreement he signed into law , THE NATIONAL DEBT BILL.

      In another week he will present more information about the bill that he wants Congress to approve, another bigger joke. Stayed tuned!

      WAIT UNTIL THE BILL IS SCORED BY THE CBO before you understand the President's plan is the same one he presented on Dec. 4, 2009 and May 13, 2010. Stimulus 1 failed to produce jobs. Jan 2009 unemployment was 7.8%, today it is 9.1%. On last Thurs the President urged Congress to approve his Jobs PLAN


      THANKS for your comments.

    • CHRIS57 profile image

      CHRIS57 6 years ago from Northern Germany

      I have no clue why America has been concentrating on solar energy without any long term strategy. It takes decades to make things work and it takes even longer to set the political course.

      First: Fossile energy (and nuclear) have their limits as ressources are limited and world demand is propelled by fast growing BRIC economies. Days of 4 bucks per gallon will be over soon. Production of electricity is currently at some 5 cents/kWh from fossile and nuclear energy sources.

      Second: Solar energy is very expensive. Production cost is well above 1 USD/kWh, thus more than 20 times of conventional sources. High subsidies have to payed to close the gap.

      Third: Different situation for wind power. Modern wind turbines (2,5 MW and up) took production cost down to some 11..12 cents/kWh. That is only 2,5 times the cost of the conventional production. Yes, subsidies have to be payed, but much less than for solar.

      Forth: With fossile energy prices going up in the future and renewable energy prices going down (due to technology and productivity advancements), the gap should be closed within the next 10 years.

      While i agree that solar is not the way to go, i am sure that the scenario described above is not daydreaming.

      You mentioned Spain and Germany. Take a closer look. It can´t be further away from failing. In Germany there are 350.000 jobs in the renewable energy business. Revenues are well above 30 Billion USD/year for manufacturing only. Subsidies payed for energy production are some 20 Billion USD/year. Tax revenues only are in the range of 6 Billion USD/year. Net invest is 14 Billion USD/year, not counting benefits from not having some 300.000 people on welfare.

      Those are large numbers. But the ratio of economic benefit /invested subsidies is already well above 2 and rising sharply with every increase in fossile fuel price. Things work out all right over here.

      When will the US stop arguing the pros and cons, give solar a farewell and go for more efficient renewable energy sources? It is worth it, but it takes more than one election period to harvest.

      By the way, can anyone calculate the economic benefit ratio for 1 Trillion quantitive easing?

    • profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago


      You are always welcome

      Today was a sad day for me and many of our citizens, remembering what I had WITNESSED on TV on 9/11/01 happening before my eyes. For all those young people who signed up to the armed services and who have given all to their country, we should be proud of them and their families. The world today is a different place than what I grew up in. Washington is corrupt and our country is split on what the government must do to correct the nation's economy.

      Tell your son that we appreciate his sacrifice in defending the country and that we pray for his safe return and all our military patriots..

    • profile image 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      Jon- My 20 year old is very political, conservative and is studying to be a lawyer. My 25 year old is fairly conservative and is Afganistan in the Marine corps. I have tried to stress the importance of remembering The real foundations of this country. Thanx for the advise and thanx for bailing me out when I was trying to defend my positions on ," Tax the Rich?". LOL!- WBA

    • profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago


      PRESIDENT OBAMA IS IN CAMPAIGN MODE right now until the 2012 election. Now, all of sudden after 33 months, Congress needs to act with URGENCY. Again the President said that Congress needs to pass the American Jobs Act that hasn't been written as yet. The only part of Congress that is working is the House of Representatives, the Senate have had bills passed by the House that required the Senate to act on. The Free Trades Bill has been on the President’s desk ( or somewhere in his office ) for at least 2 weeks or more.

      President Barack Obama needs to tell the American people the whole truth not just the half truths that OBAMA has been recently burdening the people with. Sadly the mainstream media simply don’t report current events effecting the economy and the state of the union.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      This is an excellent hub on all the problems associated with solar power. It seems Obama will never learn or lead us out of this deepening economic hole, let alone decrease the jobless rate.

    • profile image

      jon ewall 6 years ago

      I read your bio,I got one family member with 4 in college. Try to keep them informed, they will have a greater burden if the country continues in the direction we have today.

      Thanks for the reply

    • profile image 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      Jon- Congratulations on a well written and informative Hub! This government created money pit has no real business demand so of course it will fail, why can't they ever learn? Great object lesson on the on the failure of government intervention.-WBA

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa


      Thanks for the comments. President Obama speaks to Congress on thurs,not friday as I reported.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Solar power works great in individual applications using a bank of batteries, but not for a major supplier. I have solar panels on my RV, and we run on batteries at remote locations, but we can't run big power users like air conditioning.

      Wind turbines require huge chunks of real estate, are unsightly, and are major killers of birds like the bald and golden eagles.

      Nuclear is by far the cheapest, cleanest, and safest.

    • American View profile image

      American View 6 years ago from Plano, Texas

      Obama belived so much in solar power he promised before election and shortly thereafter the Whitehouse would have solar panels. To this day, not one has been installed. Perhaps the wiser people in Washington know it is too expensive and does not work well. Now we have wasted 100s of millions of dollars on projects that were not going to succeed. Just another in a long list of Obama failures.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 6 years ago from usa


      Show me the money '' stimulus .'' OBAMA SAYS '' BUY AMERICAN'', THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE NOT LISTENING, Wonder why?

      OBAMA ON THURS SEPT.9,2011 will enlighten Congress and the American people.