Last Thursday the White House announced a series of public and private sector commitments and executive actions to advance solar deployment and promote energy efficiency. President Obama is investing $68 million in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide, including 240 solar projects. The funding is being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which offers financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.
In addition the DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network is launching a veterans’ job training pilot project at up to three military bases this fall. The pilot project will connect a talented Veteran population with DOE’s extensive network of more than 400 community college-based solar training institutions. The network will assist at least 50,000 highly-qualified new solar installers to enter the industry by 2020.
The growth of solar has been fueled in part by access to innovative financing tools. Today, DOE is releasing an updated Guide to Federal Financing for Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Deployment. This guide will highlight financing programs located in various Federal agencies, such as the Treasury, HUD, and USDA, which can be used for energy efficiency and clean energy projects.
The White House will host a roundtable discussion in October on how to facilitate increased capital flows into the solar market through measures such as the collection of performance data and the standardization of contracts and risk assessment tools. The meeting will bring together senior advisors from the White House and DOE, solar developers, investors, ratings agencies, and other relevant experts.
The administration is also driving federal procurement of solar. In April, the Administration launched a Capital Solar Challenge, directing Federal agencies, military installations, and Federally-subsidized complexes to identify opportunities to deploy solar energy at Federal locations across the National Capital Region. As part of the Capital Solar Challenge’s private sector outreach, the General Services Administration (GSA) will host an Industry Day on October 23, in Washington D.C. to perform market research and answer developers and investors questions about GSA’s procurement approach. The GSA Contracting Officer and Leadership will be present to discuss the Agency’s strategy for deploying solar in the National Capital Region and for using solar to help meet Federal renewable energy goals with industry.
Categories: Economic Indicators