Renewable energy groups oppose Loan Guarantee Program cuts

By Lisa Gibson | October 07, 2010

A recent dip into the U.S. DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program funding has renewable energy groups feeling neglected as it is the second time funding has been “borrowed” for other purposes, the first amount still was not repaid.
President Barack Obama signed legislation that would allow a trimming of $1.5 billion for funding of emergency assistance to various states. A package containing the measure has passed in the House, but is waiting on Senate action. A letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., outlining the detriments of such a measure was signed by representatives from the American Wind Energy Association, the Geothermal Energy Association, the National Hydropower Association, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Biomass Power Association.

“This reduction in funding severely limits the DOE’s ability to support the suite of renewable resources through the loan guarantee program,” the letter reads. “Further, a solicitation for manufacturers of commercial renewable energy technologies has not even been released yet by DOE. The proposed cut makes it likely that manufacturers of commercial renewable technologies will not be able to take advantage of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program.”
 In 2009, funding was cut from the program for the Cash for Clunkers program. A total of $2 billion was trimmed from the $6 billion allocated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide loan guarantees for an estimate $60 billion worth of renewable energy projects. With the latest rescission, $3.5 billion will have been cut from the program and many projects will go unfunded, the letter states.