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Study Finds DOE Loan Program a Success Overall

With all the press about Solyndra, there's been a media storm of criticism regarding federal loan guarantees for renewable energy. Struggling loan recipients have seen federal dollars curtailed or suspended, and Congressional scrutiny continues.

However, an independent study concluded that the Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee program had been low-risk overall, and cost-effective for taxpayers. A Bloomberg Government analysis found that 87% of the portfolio is low-risk, and that even if each one of the higher risk programs defaulted, there would still be nearly half a billion dollars left in the fund to cover losses.

Much of the funding went to support power generation projects for which contracts were already in place with buyers to purchase of all the power the project would produce, rather than riskier manufacturing ventures like Solyndra. And the study found that the DOE used loan evaluation criteria similar to what would be used by private sector credit analysts to assess the risk of this type of loan. The team of analysts did make recommendations to further lower the risk to taxpayers.

Want more info about the projects being funded by this program?
Visit the interactive map of projects at DOE website: http://lpo.energy.gov/


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