US: $4B in Loan Aid for Renewable Energy

Posted by Greg Trauthwein
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Are increased use of offshore wind farms in the future for the U.S.?

The U.S. Energy Department on Wednesday unveiled a plan for up to $4 billion in loan aid for renewable energy companies to help rejuvenate a program that faced harsh political attacks over past failures of federally subsidized projects.

The Obama administration's draft plan would provide loan guarantees for innovative projects that limit or avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

It will specifically focus on advanced electric grid technology and storage, biofuels for conventional vehicles, energy from waste products and energy efficiency.

"We're back in business," Peter Davidson, executive director of the department's loan programs office, told Reuters. "We really want to go back to ... doing very valuable work for our economy going forward."

Davidson said he hoped to have the loan offering finalized by June, with financing awarded possibly by the end of the year or early 2015.

Although the program was never officially closed, Davidson said it entered a "quiet period" after the expiration of funding from the 2009 economic stimulus that backed solar, wind and geothermal projects, including now-bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.

But with billions of dollars in loan authority still available, the agency has resumed its push to support innovative technology.

Earlier this month, the DOE announced it had revamped the review process for its automotive loan program in hopes 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.

MOVED UP: Opponents have argued the federal government should not be investing in private companies.

Following the high profile collapse of Solyndra, which was awarded a $535 million loan guarantee, the program faced criticism from Republicans that it had favored political allies of Obama, and backed bad bets.

The Obama administration denied these accusations, saying it awarded loans based on the merits of the projects.

Davidson said that only about 3 percent of the department's loan portfolio had suffered losses, far below the amount that Congress budgeted for when it created the program.

The department credits the program with helping to jumpstart private investment in industrial scale U.S. solar power plants and hopes to replicate that success with new renewable energy technologies that are on the cusp of financial viability.

"That's our mission. We go in and demonstrate to the commercial markets that a new technology works," Davidson said. "Then we get out and the commercial market comes in."

With a larger, more experienced staff, as well as a more automated application system and more streamlined screening process, Davidson said he believes the reviews will go more smoothly than before, when they were criticized for being inefficient. CUT A GRAPH AND COMBINED

And in the wake of the Solyndra scandal, the department also made changes to its due diligence practices and loan oversight.

(By Ayesha Rascoe, Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe, editing by Ros Krasny; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Alden Bentley)
 

Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

US Navy to Roll out Underwater Spy Satellites

The robotic series that remade crusade in skies will shortly extend to a low sea, with underwater view “satellites,” drone-launching pods on a sea building and unmanned ships sport submarines,

India May Add Japanese Soryu-Class Submarines to its Fleet

India is reportedly considering a project to incorporate six Japanese Soryu-class diesel-electric submarines into its fleet, says The Japan Times.   The Defense

Austal Graduates 48 4-Yr Apprentices

Austal USA combined two classes to graduate a total of 48 members of Austal’s cutting-edge four-year apprenticeship program yesterday at a formal ceremony held at the Arthur R.

Offshore

China Unveils Action Plan on Maritime Silk Road

China has unveiled the principles, framework, and cooperation priorities and mechanisms in its Maritime Silk Road initiative in a bid to enhance regional connectivity

JV Wins $2bln Freeport LNG Contract in US

A joint venture (JV) between CB&I, Chiyoda International and Zachry Industrial has won a contract worth over $2bn from FLNG Liquefaction 3 for a liquefied natural

Feds Delay LNG’s Port Ambrose Application

The US Coast Guard and the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) have temporarily suspended their review of the proposed Port Ambrose deep-water LNG import terminal.

Environmental

USCG Flush Ice down River Systems to Facilitate Shipping

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season

Chile Desert Rains Sign of Climate Change

The heavy rainfall that battered Chile's usually arid north this week happened because of climate change, a senior meteorologist said, as the region gradually

Mexico Unveils National Strategy ahead of Paris Climate Talks

Mexico on Friday said it will cap its greenhouse gas emissions by 2026, becoming one of the first countries to formally submit its national climate plan the

Energy

USA Urged Not to Delay Arctic Drilling

The U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, reports AP.

Feds Delay LNG’s Port Ambrose Application

The US Coast Guard and the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) have temporarily suspended their review of the proposed Port Ambrose deep-water LNG import terminal.

Austal Graduates 48 4-Yr Apprentices

Austal USA combined two classes to graduate a total of 48 members of Austal’s cutting-edge four-year apprenticeship program yesterday at a formal ceremony held at the Arthur R.

Offshore Energy

Nations Convene for Arctic Maritime Discussion

Citing an increasing need to ensure safety, security and stewardship of Arctic waters, member countries of the Arctic Council gathered at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

Advanced Drillships a Burden for Owners as Business Slows

Not so long ago, advanced drillships costing more than half a billion dollars each and capable of operating in ever-deeper waters practically guaranteed big profits for oil-rig operators.

Russia May Allow More Firms to Offshore Oil

Russia may allow more oil companies to access its offshore projects, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.   "In general, the access can be extended," Novak told reporters in Moscow.

Ocean Observation

US Navy to Roll out Underwater Spy Satellites

The robotic series that remade crusade in skies will shortly extend to a low sea, with underwater view “satellites,” drone-launching pods on a sea building and unmanned ships sport submarines,

China Unveils Action Plan on Maritime Silk Road

China has unveiled the principles, framework, and cooperation priorities and mechanisms in its Maritime Silk Road initiative in a bid to enhance regional connectivity

China Maritime Silk Road to Touch India for Namesake

Chinese officials on Saturday fleshed out some details for the country's ambitious 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project in its “one belt, one road,” action plan.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4313 sec (2 req/sec)