Chu said he shares Schumer’s concerns, but nonetheless criticized the proposal. He said the way to attract domestic manufacturing is to continue building power projects, which increases demand.
“You have to create the U.S. market, then manufacturing migrates here, then, as manufacturing migrates here, the supply chain will be developed here,” Chu said.
“If you have a moratorium on that, I am a little afraid that will kill a lot of jobs. A lot of stuff in the pipeline will be put on hold,” he added.
The grant program was created in the stimulus in order to help power project developers that were struggling to corral financing during the downturn.
Traditional renewable energy tax credit financing dried up because project funders lacked profits – and hence tax liabilities – that the credits could offset. The stimulus allows developers to access federal grants in lieu of tax credits.
Chu spoke to reporters after addressing a conference held by the Export-Import Bank of the United States. He noted in his remarks that over 60 percent of the value of U.S. wind projects are already sourced domestically, and that the levels are going up.