The Energy Department today said it would create a new financial partnership program to accelerate the deployment of billion of dollars in lending for renewable energy projects. Also, the Department will provide up to $750 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help accelerate the development of conventional renewable energy generation projects. This funding will cover the cost of loan guarantees which could support as much as $4-8 billion in lending to eligible projects, and the Department will invite private sector participation to accelerate the financing of these renewable energy projects. To this end, the Department is creating the Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP), a streamlined set of standards designed to expedite DOE’s loan guarantee underwriting process and leverage private sector expertise and capital for the efficient and prudent funding of eligible projects. Here is what Sen. Bingaman thinks:
“As a strong proponent of the Department of Energy’s efforts to help markets finance renewable energy projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, I’m delighted with today’s announcement. This is an important step forward for the development of the U.S. clean energy technology industry. We need to build on this new program to keep America from falling further behind our foreign competitors in clean energy technology.
“Additionally, I hope that we can restore the $2 billion that was diverted from clean energy loan guarantees to pay for last summer’s one-month extension of the Cash for Clunkers program. Because of the leverage in the DOE loan guarantee program, that $2 billion could unlock up to $20 billion in additional financing for clean energy projects and the jobs they would create. We also need to move forward with the creation of the Clean Energy Deployment Administration at the Department of Energy, which has broad bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House. Finally, we need to create long-term market stability for clean energy through mechanisms such as a national renewable electricity standard and predictable price signals to markets that will encourage the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.”
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