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Clarification: On this segment, host Dave Becker asks Dallas Tonsager of the USDA about the failure rate of federally-backed renewable energy projects. Becker references a study by the Heritage Foundation, which asserted that 80 percent of major renewable energy projects had failed. These included California-based solar panel manufacturer Solyndra and Amonix's solar panel plant in North Las Vegas. The Heritage survey focused on only 20 projects.
The number of government grants to renewable energy projects is actually much larger. Under section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the government gave $10.7 billion to "5,098 businesses for 31,540 projects" according to the Treasury Department. Recent projections given to Congress by independent analyst Gregory Kats, president of consulting firm Capital E, suggest that total defaults on renewable energy financing will be no more than $800 million. Kats concluded the program had a 96 percent success rate.