The Department of Energy created their "Loan Guarantee Program" in 2005. It provides federal support to spur commercial investments in clean energy. The Obama Administration expanded it in 2009 -- under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The DOE came under fire in 2011, when Solyndra filed for bankruptcy and defaulted on a $535 million loan guarantee.
Steve Ellis, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, discussed the program on Capital Insider.