Skip to main content

A Comparison of Loan Guarantee Volume by Energy Technology

Since the President’s support for nuclear was made clear at the State of the Union, our nuclear critics have dramatically ramped up their opposition to nuclear, particularly on loan guarantees.

Besides continuously repeating the debunked 50 percent default rate for nuclear, one detail often neglected by our critics is how much loan volume is proposed as well as currently available for various technologies. Below is a slide used by Jonathan Silver, Executive Director of the Loan Guarantee Program Office, in a briefing on his Office’s 2011 budget.

Currently, efficiency and renewables have $52.3 billion in loan volume, advanced vehicles have $25B, nuclear has $20.5B, and the fossil and fossil/EERE mix have $12.0B. If the President’s budget proposal is passed as is, nuclear will have almost as much loan volume as efficiency and renewables.

Maybe one of the reasons our nuclear critics neglect to mention this fact is because the proposed loan volume for nuclear makes it about equal to their favorite technologies. If technologies are competing against each other, any advantage that one can get over another is part of the game. But in this case, if the US’ goal is to incentivize emission-free technologies, then certainly it should be done in a fair and transparent manner - a fact often lost on the critics.

If anyone is interested in some real facts on loan guarantees, please feel free to peruse (pdf).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …