RE: Congress Rescinds Another $1.5B from Renewable Energy Loan Guarantee Program for Total $3.5B Cut
Tomorrow, the solar energy industry expects the House to pass the Senate bill that cuts another $1.5 billion from the renewable energy loan guarantee program (sec. 1705) established and funded with $6 billion by the 2009 Stimulus Bill. This action follows last year's "borrowing" of $2 billion from the same program to extend funding for the Cash-for-Clunkers program.
Details and Background Resources:
- Leader Pelosi called the U.S. House of Representatives back from their August recess to vote tomorrow on the Senate's $26.1 billion state aide package covering teacher salaries and Medicaid; the package includes spending offsets, including $1.5 billion that cuts the renewable energy loan guarantee program. All indications are the House will pass the bill tomorrow.
- The $6 billion loan guarantee program was a key provision in the 2009 Recovery Bill and provides lending authority for an estimate $60 billion in loans for renewable energy equipment and property, funding the construction of manufacturing plants that produce renewable energy components and for construction of renewable energy plant generation projects, like solar energy farms. (Each $1 billion in the program equates to about $10 billion in lending authority.)
- Last August, the DOE "borrowed" $2 billion from the same loan guarantee program to extend additional funding for the Clash for Clunkers. Administration officials promised the funds would be restored to the loan guarantee program.
- To date, based on limited DOE data shared with Congress staff, the solar industry estimates there are 81 renewable energy project applications totalling $31 billion in lending authority in the DOE loan guarantee pipeline, all in various stages of review and due-diligence. With only $2.5 billion left in the program, the DOE can only fund project applications totaling about $25 billion, so already the program is oversubscribed.
- The DOE loan guarantee application data is considered confidential, and individual companies that have applied, signed confidentiality clauses that preclude them from talking about their application. So, they cannot comment directly to the press about their particular project applications.
SEIA/Solar Letter to President Obama (8.9.10)
DOE Loan Guarantee Program Fact Sheet
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Learn more at http://www.seia.org.