It’s been a rough stretch for Colorado’s “new energy economy.” Over the last few months, the Centennial State’s green energy industry, which the new energy economy was supposed to kick start, has been beset by a series of setbacks. Loveland-based Abound Solar went bankrupt; Vestas Wind Systems laid off almost 200 workers at its Windsor blade plant; and General Electric pulled the plug on a planned solar manufacturing plant in Aurora.
The troubles of renewable energy companies are not unique to Colorado; they extend nationwide. U.S. taxpayers ponied up $60 billion for green energy “investments” as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the stimulus bill. The results are only coming in only now, and they are not good. The list of “stimulosers” — of which Solyndra is only the most famous example — is long and growing. It includes Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, Amonix, A123 Systems, Nevada Geothermal Power, and many others.
These green industries are in trouble for a simple reason. They are running out of subsidies. The 2009 stimulus has been spent and the wind production tax credit is set to expire in December. Without a steady influx of taxpayer help, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power cannot compete, due to their high capital costs and intermittent supply.
Read more at The Denver Post. By William Yeatman.
Photo credit: Ken Lund (Creative Commons)