The U.S. loan program that lost millions on solar panel manufacturer Solynda, but is now projecting billions in revenue to taxpayers , may be coming up with the wrong answer to the wrong question, says a former acting director of the Congressional Budget Office.
After factoring in interest on the money the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office borrowed to support $32.4 billion in clean energy innovation, Donald Marron says the program may only break even. But “he argues that the issue of profit is largely beside the point,” Forrest writes.
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“DOE’s lending programs should not be evaluated solely or even primarily based on their profitability or lack thereof,” Marron notes. “What matters is their overall social impact.”