August 4, 2021

Congress decides on what Renewable Energy and Energy Storage should and shouldn’t expect

2 min read

President Donald Trump has recently signed a bill into law. The move has prevented the government from shutting down, and there are relief funds of about $900 billion flowing into the economy. One of the primary beneficiaries of the signing are groups in the clean energy industry. They will enjoy billions of dollars set aside for development and research, as well as the extension of the key tax incentive. However, the bill did not cater to all the needs of the wind and solar power groups. They will have to enjoy what they have now while hoping that the new administration will fix the rest.

One of the privileges that come with the bill is the investment Tax Credit (ITC) extensions. The solar power groups will enjoy ITC for another two years. Its percentage will remain 26 up until 2022, but it will reduce to 22 in 2023. For projects facilitated by the credit, the groups have up to 1st January 20206 to complete them. As far as Solar Energy Industries Association CEO Abigail Ross Hopper, the change is quite remarkable and will help significantly during the coming solar decade.

On the other hand, offshore wind groups will enjoy an ITC of up to 30 percent for projects until the end of 2025. According to the American Council of Renewable Energy CEO Gregory Welstone, it will help anyone plan to venture into the clean energy industry and even the existing projects.

There is also hope that it will be possible to promote renewable energy development on public land. Instead of going to the congress, the upcoming Biden administration will handle it as the executive through DOE and Interior Department. If DOI is instructed to simplify the permitting process when dealing with public lands, the Renewable Energy Coordination Office will have a say. Deb Haaland, the incoming Interior Secretary, will have the power to reduce the leases that wind and solar projects pay. He can also set a target that by 2025, groups developing renewable energy on public land should hit the 25 gigawatts mark. If the policy is enacted accordingly, its impact will be positive and beneficial to the parties.

Groups revolving around energy storage, wind and solar also expect an energy R&D package worth $35 billion.  In the next five years, wind power, energy storage, and solar power will be expecting $625 million, $1.08 billion, and $1.5 billion, respectively.

However, it is not yet perfect for the groups. For instance, those in energy storage didn’t get ITC. For those enjoying the ITC, there is no hope for refundability or direct pay given the current trying economic times. Other issues that the bill didn’t cover were the carbon-pricing mechanism and the clean energy standard.

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