DOE Loan Guarantee Applications Led by Renewable, Efficiency Projects
March 14, 2007
DOE has begun its preliminary review of pre-applications received last year for loan guarantees, of which nearly half are for biomass energy projects. Other leading categories are solar projects, which make up 12 percent of applications, and industrial energy efficiency projects, which make up 6 percent of applications. In terms of the requested loan guarantee amounts, however, advanced fossil energy projects make up 61 percent of the requested funds, followed by biomass projects at 14 percent, industrial energy efficiency projects at 10 percent, and solar energy projects at 7 percent. DOE has a difficult task in selecting among the 143 pre-applications, as they requested loan guarantees totaling more than $27 billion, while DOE currently has the authority to issue guarantees for only $4 billion in loans.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established the loan guarantee program for advanced energy technologies that reduce the emission of air pollutants or greenhouse gases. DOE issued a solicitation for pre-applications in August 2006, but funding to implement the program was not forthcoming until Congress passed a full-year continuing resolution in mid-February. That funding bill provided DOE with $7 million to fund its Loan Guarantee Office and gave DOE its current loan authority. DOE has requested $8.4 million to run the office in fiscal year 2008, along with the authority to guarantee up to $9 billion in loans. See the DOE press release and Loan Guarantee Program Web site.