U.S. Clean-Energy Loan Program Stalls

$16 billion in loans authorized by Congress for fuel-efficient vehicles has not yet been distributed and some applicants are blaming solar panel company Solyndra for the delay and/or withdrawing their applications altogether. So reports the New York Times.

Solyndra received funds from a related program and later declared bankruptcy, which led to widespread criticism of the program.

Applicants also complain the Energy department is altering the financial terms of loans in progress.

And a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu told the Times some applicants have lost patience with the scrutiny of their finances and business plans.

Companies that have withdrawn applications include: Carbon Motors, which dropped a $310 million application to build police cars with diesel engines that use 40 percent less fuel; Chrysler, which withdrew an application for $3.5 billion in loans; and Bright Automotive, a start-up that withdrew an application for a plug-in hybrid delivery van and is subsequently shutting down operations.

The Energy Department declined to speak to the Times about specific loan requests, but said Solyndra was not an issue.

To date, $8.4 billion of $25 billion authorized by Congress has been released. Only one project for $50 million has been approved in the last two years.

After the recent withdrawals, the Times says it is not clear whether any car loan applications are still in the works.

The Motley Fool calls it “unfortunate news” for clean tech development but says there are still stocks to be bullish about, including: Ameresco, Ashland, Clean Energy Fuels, Energy Recovery, Green Plains Renewable Energy, Power-One, Tesla Motors and WCA Waste.

To read the full New York Times article cited in this story, click here

To read the full Motley Fool article cited in this story, click here


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