The U.S. Department of Energy announced a draft loan guarantee solicitation for innovative and advanced fossil energy projects and facilities that are designed to substantially reduce greenhouse gas and other air pollution. The solicitation aims to support new or significantly improved advanced fossil energy projects and facilities, such as advanced resource development, carbon capture, low-carbon power systems, and efficiency improvements that reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gas pollution. Through the program, the Energy Department will make available up to $8 billion in loan guarantees.
“America needs an all-of-the-above approach to develop homegrown energy and steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution, so we can protect our kids’ health and begin to slow the effects of climate change. These investments will play a critical role in accelerating the introduction of low-carbon fossil fuel technologies into the marketplace and reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Secretary Ernest Moniz, in a prepapred statement. “Fossil fuels currently provide more than 80 percent of our energy, and adopting technologies to use them cleanly and more efficiently is critical to our all- of-the-above approach.”
Section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorizes the department to support innovative clean energy technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Projects deploying these technologies are typically unable to obtain commercial financing due to high technology risks. Once finalized, this solicitation will be the sixth issued in support of Section 1703.
Within the draft solicitation, the Energy Department has included a sample list illustrative of potential technologies for consideration. The Energy Department is seeking public comment on a range of issues, including technical analysis of the specifications of these as well as other technologies, and their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is also seeking comments that identify other technologies that the Department should consider supporting through this loan guarantee solicitation.
The Department of Energy says its loan programs are comprised of a $34.4 billion portfolio with more than 30 projects, including one of the world’s largest wind farms; several of the world’s largest solar generation and thermal energy storage systems; one of the country’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants; the first new commercial nuclear power plant to be licensed and built in the U.S. in three decades; the first two all-electric vehicle manufacturing facilities in the U.S.; and more than a dozen new or retooled auto manufacturing plants across the country. One recipient, Tesla Motors, recently repaid the entire remaining balance on its $465 million loan nine years ahead of schedule, according to the Department of Energy.
The Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation, authorized by Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 through Section 1703 of the Loan Guarantee Program, will be open for comments from industry, stakeholders, and the public until early September. For more information on the program, visit ipo.energy.gov.