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Existing spending on climate change is insufficient – US energy official




View of the Duke Energy Marshall Power Plant in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, United States, November 29, 2018. REUTERS / Chris Keane

NEW YORK, July 22 (Reuters) – A new round of large-scale climate projects requiring financial support of around $ 1 trillion per year will be needed to meet the Biden administration’s carbon targets, a head of the US Department of Energy during a presentation.

“The pace at which we are deploying climate solutions is totally unacceptable,” said Jigar Shah, director of the lending programs office during a virtual panel hosted by IHS Markit as part of its CERAWeek conversation series.

The Biden administration has set a goal of achieving 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035. The US Department of Energy’s Lending Programs Office is set to provide funding for green technologies emerging markets that may not be eligible for commercial bank financing.

“At some point, we can turn on Wall Street to make the next $ 100 billion,” he said. “Each of these technologies has to reach a trillion dollar scale – that’s the only way to achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves.”

In the United States, about $ 200 billion is spent each year on new climate change mitigation efforts, Shah said.

“That number must probably be a trillion dollars a year” to meet the administration’s targets which will be announced in November at the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow.

Shah did not specify the planned announcement, but the administration has already set targets for a pollution-free economy by 2050.

The Loan Programs Office has approximately $ 46 billion in loans and loan guarantees available to help finance large-scale energy and energy infrastructure projects in the United States.

Shah’s office has received funding requests of around $ 7 billion per month for projects and is aware of 40 potential incoming projects in fields as diverse as advanced nuclear power to manufacturing electric vehicle batteries. .

Such projects could include broader approaches to carbon capture and sequestration, which involve sequestering carbon dioxide and preventing it from entering the atmosphere, which have gained traction on a smaller scale.

“Now the question is, what does scaling look like,” he said. “We have to find the next set of technologies.”

The loan guarantee program has come under scrutiny for past failures, including granting loans to solar cell maker Solyndra, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2011.

But Shah also pointed to successes, noting that a loan to a Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O) manufacturing plant helped launch the electric car company’s Model S.

Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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