The US Department of Energy (DOE) just received $4 billion in loan guarantees to foster renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and encourage the development of new technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This comes on the heels of an announcement last month of new rules for power plants intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The announcement also follows the recent release of $16 billion for advanced technology vehicle manufacturing, $8 billion for advanced fossil energy technology, and $6.5 billion for the construction of two nuclear power plants in Georgia.
The DOE program has been successful in supporting projects including California’s Ivanpah solar power plant and Tesla Motors electric car technology, but the bankruptcy of other previously funded projects, such as Solyndra, remains in the minds of all who hope to avoid such fiascoes with the newly-apportioned funds.
Priming the Pumb
Specifically, according to the announcement, the DOE is seeking to jumpstart utility-scale wind and solar power, new nuclear technology and lower carbon fossil fuel energy. The criteria used to distribute the funds include support for projects capable of serving as a catalyst for further development, those that can be replicated around the country and technology that is “market ready.”
Currently, the most likely candidates include technologies to help integrate renewable energy sources into the current utility grid, new storage technologies, support for biofuels that can immediately add energy to the grid, waste to energy technology such as garbage incindeation, enhancements and repairs to current electric grid facilities and improving efficiency in residential and commercial energy use.