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First Solar dragged into Solyndra argument by Republicans

Unsatisfied with criticising US President Barack Obama’s handling of the Solyndra saga, the Republicans have moved on to Obama’s energy loan program ahead of the elections this year, reports Bloomberg. The US Oversight and Investigations Committee released emails bringing to light the Republicans’ rebuttal of the US$1.6 billion offered to Arizona-based First Solar as unjustified on the grounds of its two projects being unimaginative and indistinguishable from each other.

“It is now clear that the Department of Energy has spent the last three years supporting projects that have yet to deliver on innovation, accountability or job creation,” representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and chairman of the Oversight Committee, said in a statement.

Although First Solar’s projects – Antelope Solar Valley Ranch in California and Agua Caliente in Arizona – are different to Solyndra due to the manner in which the money was spent, the Republicans are tainting it all with the same brush claiming the loans are detrimental to taxpayers.

“From the outset of the Obama administration’s energy loan programs, red flags were raised about the risk to taxpayers and a process open to mismanagement, abuse and missed opportunities – with taxpayers underwriting the risk and paying the bill,” Issa said.

The US Oversight and Investigations Committee’s hearing is currently sitting to assess the relationship between the Obama administration and Solyndra. 


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    Forecasting the evolution of a young, dynamic industry is by definition an uncertain business, and solar is no exception. Rarely, if ever, do the numbers broadcast by any of the various bodies involved in the PV prediction game tally, and even historical deployment rates remain the subject of hot debate. The paradox is that getting forecasts broadly right is going to become increasingly important over the next few years, particularly for those involved in producing the equipment that will support whatever levels of demand come to pass.



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