Renewable Energy Group Inc

Steven asks…

So how is obama’s energy department doing at picking winners and losers in green energy?

The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:

Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
Solyndra ($535 million)*
Beacon Power ($69 million)*
AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
SunPower ($1.5 billion)
First Solar ($1.46 billion)
Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
Amonix ($5.9 million)
National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
Abound Solar ($374 million)*
A123 Systems ($279 million)*
Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
Johnson Controls ($299 million)
Schneider Electric ($86 million)
Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
ECOtality ($126.2 million)
Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
Range Fuels ($80 million)*
Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
UniSolar ($100 million)*
Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
GreenVolts ($500,000)
Vestas ($50 million)
LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
Navistar ($10 million)
Satcon ($3 million)*

*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies’ business models and deciding if they are worthy. When the government plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to “invest” in green energy.

The 2009 stimulus setaside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.
Posted in Energy and Environment, Featured

Windmill Farms answers:

THEY SEEM TO BE BETTER AT PICKING LOSERS THAN WINNERS

Lizzie asks…

China takes axe to polysilicon producers as solar panels pile up: Isn’t state-own-enterprises inefficiency?

By Charlie Zhu,

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Three quarters of China’s solar-grade polysilicon producers face closure as Beijing looks to overhaul a bloated and inefficient industry, resulting in fewer but better companies to compete against Germany’s Wacker Chemie AG and South Korea’s OCI Co Ltd.

The polysilicon sector, which has around 40 companies employing 30,000 people and has received investment of 100 billion yuan ($16 billion), suffers from low quality and chronic over-capacity as local governments poured in money to feed a fast-growing solar panel industry, for which polysilicon is a key feedstock.

Demand for solar panels has eased since the global financial crisis, forcing governments worldwide to slash solar power subsidies, and leaving China sitting on idle capacity and mounting losses. To help prop up the solar industry, Beijing plans to more than quadruple solar power generating capacity to 35 gigawatts (GW) by 2015 to use up some of the huge domestic panel glut. It has also said it will accelerate technological upgrades in polysilicon to weed out inefficient producers and “nurture a batch of internationally competitive producers.”

People in the polysilicon industry say the moves will halve China’s production capacity to 100,000 metric tons (110231 tons) a year, leaving around 10 relatively strong firms with better technology and cost efficiency.

“Most producers will be eliminated rather than acquired. This may sound cruel, but is the reality as they are technologically uncompetitive,” Lu Jinbiao, a senior official at China’s top polysilicon producer GCL-Poly Energy, told Reuters.

The challenges mirror those faced by much of China’s manufacturing sector, from cement and steel to shipbuilding – local governments chasing jobs and economic growth over-invested in often high-cost, low-tech capacity in the mid-2000s when demand for solar panels was booming. That boom is now over.

“Large amounts of ineffective, high-cost production capacity will exit the market,” said Ma Haitian, deputy secretary general of the Silicon Industry of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, a Beijing-based industry lobby.

PRICE SLUMP

As smaller polysilicon producers, with average annual capacity of a few thousand metric tons, are pushed out, the likely winners will be larger producers such as GCL Poly, TBEA Co Ltd, China Silicon Corp and Daqo New Energy Corp. The shake-out is already underway as polysilicon prices have plunged to below $20 per kg from a 2008 peak of almost $400, forcing some producers in the northwestern province of Ningxia and eastern China’s Zhejiang province to file for bankruptcy.

Their plight is made worse by cheaper, and better quality, imports from producers such as MEMC Pasadena Inc and Michigan-based Hemlock Semiconductor Group – a venture of Dow Corning, Shin-Etsu Handotai and Mitsubishi Materials Corp – and Norway’s Renewable Energy.

Of the 69,000 metric tons of solar-grade polysilicon China consumed in January-June, 41,000 metric tons were imported, according to industry data. China’s solar panel makers prefer imported polysilicon, which has a higher purity that helps in energy conversion, company executives say.

