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Ex-Im: A Big Double-Dipping Opportunity for Green-Energy Firms



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In this week’s chart series, I look one of the industries that has enjoyed considerable growth in Ex-Im assistance: the green energy and sustainability sector. Natural-gas-related projects received the largest amounts in Ex-Im Bank assistance of all green-energy projects, pulling in $11.8 billion in assistance from FY 2007 to FY 2014, or 62 percent of the green portfolio. Solar energy comes in the second spot, with $3.7 billion in assistance, or almost 20 percent of the portfolio. Nuclear projects received roughly $1.8 billion in assistance, while wind projects received $1 billion in assistance.

Maybe more interestingly, the data shows that many firms “double dip” into Uncle Sam’s many corporate-welfare programs. Take the the Department of Energy’s various loan programs – many of the firms that benefited from these programs also benefit from Ex-Im support. Here is a chart:

Of course, the double dipping doesn’t stop there: Many of these firms also benefited from the Department of Treasury’s 1603 grant program and from numerous state’s tax credits and mandates. That’s true of U.S. companies like GE (which provide turbines to many government-funded green-energy companies) but also of foreign companies like Abengoa,  a Spanish multinational.

Speaking of Abengoa, the large amounts of assistance provided to the firm by the U.S government could raise eyebrows. The company benefited from $2.8 billion in assistance from the Department of Energy, $203.9 million in help from the Export-Import Bank, and significant money from the Department of Treasury for its project in Minnesota and another project in Arizona. If that’s not douple dipping, I am not sure what is.

 



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