Canadian Manufacturing

Obama continues pushing cleantech agenda, announces US$1B in loan guarantees

New energy program to build on Clean Power Plan momentum



WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama may be reaching the tail-end of his time in the White House, but the commander-in-chief has been making significant strides in August to reform the U.S.’s energy policy.

In an initiative that will support his recently announced Clean Power Plan, Obama introduced a program that will make an additional US$1 billion in loans available to cleantech energy companies looking to secure funding.

“President Obama is committed to taking responsible steps to address climate change, promote clean energy and energy efficiency, drive innovation, and ensure a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations,” the White House said Aug. 24. “He is announcing a robust set of executive actions and private sector commitments to accelerate America’s transition to cleaner sources of energy and ways to cut energy waste.”

The Obama administration said the U.S. brought as much solar online every three weeks last year as it did in all of 2008. The solar industry specifically is adding jobs 10-times as quickly as the rest of the economy, and the average cost of solar has dropped 50 per cent since 2010, it added.

Monday’s announcement is meant to bolster cleantech innovation as well as make it easier for businesses and individual households to invest in clean, affordable energy.

In addition to the $1 billion in additional loan guarantees, the executive actions and private sector commitments Obama announced include unlocking residential Property-Assessed Clean Energy financing for single-family housing to make is easier for Americans to invest in clean energy technologies and launching a new program to provide homeowners with a simple way to measure energy efficiency savings. The administration also announced $24 million for 11 projects in seven states to develop innovative solar technologies that double the amount of energy each solar panel can produce from the sun.

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