Too much clean-energy funding?

Critics of stimulus plan say Obama went overboard on energy funding

The clean-energy subsidies awarded by 2009’s federal stimulus package have come under scrutiny despite the construction of 15 low-risk, high-profit solar- and wind-energy plants.

There has been speculation that the Obama administration went overboard in providing about $16 billion in clean-energy loans, according to a report in the New York Times. Nearly 90 percent of the loans went to plants backed by large companies with enormous resources, such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Google, NRG Energy and General Electric. For example, nearly all of the $1.6 billion necessary to construct NRG’s million-panel solar plant near Santa Margarita, Calif., was covered by government subsidies.

“[W]e intend to do as much of this business as we can get our hands on,” NRG chief executive David W. Crane was quoted as saying. “I have never seen anything that I have had to do in my 20 years in the power industry that involved less risk than these projects.”