Plans for an expansion of renewables in California are threatened by handling of applications and by federal foot-dragging. The complaint, reported by the Los Angeles Times, came from the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger who, objected to the delays caused by extremely laborious procedures, especially regarding loan-guarantees to finance projects that were estimated in up to 30 billion dollars.
Schwarzenegger claimed that several initiatives have been cleared by state authorities, including seven large-scale concentrating solar power projects that would have supplied energy to 3 million Southern California homes. It is emphasized that at stake are approximately 12,000 new projects that would be highly significant for the creation of new jobs and would allow the removal of large amounts of fossil fuels from California’s energy balance.
Although some large projects can be developed without federal guarantees (for example, the very large 3,000 MW Alta Wind power initiative), delays caused by federal authorities usually weigh heavily on this sector. Schwarzenegger pointed out that several projects, especially large solar ones, cannot do without subsidies and loan guarantees, considering that the market still suffers from recession, which tightened credit markets.
Schwarzenegger, in a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu last week, said the delays in getting loans approved threatened state plans for a tenfold increase in solar thermal power output, the biggest jump in almost 30 years.
"Without immediate and urgent attention from the DOE, many of these projects will not be financed and built," Schwarzenegger wrote.