U.S. Aims To Spur Cleantech Exports

Two major planks of the Obama presidency – investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and an invigorated export sector – are coming together in a new, coordinated federal initiative. Eight major U.S. agencies, led by the Departments of Energy and Commerce, are working together for the first time to “facilitate a significant increase of renewable energy and energy efficiency exports during the next five years.”

In a press release, the Energy Department said the time is right for such an effort, pointing out that more than 100 countries have policies in place to encourage the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. “Many of these countries have substantial deployment targets that will drive demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency for years to come,” it was said.

U.S. Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative

image via Export.gov

A key player in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative (RE&EE) will be one of the federal government’s more anonymous agencies – the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Its major tool in encouraging exports is to help international buyers finance projects that use U.S. goods and services. The bank said as part of the RE&EE, it “can provide repayment terms up to 18 years for renewable energy projects, offer capitalization of interest during construction, and support local costs up to 30 percent of the U.S. scope of supply.”

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.