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 November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Liquefaction Terminals to Dominate LNG Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditure (Capex) on global LNG facilities is expected to total $259 billion (bn) over the period 2015-2019, with investments expected to be 88% larger

Ennsub Delivers ROV Deployment Systems

Ennsub has completed the design and manufacture of two workclass remotely operated vehicle (WROV) deployment systems for ROVOP, due to be installed into a newbuild

Wärtsilä to Proceed with first LNG Terminal

Wärtsilä has been given full notice to proceed (NTP) from Manga LNG Oy for the supply of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Tornio, Northern Finland.

Offshore

DNV GL Targets Safer Approach to Subsea Lifting

The completion of a joint industry project (JIP) to improve existing standards and regulations around subsea lifting operations has resulted in a new recommended practice (RP).

Polarcus Awarded 3D Project Off West Africa

Polarcus Limited has signed a letter of intent with Perenco Oil & Gas Gabon S.A. for a 3D marine seismic acquisition project offshore West Africa.   The project,

Boskalis, VolkerWessels Win Offshore Wind Farm Work

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., in partnership with Volker Stevin International (VolkerWessels), has been awarded a contract by Iberdrola Renewables Offshore Deutschland

Environmental

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

Costa Rica Approves APM Terminals Project

Port operator APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Friday Costa Rica's environment agency had approved the construction of its Moin Container Terminal project.

NOAA: US to See More Floods from Sea Level Rise

Most of U.S. coast may see 30 or more days a year of floods up to 2 feet above high tides. By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened

Energy

Liquefaction Terminals to Draw Big Spending

Liquefaction terminals to dominate forecast LNG capital expenditure   Capital expenditure (Capex) on global liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities is expected

Oil is on the Rise

Oil prices rose in early trading on Monday as Asian markets opened strongly into a holiday-shortened week and as consensus spread that Brent crude prices would

Fighting for Ports Escalates in Libya

Military planes loyal to Libya's recognised government attacked on Sunday an opposing force that is seeking to seize the country's two biggest oil ports, officials said.

Offshore Energy

DNV GL Targets Safer Approach to Subsea Lifting

The completion of a joint industry project (JIP) to improve existing standards and regulations around subsea lifting operations has resulted in a new recommended practice (RP).

Polarcus Awarded 3D Project Off West Africa

Polarcus Limited has signed a letter of intent with Perenco Oil & Gas Gabon S.A. for a 3D marine seismic acquisition project offshore West Africa.   The project,

Boskalis, VolkerWessels Win Offshore Wind Farm Work

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., in partnership with Volker Stevin International (VolkerWessels), has been awarded a contract by Iberdrola Renewables Offshore Deutschland

Ocean Observation

NOAA: US to See More Floods from Sea Level Rise

Most of U.S. coast may see 30 or more days a year of floods up to 2 feet above high tides. By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened

DYT Yacht Transport Carries M/V OCEARCH

The 126-foot research vessel M/V OCEARCH is currently making its way from Port Everglades, Florida to Brisbane, Australia on board DYT Yacht Transport’s semisubmersible

 
 
Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics 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: 0.4601 sec (2 req/sec)