Update: I found a bit more time to give some more background on First Solar and German feed in tariffs here.
If I had the time, I would love to try to research and list every subsidy recieved by a company like First Solar. Here are just a few:
First Solar is an Arizona-based manufacturer of solar panels. In 2010, the Obama administration awarded the company $16.3 million to expand its factory in Ohio -- a subsidy Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland touted in his failed re-election bid that year.
Five weeks before the 2010 election, Strickland announced more than a million dollars in job training grants to First Solar. The Ohio Department of Development also lent First Solar $5 million, and the state's Air Quality Development Authority gave the company an additional $10 million loan.
After First Solar pocketed this $17.3 million in government grants and $15 million in government loans, Ex-Im entered the scene.
In September 2011, Ex-Im approved $455.7 million in loan guarantees to subsidize the sale of solar panels to two solar farms in Canada. That means if the solar farm ever defaults, the taxpayers pick up the tab, ensuring First Solar gets paid.
But the buyer, in this case, was First Solar.
A small corporation called St. Clair Solar owned the solar farm and was the Canadian company buying First Solar's panels. But St. Clair Solar was a wholly owned subsidiary of First Solar. So, basically, First Solar was shipping its own solar panels from Ohio to a solar farm it owned in Canada, and the U.S. taxpayers were subsidizing this "export."
But this is just a few of them, even on this deal. For example, the Canadian solar farm very likely picked up federal and provincial subsidies from Canada, and even more likely gets some kind of subsidized feed-in tariff (meaning that an above-market wholesale rate is paid for its electricity). This sort of feed-in tariff, which is paid by electricity consumers, is wholly un-transparent and likely makes up the large bulk of solar subsidies. I know the state of Arizona threw a lot of money at First Solar as well (which is headquartered in the Phoenix area.)
During First Solar's boom years, the company was mainly supported by sales to Germany, probably one of the worst solar sites in the world after perhaps Seattle. But the German government mandated feed-in tariffs for solar that were five times (or more) the market price for electricity. It was like saying that, while milk generally goes for $2 a gallon, the government mandated that milk from brown cows could be sold for $10 a gallon, and what's more, consumers had to buy it.