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A More Positive Perspective on Clean Tech Loan Programs: U.S.

October 7, 2011

There has been a lot of negative press bouncing around as a result of the Solyndra default associated with the US clean tech loan guarantee program.   In case you missed it, this week at the Peterson Institute Mark Munro and Jonathan Rothwell set out a different, less pessimistic perspective of the loan program and the implications of Solyndra’s  default.

Their article can be read here.

They forcefully argue the positive aspects of the program, and the need for continuation of such work.

They state that the Solyndra default sits easily within the planned program default rates and that the program has delivered positive economic outcomes.

Their proposition:

The bottom line: The loan programs have been solid initiatives that have created jobs in a recession, generated $4 to $8 of private lending for every $1 of public investment, begun to scale up important clean energy technologies, and begun the work of financing the long-term restructuring of the U.S. economy.

The underlying justification for these programs is technology support in response to market failure.  We hope that the current debate will serve to support the core arguments, and leave such programs stronger.



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