Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dept. of Energy: Further Actions Are Needed to Improve DOE’s Ability to Evaluate and Implement the Loan Guarantee Program

Government Accountability Office Report 10-627 finds that the Department of Engery has broadly indicated the loan program’s direction but has not developed all the tools necessary to assess progress.

DOE has explained, through agency documents, that the program is intended to support early commercial production and use of new or significantly improved technologies in energy projects that abate emissions of air pollutants or of greenhouse gases and have a reasonable prospect of repaying the loans.

GAO has found that to help operationalize such policy goals efficiently and effectively, agencies should develop associated performance goals that are objective and quantifiable and cover all program activities. DOE has linked the LGP to two departmentwide performance goals, namely to (1) double renewable energy generating capacity by 2012 and (2) commit conditionally to loan guarantees for two nuclear power facilities to add a specified minimum amount of capacity in 2010. However, the two performance goals are too few to reflect the full range of policy goals for the LGP.

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