But one year into the experiment, the money is caught in the pipelines. Critics point out that the Obama administration has actually spent less than one third of the $80 billion allocated for green energy ventures. And administration officials estimate the number of jobs created from the energy portion of the stimulus to be 60,000.
Critics have singled out funds that have been particularly slow to be delivered, including $5 billion devoted to the weatherizing of low-income homes. "We've never had a program that valued energy efficiency in homes," says Bracken Hendricks, senior fellow at the
One of the more lauded programs changed the distribution of tax credits for wind energy to help wind farms compete with the coal and natural gas industries, part of $23 billion allocated to build renewable energy manufacturing. The earlier tax credit system had led to a boom-and-bust cycle, and the global economic meltdown meant that "suddenly these tax credits were useless in the market," says Hendricks. Once the administration made the tax credit a grant, wind farms "took off."
The administration hopes, too, that $4 billion to develop the next generation of clean energy vehicles will transform transportation in America and help to develop advanced biofuels. Already, applications for a $2.3 billion program to provide tax credits for 183 manufacturers in 43 states -- to spur the creation of products like high-tech insulation and advanced electric car batteries -- have outpaced available credits by a ratio of 3 to 1. This has prompted the administration to request $5 billion more for the program.
The stimulus also puts $400 million into the Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy, modeled on the Pentagon's famed
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Many clean energy stimulus projects have yet to get off ground | Anna Mulrine
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