US increases RE financial support

DOE Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz

The US Energy Department will make available $4bn in loan guarantees for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide, and its Loans Programs Office is now accepting applications from developers.

The projects must “avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases,” DOE says, adding loan guarantees will support technologies that are “catalytic, replicable, and market-ready.”

While any project that meets the appropriate requirements is eligible to apply, DOE has identified five key technology areas of interest: advanced grid integration and storage; waste-to-energy; efficiency improvements, drop-in biofuels and enhancement of existing facilities including micro-hydro or hydro updates to existing non-powered dams.

“As the president emphasized in his Climate Action Plan, it is critical that we take an all-of-the above approach to energy in order to cut carbon pollution, help address the effects of climate change and protect our children’s future,” says Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

On Tuesday, DOE announced its intention to provide a $150m loan guarantee for Cape Wind, America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

DOE earlier announced that it would provide $16bn in loan guarantees to support advanced technology vehicle manufacturing and $8bn for advanced fossil energy projects.

The Loan Programs Office supports a diverse portfolio of more than $30bn in loans, loan guarantees and commitments for a range of low-carbon and re-tooled auto manufacturing facilities.

While most of the projects have been successful, the program got a black eye when it provided loan guarantees for several solar ventures that went bankrupt, saddling taxpayers with hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

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