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Solar power plant opened for the first time on US public land

The first commerical solar power plant opened on the Nevada-California border Monday in the Mojave desert.

Obama touts another green company in State of the Union. It immediately goes bankrupt.

Maybe President Barack Obama should stop talking about green energy companies. Immediately.
Barack obama state of the union address 2012Enlarge
US President Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic National Committee's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Leadership Gala in New York, June 23, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Perhaps President Obama should stop talking about green energy companies. 

Every time he does, it seems, they go bankrupt.

It happened again today, according to Bloomberg/Businessweek.

Just two days after Obama touted his adminstration's green energy programs, Ener1, an electric battery maker that received a $118 million grant from the US Department of Energy, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


Here's what President Obama said Tuesday night in his State of the Union address, in reference to Ener1:

“In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries."

And here's what Bloomberg/Businessweek is reporting about today's news:

The company listed assets of $73.9 million and debt of $90.5 million as of Dec. 31 in court papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Ener1 has been affected by competing battery developers in China and Korea, “which generally have a lower cost manufacturing base” and lower labor and raw material costs, interim Chief Executive Officer Alex Sorokin said in the petition.

According to an Energy Department statement cited by The Hill:

“While it’s unfortunate that Ener1, the parent company, has entered a restructuring process, the new infusion of $80 million in private capital demonstrates that the technology has merit,” Energy Department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman said in a statement.

This is the second high-profile embarrassment for the Obama administration's plans to support the US alternative energy industry.

More green energy coverage from GlobalPost: Powerland, adventures in urban energy

Solar panel maker Solyndra, which received $535 million in government loan guarantees, went bankrupt in September.

Don't expect a strategy shift away from green energy, though.


Powerland Cairo: Trash Talking

Cairo — Hanna Fathy, 28, enthusiastically pushes food scraps into his kitchen drain. When he looks at the pink paste that gathers in a bucket under his sink, he doesn’t see trash, he sees a source of renewable power.

He carries the slop to the roof of his home in a slum east of the city, and pours it into an old storage barrel.

 “We can use the same organic waste that we’ve already paid money for when we bought it as food, to make energy and save the environment from using fossil fuels,” Fathy said.

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