On the Political Climate podcast this week:
The Inflation Reduction Act is the largest investment in clean energy ever made by the federal government. Among the bill’s more than 700 pages is a lesser-known provision that could play a pivotal role in transforming existing dirty energy infrastructure to serve the clean energy economy of the future.
The new Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment Program — also known as the Section 1706 program — gives the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office $5 billion, with the authority to provide up to $250 billion in low-interest loans. These loans could radically change the energy landscape. The program could fund efforts to repurpose old coal and gas plant sites to deploy clean energy projects, leveraging existing infrastructure to save on costs while delivering economic benefits to communities.
Political Climate hosts Julia Pyper, Shane Skelton and Brandon Hurlbut are joined by two guests to discuss this new program: Alexander Bond, deputy general counsel for climate and clean energy at the Edison Electric Institute, and Uday Varadarajan, a principal at the clean-energy nonprofit RMI. They discuss the innovative structure of the Section 1706 program, challenges the Loan Programs Office will face as it rolls out the funding, and the opportunities for the program to help clean up the U.S. electric grid.
Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or pretty much wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.
Political Climate is brought to you by MCE. Today, MCE offers nearly 40 Bay Area communities almost twice as much renewable energy as the state average. The power of MCE is about more than clean energy — it’s the power of people over profit. Learn more at mceCleanEnergy.org.
Support for Political Climate also comes from Climate Positive, a podcast from Hannon Armstrong, the first U.S. public company solely dedicated to investing in climate solutions. The Climate Positive podcast features candid conversations with the leaders, innovators and changemakers driving our climate-positive future. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.