Indiana Adopts Clean Energy Incentive Program

The state of Indiana will implement reductions of pollution from power plants, including an incentive program for renewable energy projects.

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, US, 2001-06-08 [SolarAccess.com] The state of Indiana will implement reductions of pollution from power plants, including an incentive program for renewable energy projects. The Indiana Air Pollution Control Board has unanimously adopted a rule that requires large reductions in nitrogen oxide from power plants and other large industrial sources. The rule will reduce overall NOx emissions from power plants in the state by 65 percent and overall industrial emissions by 31 percent The rule also establishes an emissions trading program to facilitate compliance by affected sources. “This is a tremendous victory for public health and clean economic development,” says Tim Maloney, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council. “This rule will bring cleaner air for Indiana through significant reductions in power plant pollution. The icing on the cake is the incentive program for new, cleaner energy technologies.” The incentive program is part of the emissions trading program. Sponsors of projects involving wind energy or energy efficiency can apply for trading allowances from the state Environmental Management department, and qualifying projects would be given trading allowances that they could sell in the trading market, providing financial incentives for the projects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that NOx trading allowances could sell on the open market for $2,000, which would make Indiana’s program worth $2.1 million in incentives for renewables and efficiency projects. By comparison, New York’s program would equal $2.5 million while Massachusetts’ and New Jersey’s would equal $1.2 million and $800,000 respectively. Indiana becomes the fifth state in the U.S and the first in the Midwest to adopt such a clean energy incentive program. The others that have adopted similar programs are New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts. Indiana’s program is the second largest of the programs, behind New York. “It’s significant that a Midwestern state that is so dependent on coal has adopted a program like this,” adds Maloney. “This is the first of many steps needed to diversify Indiana’s energy mix.” Examples of clean energy projects include wind energy, solar, fuel cells, installation of insulation and efficient lighting. Project sponsors will have to document that their projects will reduce or displace at least one ton of NOx pollution from power plants, and smaller projects can join together to qualify for the program. “As a matter of state policy, Indiana should take full advantage of opportunities to promote efficiency and renewable energy projects,” says Grant Smith of the Citizens Action Coalition. “The NOx Rule provides such an opportunity to incentivize these technologies.” “A recent report estimated that by 2020, with the proper incentives, Indiana’s wind turbine and photovoltaic capacity could reach 544 and 47 megawatts respectively,” he explains. “Perhaps with further technological advances, those numbers could increase.”

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