Obama Administration Awards Another $168 Million in Green Energy Subsidies

September 29, 2011 - 3:58 PM
Solyndra Manufacturer Investigation

FILE - In a file photo dated Oct. 6, 2010, workers man a control bank at Solyndra's solar panel factory on in Fremont, Calif. The Silicon Valley company was the first renewable-energy company to receive a loan guarantee under the stimulus law, and the Obama administration frequently touted Solyndra as a model for its clean energy program. President Barack Obama visited the company's headquarters last year.(AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

(CNSNews.com) The Obama administration on Thursday announced two new rounds of green energy subsidies – $168 million total – continuing to push federal funds toward an industry whose image has been damaged by the Solyndra scandal.

The new funding came from two separate programs funding green technology business development centers and advanced green technology research.

The first project – accounting for $12 million in federal funds – is the i6 Green contest that awarded between $1 million to $3 million to each of six public-private green business development centers.

The centers – known as Proof of Concept Centers – are designed to teach green energy entrepreneurs how to establish a profitable business, connect them with university researchers, and aid them in acquiring start-up capital investments.

The Proof of Concept Centers are designed to aid green energy entrepreneurs in establishing small, fast-growing companies by connecting green energy researchers to prospective entrepreneurs, business development consultants, and financiers.

The second program announced Thursday paid a total of $156 million to 60 green energy advanced research projects through the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E).

ARPA-E – modeled after the Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which developed the precursors of both GPS and the Internet – was created by the Obama administration to seek out and fund advanced technology research that focused on clean energy.

Among the ARPA-E projects funded under this announcement are a $4.8 million project to develop tobacco plants that produce oil, a $3.7 million project to try to get a plant normally used to make vegetable oil to instead produce jet fuel, and several solar panel-focused projects.