On April 16, 2014, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will be making up to $4 billion in new loan guarantees available for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the United States. DOE will accept comments on the draft loan guarantee solicitation through May 27, 2014. The funds will be available for investments that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. This release is the culmination of the Administration’s plans to revive DOE’s clean energy loan program and is the third new round of guarantees proposed over the last year and is consistent with the President Obama’s Climate Change initiatives.
In a speech at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz outlined five categories of technologies that will be especially high priority under the solicitation: those which foster the integration of renewable sources to the grid and the storage of electricity; drop-in-biofuels; waste-to-energy technology; enhancements to existing facilities; and improved efficiency in residential or commercial buildings. Peter Davidson, executive director of DOE’s Loan Programs Office, explained that the Administration is looking to achieve the same sort of success for other technologies as for solar technology investment and innovation.
On April 25, 2014, DOE formally opened the comment period on the draft solicitation and requested submissions be made on or before May 27, 2014. DOE is also hosting a series of public meetings on the draft, including ones in: Twin Cities, Minnesota, on Tuesday, May 6; Stanford, California, on Wednesday, May 7; and Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, May 13.
OPPORTUNITY FOR INPUT
As renewable energy continues to play an increasing role in America’s energy mix, DOE’s loan guarantee program will provide an opportunity for businesses to partner with the government towards achieving success. Comment submissions and public meetings are important ways stakeholders can shape the investment discussion and create opportunities for commercial projects in the United States.
 Full text of solicitation announcement available: lpo.energy.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Draft-Renewable-Solicitation-04-11-14.pdf.