US supports solar despite Solyndra bankruptcy -DOE

Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:10pm GMT

* DOE says Solyndra should not overshadow loan program

* Republican lawmakers ask if Solyndra was tip of iceberg

* Company executives to appear before Congress next week

By Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The Obama Administration has no intention of "walking away" from investing in renewable energy projects despite the bankruptcy of a high-profile solar panel maker backed by federal loan guarantees, a top U.S. Energy Department official said on Wednesday.

The bankruptcy and ensuing criminal investigation into California-based Solyndra LLC has sparked outrage over the Obama administration's efforts to build a clean energy program with loan guarantees and subsidies.

"While we are all disappointed in the outcome, securing America's leadership in this vital new industry requires that we support innovation and deployment," Jonathan Silver, who heads the energy department's loan guarantee program, told a hearing in the House of Representatives.

"I can't imagine a scenario in which we would willingly as a country walk away from what would be undoubtedly one of the largest if not the largest industries in the world over the next several decades," he told a hearing called to probe the Solyndra loan.

Republicans said the collapse calls into question the competency of the loan program and the ability of the department to effectively distribute another $10 billion in loan guarantees to green technology companies before a Sept. 30 deadline.   Continued...

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