Bioenergy, Energy Efficiency, Geothermal, Hydropower, Solar, Storage, Wind Power

Update: Conferenced Stimulus Bill Retains Renewable Energy Provisions

The House and Senate conferees have reached a deal on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The agreement was reached late last night and has cut the total value of the bill to US $789 billion. The bill will be a boon for the renewable energy industry. All of the provisions that were contained in the Senate version of the bill were retained. In addition, the grants in lieu of tax credits clause that the House version of the bill contained made the final package.

The renewable energy, transmission and energy efficiency measures of the bill are outlined below.

The new bill contains $20 billion for tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next 10 years including:

  • 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).
  • Grants of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a new renewable energy facility to address current renewable energy credit market concerns. The grant money was originally slated to go through DOE, but RenewableEnergyWorld.com is now hearing that the money will be distributed through the Treasury Department.
  • Establishment of a new manufacturing investment tax credit (ITC) 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.
  • Clean renewable energy bonds for state and local governments.
  • Extensions for tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors or insulation.
  • A tax credit for families that purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles of up to $7,500 to spur the next generation of American cars.

In additon, $30 billion will go to smart power grid, advanced battery technology and energy efficiency measures including the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable, U.S. development of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems through loans and grants.

The bill also provides $400 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to support research into energy sources and energy efficiency in collaboration with industry as well as $580 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, including the Technology Innovation Program and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

There are also provisions to provide $5 billion to make improvements in DoD facilities, including housing for our troops and about $4.5 billion to make federal office buildings more energy-efficient in order to achieve long-term savings for taxpayers.

The bill could be reintroduced and voted on in the House as early as Friday. The original plan was to bring the bill back up today however House Democrats want longer to look at the changes before the motion is considered on the floor.

RenewableEnergyWorld.com will have more on the bill, including a more detailed breakdown as it becomes available. Stay tuned for updates.