Solar, Wind Power Boosted by Stimulus Bill

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The Covid 19 Stimulus Bill, waiting for President Trump’s signature,  has excellent Holiday Season news for clean energy and greenhouse reduction advocates. Here is what Inside Energy News writes:

In what Senate leaders are hailing as the single biggest victory in the fight against climate change to pass the U.S. Congress in a decade, Democratic and Republican lawmakers approved bipartisan legislation that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and further provide incentives for renewable energy developments.

It’s happening, in part, because, according to the Insider Clean Energy newsletter:

Support for clean energy is becoming less partisan, with more Republicans seeing the economic benefits of projects in their states or districts.

Inside Energy News list some highlights:

  • The solar investment tax credit got a two-year extension. This up-front credit will continue at its 2020 level in 2021 and 2022, and then phase down after that.
  • The wind production tax credit will get an extra year, meaning it will now be available for new projects that qualify before the end of 2021. This credit is based on the amount of electricity a project produces in its first 10 years.
  • Offshore wind gets its own investment tax credit, which will last for five years before a phasedown, and is retroactive to 2017. Under current law, offshore wind can qualify for an investment tax credit, but it is phasing out right as the offshore wind industry is on the cusp of a building boom.

The latter is big for New England, because as Dan Gearino of Insider Clean Energy  points out, the tax credit could help advance the proposed offshore Vineyard Wind 1 project. Offshore magazine writes: 

According to the company, the project is expected to power more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year.

Also in the bill, as we reported earlier, is a phase out of hydrofluorocarbons over the next 15 years. Inside Clean Energy writes:

an analysis by the Rhodium Group says will cut emissions equivalent to 900 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, more than the total annual emissions in Germany.

All of which is great Christmas Day news as long as a Grinch in the White House doesn’t torpedo it.

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