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Government Energy Finance Blog

Welcome to the Holland & Knight Government Energy Finance Blog, featuring news, analysis and strategies related to accessing government grants, loans and contracts from states and federal agencies, including the Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture and Department of Defense.

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With Hurricane Florence approaching last week, Congress took two key actions with regard to clean energy. While many would argue that the timing of these two actions is purely coincidental, it's very possible that the federal government's continued role in extreme weather preparedness and response continues to give Congress the nudges it needs to pass more expansive clean energy legislation.
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September 18, 2018
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is creating a new loan guarantee program that will offer attractive financing to American Indian tribes for energy development projects. While the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (Tribal Energy LGP) is authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to issue guarantees for eligible projects totaling in aggregate up to $2 billion, the program was only recently funded under the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus Spending Bill.
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Following passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 omnibus spending bill in March, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has continued to gain momentum in issuing funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for millions of dollars in innovative energy research & development (R&D) projects. With its budget increased by 11 percent, the DOE is now targeting R&D into advanced biofuels through four new FOAs focused on feedstock development and conversion process engineering. Reflecting the Trump Administration’s policy priorities, these FOAs are targeting early-stage R&D efforts that have the potential to meaningfully advance the state-of-the-art in the bioeconomy. What follows is an overview of these new opportunities followed by some general application guidance derived from our experience working with these programs.
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May 22, 2018
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The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) has recently released a grant notice for $25 million in cybersecurity funding entitled "Industry Partnerships for Cybersecurity of Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) Research, Development and Demonstration." This is the first industry-focused funding solicitation since Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. Given the exponential increase in cyber risk to the energy sector in recent years, members of Congress provided a 22 percent increase in funding for DOE cybersecurity initiatives in the recent FY 2018 omnibus spending bill.
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Following on the passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 omnibus spending bill last month, which increased funding for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by 11 percent over FY 2017, the DOE has begun to issue funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for innovative energy research and development (R&D). Specifically, the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has opened new FOAs targeting solar energy and hydrogen fuel cell development.
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After its closest call in 14 years, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) – which issues loans to innovative energy technology projects that cannot otherwise access commercial financing – has been saved from elimination by House and Senate appropriators in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.
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After years of stalled projects and program improvements, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Section 9003 Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (Section 9003 Program) had an unprecedented year in 2017.
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The current political climate – in conjunction with increased fiscal scrutiny around domestic energy initiatives – has shifted priorities at the Department of Energy (DOE) to focus on increasing investment in advanced fossil and nuclear energy technologies.
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The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) recently announced up to $100 million in available funding for applied research and development (R&D) projects into transformational energy technology solutions.
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Following the appropriations battles on Capitol Hill this summer, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has again begun to issue funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for innovative energy research and development (R&D).
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September 29, 2017
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Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water released a bill that significantly slashes funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, especially to key programs that support energy innovation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.
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Even though the Trump Administration has proclaimed an "all of the above" energy strategy, many of the Administration's actions have seemed to favor coal and fossil fuels at the expense of clean and innovative energy solutions. However, one market segment in which an integration of the two is clearly favorable is the federal energy procurement market.
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The Trump Administration's budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2018 includes spending cuts for many civilian agencies and research programs, including some promoting innovation in energy, in exchange for increases for the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.
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Top automakers began the rollout of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) technologies. Accordingly, the federal government has begun prioritizing this area of technology innovation through competitive grants and opportunities to collaborate with the National Laboratories.

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As President Donald Trump's nominee for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue would also be in charge of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Office and renewable energy programs. During his time as governor, Perdue was no stranger to initiatives that emphasized energy efficiency.
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January 25, 2017
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A discussion of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as President-Elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of defense.
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President-Elect Donald Trump announced this week three new cabinet nominees who will certainly influence U.S. energy policy at home and abroad. This alert is an update on the President-Elect's nominees and their expected preliminary impacts on energy policy.
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December 16, 2016
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A closer look at top Department of Energy (DOE) programs related to clean energy innovation – including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and the Loan Programs Office (LPO) – and what historical trends may indicate about their near- and long-term futures.
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Part two of our analysis of what the Trump administration means for renewable and sustainable energy providers. This second blog post in the series focuses on Trump’s nomination of retired General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense as a result of his work during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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Part one of analysis of what the Trump administration means for renewable and sustainable energy providers. The initial blog post in this series will focus on the Department of Defense’s sustainable energy programs under the Trump Administration, while the posts that follow will focus on Department of Energy, Department of Interior, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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