November 5, 2009 / 8:01 PM / 8 years ago

U.S. Ex-Im Bank to promote renewable energy exports

3 Min Read

<p>An array of solar panels point to the Nevada sky as they generate electricity for use on Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada May 27, 2009.Jason Reed</p>

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Export-Import Bank on Thursday said it will provide up to $250 million to help finance exports of U.S.-built-and-designed technology used in generating renewable energy including solar, wind and geothermal.

"We want to help American manufacturers produce green technology for the world," said Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank. "This common sense approach is good for the environment. It's good for business, and it's good for American workers."

The renewable financing facility is part of the Ex-Im Bank's new comprehensive carbon policy it adopted to support U.S. exports that fight global warming.

The bank said it wants to become a leader in financing climate-friendly technologies made by U.S. companies, including those that cut greenhouse gas emissions and boost energy efficiency.

Global investment through 2030 could total $2.1 trillion for wind turbines and $1.5 trillion for solar photovoltaic panels, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

China alone is spending about $9 billion a month on clean energy, the department said. The Ex-Im Bank will help U.S. companies get some of that business.

The bank will support U.S. renewable exports by guaranteeing repayment of loans given to companies in case they default, providing export credit insurance and making direct loans.

The Bank's carbon policy also supports the Obama administration's plan to create jobs in the new green economy.

"In the coming years, there will be a vigorous effort to limit carbon pollution that will require a massive deployment of clean energy technologies," U.S. Energy Secretary Chu said last week at a Senate hearing on climate change legislation.

"The only question is which countries will invent, manufacture, and export these clean technologies and which countries will become dependent on foreign products?" he added.

Chu pointed out that the United States manufactured more than 40 percent of the world's solar cells in the mid 1990s, and the U.S. share today is just 7 percent.

The Ex-Im Bank said it would also push the other 29 industrialized countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to create financing incentives for projects that spew fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Editing by Christian Wiessner

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