Foreign polysilicon producers can break even at prices of around $20/kg, while break-even for Chinese firms with capacity of 10,000 metric tons or more is $20-$25, say industry specialists, who noted that most smaller Chinese producers had begun to lose money when prices slipped to $30-$40.

“Restructuring is a must. Most Chinese polysilicon enterprises will disappear and only about 10 will survive,” said Glenn Gu, senior solar analyst at consultant IHS in Shanghai.

NEW DAWN?

In an apparent bid to protect its domestic industry, Beijing this month imposed preliminary anti-dumping duties on U.S. and South Korean polysilicon imports, [ID:nL4N0FV1QI] but has yet to decide whether to do the same for European suppliers like Wacker Chemie. Analysts said that idea could be dropped after China and the European Union struck a solar panel trade deal last weekend. [ID:nL6N0FX04U]

“Such a settlement could mark the start of another global photovoltaics (solar technology) upturn,” Wacker Chemie said in
in announcing better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday, adding polysilicon prices may have bottomed.

Many of China’s leading solar cell and module manufacturers – such as LDK Solar Co Ltd, Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd, Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd and JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd – are sitting on long-term take-or-pay contracts with foreign polysilicon producers, under which they import set amounts at fixed prices of around $40-$50/kg, people in the industry said.

By some estimates, 30 percent of the $2.1 billion worth of polysilicon that China imported last year came from those contracts. Those deals looked good before the financial crisis, and some Chinese panel makers – who regularly mix imported polysilicon with local materials to control costs – also invested in their own polysilicon production.

Much of that investment has since been written off.
@ Dog Lover, Thanks to the answer which only shows CCP is ignorant in a lot of things, business, investment, return on investment, market study, research, just to name a few. CCP does not need to know anything because they’re holding the supreme power to do and waste whatever taxpayers money they desire.

Going into any venture or project hastily without thorough knowledge nor research that ended up dumping tons of taxpayers money into the drain like China’s solar industry does is no responsible government could afford. But we all know CCP is one of the most irresponsible governments on earth, rather wasting tons of money on uncompetitive SOE trash than spending a few thousand Yuan to dig wells for the mountainous poor people.
EDIT
Chinese youngsters like Mr Liu Maoxing are the hope of future China, they are becoming more aware of the need for democracy to put the country into better perspectives. Throughout my years staying in China I’ve heard many Chinese calling CCP trash but they’re very wary what democracy is and stick to the brain-wash that one-party dictatorship is most suited for China.

China will rely on educated and well-informed People as Mr Liu to spread their words among Chinese.

Democracy though is only a beginning in itself by allowing opposition parties, free press, free speech, etc to act as government’s watch-dog, more importantly, it divides up and balances the power structure into 3 equal legs: administration (led by Obama in the US and Xi in China), legislation (passing of laws), and courts and judges. No one leg should above the other, ie Xi Jinping should and must not have power over legislation and court sentencing.

To enable democracy runs effectively as in many &qu
in many “Ameri-west” countries do and preventing corruptions as happening in India and the Philippines, a lot of good independent agencies and watch-groups needed set up in all levels of a policy execution to supervise that no person is acting agaisnt the rule and law.

For instance, a suspect in democratic countries cannot be detained for more than 36 – 48 hours, the suspect’s rights of calling home, lawyer and food/water/sleep are allowed, police is not allowed to use force nor threats to get information from the suspect, so forth. If any of the above is violated independent agencies’ investigations will be stepped in.

CCP’s rants that one-party dictatorship is most suitable for China and that Chinese people are corrrupted for centuries are LIES and WRONG. These are merely excuses to justify CCP’s horrible corruptions and inhuman rule. From Hong Kong, Singapore and now Taiwan’s, the world sees that democracy and anti-corruption can work just fine amon
just fine among Chinese ethnicity.

To curb China’s corruptions, good independent anti corruption agency outside of the police and government administration have to be set up like Hong Kong and Singapore. This anti corruption agency will have the ultimate power to investigate all top leaders including Xi Jinping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao. To do so, the legislation and court sentencing must be independent of and have equal footing as Xi Jinping.

