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Federal bailout coming for failing wind companies?

by WorldTribune Staff, October 30, 2023

Team Biden is preparing a bailout package for the offshore wind industry that it already heavily subsidizes, a report said.

"Inflation, supply chain backups, high interest rates, and logistical difficulties" have severely impacted wind companies in recent months, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported on Oct. 26, citing energy industry and policy analysts.

The Biden Administration's plan is to have offshore wind provide enough power to meet the annual demand of 10 million American homes by 2030, according to the White House.

Writing in his “Energy Absurdity” Substack, David Blackmon, an energy analyst with over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, said that lobbying is likely to soon begin for Team Biden to dip into taxpayer coffers to pony up more billions in funding for failing wind farms.

“Everyone should prepare themselves to see an effort in Washington, D.C. to allocate billions more dollars to bail out Big Offshore Wind developers soon,” Blackmon wrote.

"It turns out the billions already offered by various state governments in the Northeast and in the Orwellian-named Inflation Reduction Act just aren’t enough largesse to sustain these hogs feeding at the government trough. So, they have recently been pressuring friendly politicians to dump another bag of debt-funded printed dollars into the bin," Blackmon added.

The Obama administration started the practice of pumping billions of taxpayer dollars into projects to meet climate change goals only to have the companies go bankrupt.

In 2009, the Obama administration co-signed $535 million in loans to solar panel manufacturing startup Solyndra. Two years later, the company went bankrupt, laying off 1,100 workers.

Bloomberg reported in August that, during a conference call with analysts, General Electric’s CEO said that the company’s offshore wind operations expect to post annual losses this year of about $1 billion. German turbine manufacturer Siemens Energy is expecting a $5 billion net loss this year, also according to Bloomberg. The company is now in talks with the German government for nearly $16 billion USD in guarantees.

New York regulators earlier this month denied a request from offshore wind developer Orstead to alter its long term contracts and raise purchase prices to a level that would have let them collect an additional $38 billion from ratepayers.

Abound Solar received $400 million in federal government-backed loans to expand its Colorado and Indiana facilities. The company received further support from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, as well as property tax rebates in Colorado and Indiana. In June 2012, the company filed for bankruptcy and left 405 people unemployed. It also left Colorado to spend millions to clean up hazardous waste it left behind.

Fisker Automotive received a $529 million green-energy loan from the Department of Energy for its luxury hybrid vehicles. The company spent $192 million of the loan before it was suspended in 2011 after the company failed to meet several sales milestones. Fisker filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

Blackmon noted in his Substack article that Republicans in Congress are not likely to support a large bailout for the wind industry in a standalone bill. He predicts that Democrats will try to sneak such funding into any debt-ceiling compromise legislation in November.

“A federal bailout effort is coming. You can almost smell it in the wind,” Blackmon said.

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