Biden’s Green Energy Bank Races to Leverage $394 Billion to Scale Cleantech – by Zahra Hirji and Ari Natter (Bloomberg News – January 17, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — An obscure arm of the US Energy Department is racing against the clock to leverage as much as $394 billion to speed the country’s fight against climate change.

Mostly sidelined by the Trump administration, the agency’s Loan Programs Office has been revived under President Joe Biden and armed with more money following the passage last year of the country’s landmark climate law. But the office’s window of opportunity to support innovative low-carbon technologies could be short, with two years left in Biden’s term and no guarantee that a future president will prioritize it.

The office announced only four conditional loans or loan guarantees in 2021 and 2022. On Friday, officials said they were offering a fifth one — a conditional $700 million loan for a lithium-mining project in Nevada that’s expected to support electric vehicles.

But the office has more than 100 applications right now, so more deals — perhaps many more — may be coming, said Jigar Shah, the head of the office, in an interview last week at Bloomberg’s bureau in Washington.

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