Unfortunately under the present corrupted CCP, the courts, law legislature and police are all under administration Xi Jiping. How can you expect a staff to catch his big boss? This is something Dog Lover and Saffy can never explain so they could only say “give China more time to deal with corruption” – to enable CCP buy time to hang onto power to grab more wealth then immigrate to democractic “Ameri-west” !

Without the presence of democracy to split up the 3 legs of power along with the independent watch-do
to split up and balance the 3 legs of power along with the independent watch-dogs, no police nor courts in China dare go after Xi Jinping’s corruption.

As long as the very top leader remains corrupted, all the staff below him will just follow suit.

Kicking out corrupted leaders or the CCP is not enough. Most important task for China is to set up a good democratic system with divisions of balanced power and good supervisory systems with one watching closely the shoulders of the other, and whereby no one person nor small group is holding all the power like the current CCP does, otherwise whoever sits in the elite clan will just be repeating what Mao, Deng, Jiang, Hu and Xi been doing. The current one-party dictatorship lacks supervisory enabling the CCP elite clan hold onto the supreme power to grab and do whatever the clan desires.

CCP has been sending staff to learn HK’s ICAC, anti corruption agency, for over a decade and still no desire to implement the system, the answ
to split up and balance the 3 legs of power along with the independent watch-dogs, no police nor courts in China dare go after Xi Jinping’s corruption.

As long as the very top leader remains corrupted, all the staff below him will just follow suit.

Kicking out corrupted leaders or the CCP is not enough. Most important task for China is to set up a good democratic system with divisions of balanced power and good supervisory systems with one watching closely the shoulders of the other, and whereby no one person nor small group is holding all the power like the current CCP does, otherwise whoever sits in the elite clan will just be repeating what Mao, Deng, Jiang, Hu and Xi been doing. The current one-party dictatorship lacks supervisory enabling the CCP elite clan hold onto the supreme power to grab and do whatever the clan desires.

CCP has been sending staff to learn HK’s ICAC, anti corruption agency, for over a decade and still no desire to implement the system, the answ
the answer is too obvious. CCP corrupted dictators deliberately neglect a good supervisory system in its 64 years of rule.
@ Dog Lover, you don’t know what you’re talking about because you have no knowledge 1) how a business should run and make business decisions, nor 2) the duty of a responsible democratic government operating in a free capitalist country.
Government should and must not involve in private enterprises and businesses which should be left to the experienced and capable entrepreneurs. Government’s role should only be providing good laws, rules, regulations and a suitable environment for the industries to flourish, the rest leave to private businessmen. Government only should get a share of the businesses’ profits through taxations and with the taxes collected help the poor and needies.

CCP’s current role is a total shamble, the inefficient SOEs not only wasting huge taxpayers money and resources but where corruption lies.

Windmill Farms answers:

Quote:
” “Large amounts of ineffective, high-cost production capacity will exit the market,” said Ma Haitian, deputy secretary general of the Silicon Industry of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, a Beijing-based industry lobby…
…Their plight is made worse by cheaper, and better quality, imports from producers such as MEMC Pasadena Inc and Michigan-based Hemlock Semiconductor Group – a venture of Dow Corning, Shin-Etsu Handotai and Mitsubishi Materials Corp – and Norway’s Renewable Energy.

Of the 69,000 metric tons of solar-grade polysilicon China consumed in January-June, 41,000 metric tons were imported, according to industry data.

China’s solar panel makers prefer imported polysilicon, which has a higher purity that helps in energy conversion, company executives say. ”

In answer to your question about management of State Run Enterprises, the above statements sum it up as:
1) Inefficient
2) Too expensive
3) Low quality

It’s the age old problem in China’s manufacturing, wherein Quantity always takes precedence over Quality.

Lisa asks…

What is the green or Diatoms algae,with highest growth rate and oil content,for biodiesl&how can I get a batch

With thanks.

