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Obama announces more than $1B in DOE initiatives for renewable and advanced fossil energy; loan guarantees and ARPA-E projects

President Obama announced more than $1 billion in Department of Energy (DOE) initiatives to advance clean energy technologies. As part of the President’s Clean Power Plan, DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) is making up to $1 billion dollars in loan guarantees available to support commercial-scale distributed energy projects. In addition, through the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), DOE is awarding $24 million in funding for 11 high-performance solar power projects that could lower the cost and improve the performance of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems.

LPO Loan Guarantees for Distributed Energy Projects. The LPO will make $1 billion of loan guarantee authority available through the existing Title XVII program and provide guidance on the types of financial structures it can support for distributed energy projects.

This loan guarantee authority will be split equally between the Advanced Fossil Energy Projects and the Renewable Energy & Efficient Energy Projects solicitations. The loan guarantee authority will be available following a 45-day Congressional notification period.

LPO is also publishing supplements to its existing Advanced Fossil Energy Projects and the Renewable Energy & Efficient Energy Projects solicitations. These supplements provide guidance on the types of project structures, financial terms, and eligible technology DOE can support for distributed energy projects under Title XVII.

The supplements also provide guidance that state-affiliated financial entities, including state green banks, may submit applications for eligible projects under Title XVII, including distributed energy projects. In addition, state and state-affiliated entities may be eligible co-lenders, equity providers, off-takers, or other participants in a transaction.

ARPA-E MOSAIC Program. ARPA-E’s Micro-scale Optimized Solar-cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC) program is awarding $24 million to 11 teams across the country to develop new solar technologies that will create highly efficient photovoltaic (PV) panels that capture more sunlight using less area.

Many roofs are not well suited for conventional solar panels due to their size and/or location, making them inefficient and costly for some residents, businesses and utilities. However, using Concentrated Solar Power (CPV) optical devices that concentrate sunlight onto a smaller, high efficiency solar PV receiver can reduce the footprint of conventional solar panels, while maintaining their ability to generate electricity.

Current CPV technologies are location dependent, and require expensive materials to integrate into existing solar systems. MOSAIC seeks to overcome these challenges and develop small CPV systems (known as micro-scale CPV technology) that integrate more affordable materials and manufacturing techniques into PV solar panels that can be adopted in more locations.

MOSAIC has selected projects to develop solar modules that integrate high-performance micro-scale concentrated PV technologies into “flat plate” solar panels to improve the efficiency and cost of solar technologies.



And since nuclear is 1/3 going to 1/4 the LCOE cost of PV, with an estimated 250 year FREE supply of spent uranium, processable TRU waste and strategic fuel reserves, this begs the question why Washington plays the game of being unwilling to subsidize nuclear and justify billions already invested in nuclear technology, including Yucca Mountain. There is no excuse for this political correctness. The only 'evil genie in the bottle' over nuclear is that of the cadre of unremarkable human beings, who spend their careers evading common sense. They have managed to halve nuclear research funds in the last 5 years! http://www.thirdway.org/third-way-take/regulating-new-types-of-nuclear-reactors


I wish they would fund more research and development on traveling wave reactors which have the potential to burn the waste from conventional reactors plus use the vast stores of "depleted" uranium. These proposed reactors would burn the fuel to completion and leave almost no waste, do not require refueling over their design life and do not have a runaway mode.



Kalendjay, sd, Lets hope the private sector comes through...


Burns nuclear waste or runs through all the Uranium inventory starting from 1.8% U235 enrichment.

If they pull it off its CO2-free Energy forever and our next challenge will be how to regulate the waste-heat from 9 billion humans living "Western" lifestyles..

I haven't kept track of all the various Molten-salt reactor proposals around the world. I guess it's close to a dozen, some of them with very large state funding (like China). I think there's reasonable chance of one them coming though.

Meanwhile better PV's means more demand for high performance batteries which we need for transportation.

Here in Australia its now obvious that we need batteries to continue to scale PV. Utilities now buy electricity back at genuine wholesale prices (4 cents per KWHr) so people want to use their solar power to reduce their purchases of retail electricity (which often costs over 30 cents per KWHr). Hence, batteries!

There's plenty of room for good ideas in different technologies.


Fast neutron reactors can burn the 700,000 tons of depleted uranium and leave no long term waste.

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