Stop DOE’s Double Down on Risky Energy Ventures

Published in National Journal's Energy & Environment Experts Blog

DOE’s race against the clock to approve more guaranteed loans for energy projects that haven’t been properly vetted is completely reckless after the Solyndra fiasco. The government should limit its involvement and funding to basic research on alternative energy sources and should not be funding risky “start-ups.”

If a renewable technology makes economic sense, the private sector will adopt it and it will succeed without mandates and subsidies. Federal and state governments should not mandate renewable energy, it’s cost is usually at least twice that of conventional energy and places an economic burden on households and industry (see Energy Information Administration data on cost of renewable electricity at http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/electricity_generation.html).

As the “Super Committee” and Congress weigh options to shrink government spending, eliminating DOE’s budget for funding renewable startups would be a great place to start.