Biden administration appoints Jigar Shah as head of US DOE’s $ 44 billion loan program
The Biden administration chose Jigar Shah, a well-known figure in the microgrid community, to manage the Department of Energy (DOE) loan program, which has around $ 44 billion in lending authorities available. .
The DOE is expected to play a central role in the Biden administration’s efforts to tackle climate change. President Joe Biden aims to cut fossil fuels in the energy sector by 2035.
“We need to add hundreds of gigawatts to the grid over the next four years,” DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on March 3 at the CERAWeek conference hosted by IHS Markit. “It’s a huge sum. And there is so little time left.
Granholm said the DOE loan programs office, which closed a loan under the Trump administration, was “reopened for business.”
The office has provided $ 30 billion in loans and loan guarantees to emerging renewable energy and advanced technology projects, including early support for large-scale solar power and Tesla.
As the head of the loan program, Shah will be busy, according to Granholm.
“Much of this [loan] the authority has remained unused for the past four years, ”said Granholm. “But I’m ready to restart these engines so that we can drive the next generation of innovation and deployment.”
Shah’s firm helped fund microgrids
Most recently, Shah was co-founder and chairman of Generate Capital, a sustainable infrastructure investment firm, including micro-grids.
As part of its clean energy portfolio, San Francisco-based Generate Capital has helped finance modular microgrids developed by Scale Microgrid Solutions, a company with a strong focus on providing micro-grids for communities and businesses affected by power outages in California.
Shah touted the benefits of microgrids in January 2019 opinion piece in The Hill on technology that could make the network more resilient. “Micro-grids would make the biggest difference in the event of a natural disaster,” Shah said. “Their small and compact nature also means that some sections of the grille can be kept running even if everything else is turned off.”
Generate Capital, which has a portfolio of more than 2,000 sustainable energy, mobility, water, waste and agriculture projects, invests in solar, energy storage, fuel cells, among others. and building automation.
Shah also founded and ran SunEdison, a renewable energy company.
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“Jigar wrote the manual on how to drive the market towards clean energy solutions,” said Granholm. “It will help us build a portfolio of indomitable investments for American taxpayers that will help us fight climate change and create jobs.”
The DOE is ready to invest in advanced vehicles, carbon capture and advanced nuclear reactors, according to Granholm.
The department also plans to build on its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, which funds research and development for emerging technologies, Granholm said.
ARPA-E last month released a Request for $ 100 million for “clean” energy proposals.
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