A few weeks ago, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry proposed that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) intervene in the nation’s electricity markets to establish new rules that would have electricity consumers subsidize uneconomical coal and nuclear power plants and pay more for power in their electricity bills.
Looking back at 2012, one thing is certain in the sea of the year’s uncertainty; renewable energy experienced significant growth. The U.S. solar industry grew at a rate of 13.2%. A global oversupply of solar panels lowered prices for American consumers, resulting in higher demand and greater profits for solar installation companies. SolarCity’s IPO proved to be successful despite claims that its stock would immediately plummet. And even with excessive political attacks by opponents of renewable energy – over $250 million spent in the 2012 election – the industry has gained strong public support across the country. Industries such as wind, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, electric transportation, and solar have achieved success in 2012 but the next step in supporting growth is creating a more stable policy landscape.
September 20 -- The Obama administration has decided to revive a controversial loan guarantee program at the Energy Department, administration officials said on Thursday, even as the program remains under Congressional scrutiny after losing hundreds of millions in taxpayer money on investments in failed green energy start-ups like the solar module maker Solyndra. This time, though, the program would devote as much as $8 billion to helping industries like coal and oil make cleaner energy. Although the program, which does not require Congressional approval, would support a wide range of technologies, it could help coal-fired power plants find a way to keep their emissions from escaping into the atmosphere, department officials said. >>View Article
August 30 -- The U.S. Energy Department proposed new efficiency standards that would cut expenses and emissions from commercial refrigerators and coolers, ending months of delay by the White House. >>View Article
August 28 -- A U.S. alternative-vehicle loan program criticized by Republican lawmakers for financing two failed startups will resume marketing to industry groups and possible applicants, an Energy Department spokeswoman said. >>View Article
August 26 -- The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the members of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). The nineteen member board comprised of scientists, business executives, academics and former government officials will serve as an independent advisory committee to Energy Secretary Moniz. >>View Article
June 3 -- The Department of Energy's loan guarantee program is working. It's working to drive American innovation, create jobs, transform our economy — and along the way, helping improve our environment, our health and our future. >>View Article
May 7 -- The latest data from the Department of Energy indicates that the same loan guarantee program which was roundly criticized after the failure of Solyndra has now created more than 20,000 jobs in clean energy, with several companies already paying back their obligations.>>View Article
May 1 -- Problems with the Energy Department's $529 million loan to troubled startup automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. prompted the Obama administration to tighten its loan criteria, documents released by a House committee show. >>View Article
April 18 -- The key to broader penetration of solar energy depends on access to capital markets and innovative financial structures that can reduce the cost of capital for project finance as well as increase the investor base beyond the traditional tax-equity driven investors. There is a strong case for the DOE to establish the Advancd Research Project Agency-Capital (ARPA-C) that will function to support the broader adoption and commercialization of renewable energy through mechanisms, including credit enhancment and direct equity investments for capital market project aggregation warehouse facilities and securitization transactions. >>View Article