September 22, 2009

US Reaches Over $1 Billion In Renewable Energy Investments

Government spending on renewable energy has reached more than $1 billion since the launch of the economic stimulus package.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday announced the addition of $550 million dollars to be spent on renewable energy projects, making the total amount spent by the US on such projects more than $1 billion.

"Not only are our Recovery dollars meeting an immediate funding need among innovative companies, they are also jumpstarting private sector investment in communities across the country "“ with benefits for the renewable energy industry and our economy alike," said Secretary Geithner.

Section 1603 of the Recovery Act allows for the investment of government funding to private renewable energy firms with the goal of helping companies retain jobs and "establish sufficient financing bases for projects that may otherwise not be possible, dramatically expanding and accelerating the development of renewable energy projects throughout the country," the Treasury and Energy Departments said in a joint statement.

"These investments are crucial to ensuring America can compete and win in the race for the clean energy jobs of the future.  With American workers and American innovation, we can and must lead the world when it comes to the new Industrial Revolution in clean energy," said Secretary Chu.

The program in place offers a cash payment in lieu of a tax credit totaling 30 percent of the qualifying cost of the project, which means the government invests one dollar for every two dollars spent in private investments.

The first round of awards was announced on September 1, 2009, accounting for $502 million, while Tuesday's announcement totaled $550 million.

The joint statement said that the investments are "having an immediate effect on the renewable energy industry" in three ways: recycling grants into new projects, increasing the flow of capital and attracting investment for domestic projects.


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