The White House has announced a new draft plan that would provide loan guarantees for innovative projects that limit or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. The plan involves $4 billion in fresh federal loan guarantees that are aimed at promoting sustainable projects that help integrate power grid with renewable sources, develop more compatible biofuels for conventional vehicles, and turn waste into energy.
The green loan program was never officially closed, but it had entered a “quiet period” after the expiration of funding from the 2009 economic stimulus that supported solar, wind and geothermal projects. But with billions of dollars in loan authority still available, the push to support innovative technology has been resumed. The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office has been instrumental in the launch of the utility-scale solar industry and other clean energy technologies in the U.S.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said at a policy forum hosted by Georgia Institute of Technology that the Department is keen to repeat that success with a renewed focus on technologies that are on the edge of commercial-scale deployment today. The executive director of the Department’s loan programs office, Peter Davidson, has said that the agency is keen to resume doing very valuable work for the economy going forward, and hoped the loan offering to be finalized by June, with financing awarded around the end of the year or early 2015.
The DOE had recently announced a revamp of its review process for its automotive loan program in the hope of attracting new applicants. The move followed an offering last year of up to $8 billion in loan assistance for fossil fuel projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Studies have shown that companies increasingly recognize the economic benefits of going green, and the new loan funding will be a key step in strengthening the push towards more sustainable businesses.
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