December 15, 2021
Improving DOE’s Loan Programs Office
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) offers loans for energy projects in an effort to commercialize novel technologies. But the agency’s program is saddled with duplicative environmental review processes, which make it less appealing to finance partners. In a new insight, Director of Energy Policy Ewelina Czapla walks through challenges with and proposed solutions to the loan program and application process.
- The LPO offers direct loans and loan guarantees for energy projects that rely on newly commercialized technologies or technologies applied in novel use cases that may be considered risky by private investors.
- The application process requires the completion of environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and adds significant delay to a project’s construction.
- By reducing the burden of NEPA review, projects could more easily attract private investors.