The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has issued a draft loan guarantee solicitation for innovative renewable energy technologies, including waste to energy and drop in biofuels, worth as much as $4 billion.
The department explained that the scheme will support the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, and will help commercialise technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases.
The DoE added that the Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Loan Guarantee solicitation is intended to support technologies that are catalytic, replicable, and market ready.
Within the draft solicitation, the department has included a sample list illustrative of potential technologies for consideration.
While any project that meets the eligibility requirements is eligible to apply, the DoE said that it has identified five key technology areas of interest: waste to energy; drop-in biofuels; advanced grid integration and storage; enhancement of existing facilities; and efficiency improvements.
When finalised, the solicitation is expected to make as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available to help commercialise such technologies, that may be unable to obtain full commercial financing.
The department added that the draft solicitation represents another step in its commitment to help overcome the financial barriers to the deployment of innovative, clean energy technologies.
“Through our existing renewable energy loan guarantees, the Department’s Loan Programs Office helped launch the U.S. utility-scale solar industry and other clean energy technologies that are now contributing to our clean energy portfolio,” explained Secretary Ernest Moniz.
“We want to replicate that success by focusing on technologies that are on the edge of commercial-scale deployment today,” he added.
The department said that it welcomes public comment on a range of issues and will consider public feedback in defining the scope of the final solicitation.
In addition to initiating a 30 day public comment period, a schedule of public meetings will be posted on the Department’s website. The draft solicitation can be found online at http://lpo.energy.gov.
Once the solicitation is finalised, the department’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) will accept applications in three areas, which also include the $8 billion Advanced Fossil Energy Projects Solicitation that was released in December 2013 and the $16 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program.
According to the DoE, the LPO currently supports a diverse portfolio of more than $30 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and commitments, supporting more than 30 projects nationwide.
The projects that LPO has supported include one of the world’s largest wind farms; several of the world’s largest solar generation and thermal energy storage systems; and more than a dozen new or retooled auto manufacturing plants across the country.