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At $750M, Foreign Firms Get 33% of U.S. Clean Energy Stimulus

clean energy foreignForeign firms and their subsidiaries will receive about $750 million of the $2.3 billion in tax credits for clean energy manufacturing projects announced recently by the Obama Administration. That represents nearly 33 percent of the total awards, which are intended to spur U.S. manufacturing of clean energy technologies.

A detailed review of the 183 projects receiving tax credits shows that companies in Germany, which has an advanced clean energy industry, led the pack, by far.

German firms are getting in excess of $359 million, or about 48 percent of the amount awarded to foreign firms overall.

Volkswagen Group of America alone got $150 million in tax credits.

French firms are getting about $75 million in tax credits.

Despite stiff regulations in China to keep out imports of many U.S. cleantech goods, some companies based in China received $6.6 million in tax credits. Yingli Green Energy Systems is getting $4.5 million and Suntech is getting $2.1 million.

Targeted at 183 projects in 43 states, the Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits program is expected to create 17,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs. The Section 48C program will provide a 30 percent tax credit for investments in manufacturing facilities that produce clean energy products including solar, wind, energy efficiency and energy management technologies.

In addition to Volkswagen, some of the major tax credits are as follows:

– Wacker Polysilicon, Germany – $128 million

– SolarWorld Industries, Germany – $82 million

– Alstom Inc., France – $65 million

– Vestas, Denmark – $51 million

– Schott Solar, Germany – $33 million

Some firms receiving tax credits are joint operating agreements between U.S. and foreign firms.

For instance, Martifer-Hirschfeld Energy Systems LLC is run jointly by Portugal-based Martifer Energy Group and San Angelo, Texas-based Hirschfeld Wind Energy. It received $3.47 million, an amount not tallied into the above figure.

Click here (XLS) for a complete list of projects. About 30 percent of the projects will be completed by 2010, although projects selected for this tax credit must be placed in service by 2014. For more information about the tax credits, visit www.energy.gov/news2009/8503.htm.

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5 thoughts on “At $750M, Foreign Firms Get 33% of U.S. Clean Energy Stimulus

  1. On the the surface this article appears to be an “oh my gosh” moment, but after carefully reviewing it, it is pretty half baked as a complete story…I don’t mind that the money heads in that direction, if it turns out that a substantial amount of the work is being done by Americans or will result in work for Americans – case in point, VW of America. Also, it is unclear, from this article, why the $$ went in those directions…I find it hared to believe that it was strictly greed…is it because we are way behind technologically in those areas but we need that expertise and the only place to get done well and in a timely fashion is through Germany and France….would love to see future articles with a great deal more detail.

  2. This is not right, when the US manufacturing groups are struggling to maintain any type of competitive edge our government reaches out and helps the same companies that they we competing against. I am tired of seeing my tax dollar going to help the same people that are putting us out of work.

    As we continue to lose jobs our government is giving away our money to support the foreign companies which are the ones that continue to take our jobs. When we are broke do you think that these countries are going to be willing to help us out, with the exception of a couple of countries history shows that they will not.

    I am all for helping others, but not at the losses that we are experiencing. It is time for our government to start putting the citizens of this great country first and others second.

  3. Todd, I am sorry but your reaction is 100% knee jerk and incorrect. Lori points out that 1700 American jobs will be created through these credits which I think most would say is a good thing. The truth is there are very few US firms competing against these foreign companies, because currently the US lags behind in renewable energy. The administration has allocated ARRA funds to help build an American industry that will one day be able to compete, but for now US firms in the renewable sector do not have the capacity to supply 1700 jobs. Additionally, American firms in the supply chain benefit from having foreign firms set up shop here.

  4. Greg, I find it hard to understand how you can tell me my opinion is a knee jerk reaction, my opinion is formulated over many years of observation and experience working in engineering and manufacturing fields.

    1. Lori’s comment “if it turns out that a substantial amount of work is being done by Americans, or will result in work for Americans”. “IF” is a key word, there is no guarantee that jobs will be created. The article states that “it is expected to create 17,000 manufacturing jobs”, that is at a cost of $135k per job. I am assuming that manufacturing job means the person making $35k per year this does not seem like a good investment for $2.3 billion in my opinion.
    2. VW of America does create jobs in the US, they also import a lot of materials and components from outside of the US, Germany’s job market is also struggling who are they going to source first?
    3. You mention that there are not many companies in the US that compete with the foreign companies, have you heard of Ford, GM and Chrysler, last time I checked they are in direct competition with VW. In addition it would appear that there are at least 139 other US companies based the XLS attachment to the article.
    4. Where do the profits go? A majority of profits will go back to homeland because unlike other countries the US does not attempt to maintain controls when they provide these types of tax incentives.

    I agree with Lori that the article is not complete and more detail would be nice to have.

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