Biden Administration revives clean energy loan guarantee program

Biden Administration revives clean energy loan guarantee program Neal Hot Springs geothermal plant in Oregon/ U.S. (source: U.S. Geothermal)
Alexander Richter 7 Mar 2021

The Biden Administration is revamping the U.S. DOE loan guarantee program, providing guarantees for up to $40bn in loans to renewable energy projects, including geothermal.

Under its clean energy emphasis,  the U.S. Department of Energy under the Biden Administration is reintroducing the  federal loan guarantee program.

The program, launched under President Obama, went idle under the Trump Administration. It was supporting loan funding for renewable energy projects by  providing government guarantees. While it had some high profile failures, the program was a useful tool to help renewable energy projects, among them geothermal projects in the U.S. to get funding.

Established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, “the guarantees can be issued for loans up to 80% of the project’s total cost and are targeted only for projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions and employ “new or significantly improved technologies as compared to commercial technologies in service in the United States.”

Learn more about the program and loan guarantee solicitations at DOE’s Loan Programs Office website.

The first  two geothermal projects to receive a guarantee for a loan were the Blue Mountain geothermal project in Nevada by Nevada Geothermal Power, and the Neal Hot Springs geothermal project by U.S. Geothermal.

“In an interview with The Associated Press, Granholm said up to $40 billion in guarantees will be made available for a variety of clean-energy projects, including wind, solar and hydro power, advanced vehicles, geothermal and even nuclear.”

The program will be led by Jigar Shah, a clean-energy entrepreneur with a background in solar, who has been part of the Energy Gang with  Stephen Lacey and Katherine Hamilton, an influential podcast, that I had the pleasure joining in one episode in 2018 on the topic “Can Geothermal Scale?“.

Source:  AP News