Jonathan Silver is out as the head of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program.
This comes hot on the heels of a congressional investigation looking for a conspiracy or someone to blame for the failure of a risky solar manufacturing loan guarantee for now-bankrupt photovoltaic module manufacturer Solyndra. Silver will be joining a think tank called Third Way as a Visiting Distinguished Senior Fellow according to this press release.
While at the DOE, Silver led the campaign to mete out tens of billions of dollars in loan guarantees for solar developments, geothermal projects, wind farms, and biofuel refineries.
Somebody's head had to roll. And although Silver is guilty of zero corruption and the loan program in fact ended on September 30, his resignation has the appearance of someone falling on their sword and deflecting the spotlight from Energy Secretary Chu or President Barack Obama.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that Silver had informed him in July, when it was clear that no significant new funds were being budgeted for the  loan program, that he would leave at the end of the fiscal year, according to the Washington Post. The article adds that "Chu made a point of defending the agency’s loan guarantee operation, saying, 'Under his [Silver’s] leadership, the loan program has demonstrated considerable success, with a broad portfolio of investments that will help American companies compete in the global clean energy market.'"
Prior to his role at the DOE, Silver was managing director of Core Capital Partners, an energy-focused venture capital firm.
As Dan Primack tweeted, quoting a VC who knows Silver: "He was the right guy to run the loan program, but not to be giving testimony or doing media interviews."