Windmill Farms answers:

PetroAlgae is a good company to look into for your need:

From their website:

PetroAlgae is commercializing a proprietary, environmentally-friendly algae that generates over two hundred times more energy per acre than traditional biofuel crops like soybeans. Using a cost-effective, modular cultivation process that can be massively scaled, PetroAlgae will produce renewable feed stock oils for use in applications such as transportation fuels (e.g. Biodiesel), heating oil, and plastics. This development places PetroAlgae in a leading position to address an ever-increasing multi-hundred billion dollar global market need for sustainable, affordable sources of petroleum derived products.

The algae can be grown in many areas, including those regarded as wasteland. The algae mature within 24 hours, permitting daily harvesting, and 50% of its weight is usable oil. To harvest, the oil is simply pressed from the algae. The energy density of the algae is such that, if just 2% of the cultivated land in the US was used to grow this alga, it would produce 60 billion gallons of oil – enough for the entire annual US demand for diesel fuel.

And contact info:
For further information:

XL TechGroup Inc
John Scott / Harold Gubnitsky
hgubnitsky@xltg.comTel: +1 321 409 7403
www.xltechgroup.com

XL Tech Group media enquiries:

Abchurch Communications
Heather Salmond / Gareth Mead
heather.salmond@abchurch-group.com Tel: +44 (0) 20 7398 7700
www.abchurch-group.com

Mark asks…

isn’t this why gas is 4 bucks a gallon?

1.Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
2.SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
3.Solyndra ($535 million)*
4.Beacon Power ($69 million)*
5.AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
6.Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
7.SunPower ($1.5 billion)
8.First Solar ($1.46 billion)
9.Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
10.EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
11.Amonix ($5.9 million)
12.National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
13.Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
14.Abound Solar ($374 million)*
15.A123 Systems ($279 million)*
16.Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
17.Johnson Controls ($299 million)
18.Schneider Electric ($86 million)
19.Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
20.ECOtality ($126.2 million)
21.Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
22.Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
23.Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
24.Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
25.Range Fuels ($80 million)*
26.Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
27.Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
28.LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
29.UniSolar ($100 million)*
30.Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
31.GreenVolts ($500,000)
32.Vestas ($50 million)
33.LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
34.Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
35.Navistar ($10 million)
36.Satcon ($3 million)*

Windmill Farms answers:

Yes

Robert asks…

So another Obama “Green” job taxpayer funded company goes BK. A123 battery?

manufacturer for Fisker & Chevy Volt. So just how many of these dicey ventures did Obama invest in and LOSE?
The companies cited were: (Money listed is how much was offered, and does not include other state, local or federal tax credits and subsidies. Asterisk notes that the company has filed for bankruptcy)

Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
Solyndra ($535 million)*
Beacon Power ($69 million)*
AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
SunPower ($1.5 billion)
First Solar ($1.46 billion)
Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
Amonix ($5.9 million)
National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
Abound Solar ($374 million)*
A123 Systems ($279 million)*
Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
Johnson Controls ($299 million)
Schneider Electric ($86 million)
Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
ECOtality ($126.2 million)
Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
Range Fuels ($80 million)*
Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
UniSolar ($100 million)*
Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
GreenVolts ($500,000)
Vestas ($50 million)
LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
Navistar ($10 million)
Satcon ($3 million)*
The total? More than $10 billion.

Previously, it was reported A123, the maker of electric car batteries, sought bankruptcy to allow “the company to provide for an orderly sale of the automotive business assets and and all other assets and business units,” the company said.

About the same time, the Washington Times found a series of emails from solar power giant BrightSource Energy Inc. showing how the company “applied political pressure and used behind-the-scenes cajoling to win a $1.6 billion loan guarantee.”

And the IRS has argued regarding Solyndra that the bankruptcy plan “amounts to little more than an avenue for owners of an empty corporate shell to avoid paying taxes.”

“The undeniable conclusion is that tax benefits drive this plan,” attorneys for the IRS told the bankruptcy court.

Windmill Farms answers:

Anybody STILL think it is a function of the federal government to be a venture capitalist? With YOUR money???? Especially in industries where the technology has not gotten anywhere close to what it needs to be to be feasible? And especially with federal bureaucrats who know absolutely NOTHING about the field making the decisions?

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