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Loan Guarantees for Clean Energy Technologies: Goals, Concerns, and Policy Options
Phillip Brown (au)
Government guaranteed debt is a financial tool that has been used to support a number of federal policy objectives. Loan guarantees for new energy technologies date back to the mid-1970s, when rapidly rising energy prices motivated the development of alternative, and renewable, sources of energy. Recently, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 created a loan guarantee program for innovative clean energy technologies (nuclear, clean coal, renewables) commonly known as Section 1703. The Am. Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created Section 1705, a temporary loan guarantee program focused on deployment of renewable energy technologies and projects. Loan guarantee authority for the Dept. of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) Section 1705 program ended on Sept. 30, 2011, prior to which approx. $16.15 billion of loans were guaranteed for a variety of clean energy projects. In Aug. 2011, the high-profile bankruptcy of Solyndra, the first company to receive a Section 1705 loan guarantee, resulted in a congressional investigation and increased scrutiny of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program. As a result, Congress may decide to evaluate the use of loan guarantees as a mechanism for supporting the development and deployment of clean energy technologies. This report analyzes goals and concerns associated with innovative clean energy loan guarantees. Figures. This is a print on demand report.
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