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Thursday, 10 January 2013 19:00

EFC News - January 11, 2013

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On Thursday, Cause of Action, a watchdog group connected to Representative Darrell Issa, filed a lawsuit against the Energy Department claiming loan guarantees were not granted on the basis of merit.  XP Vehicle filed for a $40 million loan from the federal government in 2009 and was rejected. XP Vehicles suit is for $450 million and demands approval of their DOE loan application.  A previous investigation spanning almost two years found that the DOE loan guarantee program was granting loans on a merit-based system.  This lawsuit is evoking political dialogue similar to the dialogue heard during the Solyndra “scandal.”  Issa who is also Committee Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has targeted the PTC as a “waste of taxpayer money.”  Lawmakers have signaled interests into holding hearings on the PTC.(PoliticoPro)

Although an extension of the PTC is great news for the wind industry, there is a growing discussion about how little the government invests in research and development and the PTC’s stop-start cycle.  The American Energy Innovation Council has released a report summarizing interviews with R&D leaders.  They believe the limited government role in R&D and an unstable tax credit landscape has been detrimental to the renewable energy industry.

This week former White House aide, Joseph Aldy, publicly stated his belief that the ‘green’ stimulus was a great success.  720,000 jobs were created as a result of Presiden’t Obama’s $90 billion green stimulus package which also tapped billions in private investment. /

Google invested $200 million in a 161MW wind project in Amarillo Texas building on the company’s impressive renewable portfolio.  Solar Mosaic, the Oakland based crowd funded solar venture, created some chatter in the headlines this week after introducing its service to the public. The company’s innovative finance model is attracting potential investors who can earn at least a 4.5% return on their investment to fund solar projects.

Electric vehicles continue to see strong headlines as sales rose 73% in the U.S. last year and are projected to increase in 2013. However, the “silence” of electric vehicles is capturing headlines as lawmakers are moving to implement a rule requiring EVs to make noises that pedestrians can hear. A story in the Washington Times is also pointing at a Washington state EV tax as an example of a policy idea that could spread across the country.

Excel Energy has backpedaled on reviewing its membership with AWEA.  Ben Fowke, CEO of Excel Energy issued a statement this week saying his company continues to believe wind energy is an important energy source for the company’s future.


  1. Assessing the Green Stimulus Provisions of the 2009 Fiscal Stimulus Law (National Review)
  2. Are biofuels starving the world's poor? (Deseret News)
  3. How The Fiscal Cliff Bill Might Void Your Car's Warranty (AOL Autos)


  1. California solar energy systems top 1 gigawatt (San Francisco Chronicle)
  2. The Importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard (The Motley Fool)
  3. Clean Energy And Economic Development Are Birds Of A Feather (Environmental Defense Fund)
  4. Solar farm in Charles County gives SMECO new energy (Washington Post)
  5. Solar farms leading to jobs (The Times-News)
  6. New York Governor Announces $1 Billion Green Bank And $1.5 Billion Solar Program (Think Progress)
  7. Port of Milwaukee saves on utility bills from wind turbine (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)


  1. Mill officials say LePage’s efforts to change renewable energy policy could hurt paper industry (Bangor Daily News)
  2. In lawsuit against Energy Department, two firms claim cronyism in ‘green car’ loan program (Washington Post)
  3. Wind industry awaits tax guidance on PTC rule (Politico)
  4. Con: Keep the ethanol mandate, but gradually shift from corn to biofuels (Gazette Extra)
  5. Taxpayers Sink Deeper in Solyndra Saga: Part One (Heritage Foundation)


National & State Politics

  1. USDA program fuels renewable energy (San Antonio Business Journal)
  2. California hits a renewable energy milestone (Silicon Valley Mercury News)
  3. Army on track to meet contracting goal for energy projects (Federal Times)
  4. Clean Energy Vs. Tar Sands (KUTV News Utah)
  5. New York's Clean Tech Challenge To California (Forbes)
  6. DOE spokesman heads for senior role in New York state AG’s office (The Hill)
  7. Baucus defends tax breaks in 'fiscal cliff' deal (Great Falls Tribune)

Solar, Wind, Hydro, Biomass

  1. What Does 2013 Have In Store For The Solar Sector? (Forbes)
  2. Science proves wind energy is safe (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Vehicles, Biofuels, Electrification

  1. API President Leaves Biofuels, Biochemicals out of his “State of American Energy” Report (Biomass Magazine)
  2. USA's largest “carbon neutral” office set for San Diego (Ars Technica)
  3. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to visit new King of Prussia bio-energy firm (
  4. Cool Springs biofuel firm raises $25 million (The Tennessean)
  5. Another Bump in the Road for Electric Vehicles (The Motley Fool)
Read 1373 times Last modified on Friday, 11 January 2013 18:40
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