The US Department of Energy loans guarantee programme has made more from interest payments than it lost on failed companies such as Solyndra.
Figures released by the department this week show it is on track to make more than US$5 billion profit by the time it closes with US$810 million it has received to date, exceeding the US$780 million in losses from companies that defaulted.
The losses make up just under 2.3% of the more than US$35 billion it has loaned to low carbon companies.
While Solyndra has become the foundation of criticism for the government’s investment in clean tech firms, the figures released by the DoE make those arguments increasingly shaky.
As well as funding the 290MW Agua Caliente project, built by First Solar, it backed the 250MW NextEra Energy project Genesis Solar. Genesis will use parabolic trough CSP technology and the Ivanpah CSP tower plant.
The programme’s most famous investment is Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors electric vehicle manufacturer.
Tesla repaid its loan nine years early in 2013.