Catalyst podcast: Inside the Department of Energy’s loan deal to back hydrogen

January 11, 2022

PODCAST – First-of-a-kind projects are, by definition, unproven. Despite the abundance of capital in climatetech these days, the valley of death for new technologies still exists.

But there are solutions out there. And this week on Catalyst, we have a case study of one of them.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office has $40 billion of capacity to help solve exactly this kind of problem. It just announced its first conditional commitment for a $1 billion loan guarantee to help chemicals and energy company Monolith scale up its first megaplant in Nebraska.

We brought both sides of the negotiating table on the podcast: Rob Hanson, the CEO and co-founder of Monolith, and Jigar Shah, the director of the DOE’s Loan Programs Office.

Jigar shares what he’s heard from lenders about why loan guarantees are important and why commercial banks are reluctant to place bets on these first-of-a-kind plants. He also addresses misconceptions about the office’s role in the climatetech ecosystem.

Read more here.

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