Environment  
comments_image Comments

What's Green About the New Stimulus Deal?

There's lots of good news -- from a tax credit for renewables to the $50 billion nuclear industry giveaway being axed. Here's the highlights.
 
 
Share
 
 
 
 

A final deal was reached on a $789 billion stimulus plan (see NYT here). One of the best pieces of news is that the $50 billion in fraudulent budget gimmickry on behalf of the nuclear industry was axed, as I posted last night.

There's also a 3-year extension of the production tax credit for wind and other renewables, which will be crucial to Obama meeting his goal to " double the production of alternative energy in the next three years." And there's an expanded tax credit for plug in hybrids, which will be critical for Obama to meet his goal of one million plug-ins by 2015.

The conferees did put back $400 million for DOE's ARPA-E program, which in normal circumstances would be mostly duplicative of existing DOE R&D programs (see " Note to media on ARPA-E"). But it is new money, and will give Stephen Chu something to chew on quickly.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has distributed a fact sheet on the conference report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Here are the details on what's green in ARRA (and I'll also post the science and tech stuff):

Clean, Efficient, American Energy: To put people back to work today and reduce our dependence on foreign oil tomorrow, we will increase renewable energy production and renovate public buildings to make them more energy efficient.

Smart Grid/Advanced Battery Technology/Energy Efficiency

  • Provides a total of $30 billion for such initiatives as a new, smart power grid, advanced battery technology, and energy efficiency measures, which will create nearly 500,000 jobs.
  • Transforms the nation's electricity systems through the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable.
  • Supports U.S. development of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems through loans and grants so that America can lead the world in transforming the way automobiles are powered.
  • Helps state and local governments make investments in innovative best practices to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduce energy usage.
  • Spurs energy efficiency and renewable energy R&D.

Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs

  • Provides $20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next 10 years.
  • Includes a three-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for electricity derived from wind (through 2012) and for electricity derived from biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, and marine facilities (through 2013).
  • Provides grants of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a new renewable energy facility to address current renewable energy credit market concerns.
  • Promotes energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.
  • Provides a tax credit for families that purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles of up to $7,500 to spur the next generation of American cars.
  • Includes clean renewable energy bonds for State and local governments.
  • Establishes a new manufacturing investment tax credit for investment in advanced energy facilities, such as facilities that manufacture components for the production of renewable energy, advanced battery technology, and other innovative next-generation green technologies.

Landmark Energy Savings at Home

  • Provides $5 billion for landmark provisions to improve the energy efficiency of more than 1 million modest-income homes through weatherization.
  • This will save modest-income families on average $350 per year on their heating and air conditioning bills.

Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits to HUD-Assisted Housing

  • Provides a total of $6.3 billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally-supported housing programs.
  • Specifically, establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing (elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.
  • Also invests in energy efficiency upgrades in public housing, including new windows, furnaces, and insulation to improve living conditions for residents and lower the cost of operating these facilities.

All in all, an impressive down payment on the transition to a clean energy economy.

 
See more stories tagged with: