August 8, 2006

U.S. D.O.E. - $2 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Renewable Energy

Finally - some money for new energy technology loan guarantees! On the anniversary of the signing of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), the Department of Energy announced the fulfillment of one authorization of the Act. It is beginning a Federal Loan Guarantee Program seeded with $2 Billion to start.

It should have been more - much, much more - because the writing is on the wall for America. With a record breaking hot summer, electrical blackouts, global warming and electric car exposés, fierce MidEast fighting, nuclear warhead saber-rattling, and the shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay pipeline it is obvious that considerably more than just money is at stake.

$2 Billion (with a B and no zeros) is very timid. After all, Indonesia is investing $22 Billion on Biofuels by 2010. China is planning to spend $175 Billion in the next five years on cleaning up its environment.

Below is part of the press release from the Department of Energy...


Secretary Bodman Announces $2 Billion Federal Loan Guarantee Program as Part of First Anniversary Celebration of Energy Policy Act

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today unveiled DOE program guidelines for a total of $2 billion in loan guarantees to help spur investment in projects that employ new energy technologies. Secretary Bodman made the announcement in Baltimore while joining Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich at a ribbon-cutting ceremony opening Maryland’s first State-owned E-85 fueling facility.

“With these loan guarantees we hope to encourage creativity and ingenuity that will help us strengthen our nation’s energy security,” Secretary Bodman said. “Projects eligible to receive loan guarantees are vast and varied. We hope to spur investment in new renewable energy projects like solar and wind, as well as clean coal technologies and efforts that can convert cellulosic biomass into ethanol.”

The solicitation, which will be issued soon, will govern the first round of loan guarantee applications, valued at a total of $2 billion. In addition over the next several weeks, DOE will propose draft regulations for public comment that will govern future solicitations. The Department views this first round solicitation as a learning opportunity that will assist in building expertise before permanent regulations are developed.

Loan guarantees will enable the Department to share some of the financial risks of projects that employ new or significantly improved energy technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Projects supported by loan guarantees will help fulfill President Bush’s goals to diversifying the United States’ energy sources, while reducing the nation’s reliance on foreign sources of energy and encourage energy efficiency. The loan guarantee program was authorized in Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) that President Bush signed into law on August 8, 2005.

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