(Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama will announce on
Monday a $1 billion increase in loan guarantees for renewable
energy projects as part of a series of steps to promote
development of clean energy.
The federal government also will ease access to financing
for home-energy improvements made by some low-income families
and approve a transmission line for a California solar facility,
according to a White House fact sheet released before the
president speaks at a clean energy summit in Las Vegas.
After legislative efforts to limit U.S. carbon emissions
failed in Obama’s first term, he has made climate change a focus
of his remaining time in office by taking regulatory action,
including stricter rules on power-plant emissions of greenhouse
gases linked to global warming.
In Las Vegas, Obama “will talk about the imperative of
acting to address climate change, the progress we’ve made to cut
carbon pollution and accelerate the transition to a clean energy
economy,” Brian Deese, a senior adviser to the president, told
reporters on a conference call Monday. “We’re incredibly
focused on these issues.”
The president has set a target of reducing U.S. carbon
emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels in 2025.
Among the steps to be announced Monday, the Energy
Department will add as much as $1 billion in loan authority to
help promote innovation in so-called distributed energy projects
such as rooftop solar energy, energy storage and smart-grid
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said federal support remains
critical as the the clean-energy industry seeks to establish a
“The playing field is not always level and that’s where
investors and developers can have risks,” he told reporters on
the conference call. “That’s where things like our loan program
Republicans have sought to trim federal funding for clean
energy programs, accusing the Obama administration of wasting
taxpayer funds. Moniz said the solar-energy industry would
continue to expand, albeit at a slower pace, if Congress failed
to extend tax credits for solar development beyond next year.
Obama also will announce Interior Department approval of a
transmission line across federal lands for the Blythe Mesa Solar
Power Project in California. The 485-megawatt photovoltaic plant
will produce enough energy to power more than 145,000 homes in
California, according to the fact sheet.
The project will be located immediately adjacent to federal
land that has been designated as a special zone for solar energy
production, Ray Brady, manager of the Bureau of Land
Management’s National Renewable Energy Coordination Office, said
in a telephone interview last week.
The Housing and Urban Development Department will clarify
loan guidelines for Federal Housing Administration-insured
mortgages, available to loan-income families, to make it easier
to transfer loans that finance energy improvements or solar
panels when selling a home. The new loan rules also will permit
homebuyers to incur more debt on houses with above-average
energy efficiency, according to the fact sheet.
To contact the reporters on this story:
Mike Dorning in Washington at
Toluse Olorunnipa in Washington at
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Jon Morgan at
Steve Geimann, Alex Wayne