Jane Marsh – Importance of Renewable Energy Federal Incentives and Grants – Renewable Energy Magazine

This would minimize the dependence on fossil fuels and make the country cleaner, healthier and environmentally friendly. Plus, the incentives would greatly benefit businesses, homes and individuals alike. The importance of renewable energy federal incentives and grants is significant for 2021 and beyond.

The Clean Energy for America Act

With the new Biden administration in office, there has been a step in the right direction with the Clean Energy for America Act. By the year 2030, Biden hopes to achieve at least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which can only be done with changes to the current structure around renewable energy taxes.

Senator Ron Wyden recently introduced the Clean Energy for America Act. It’s a bill proposing that three categories of technology-neutral tax credits replace the current 40 or more clean energy tax credits. These would encourage citizens to use clean electricity, transportation and have or use energy-efficient homes and buildings.

Incentives are available to Americans who wish to change their daily lives by switching to clean energy and efficiency. If the technologies they use meet emissions reduction goals, then they can obtain the incentives. 

The government would give a tax credit to facilities with zero or negative carbon emissions. The tax incentives differ between the three categories:

  • Clean electricity incentives: Facilities that reach a zero or negative emission score can either get a production tax credit with a maximum of 2.5 cents for every kilowatt-hour or a maximum 30% investment tax credit. Those who invest in grid improvements for solar or wind energy storage could get the full investment credit. 
  • Clean transportation incentives: Incentives would be available to those who use either battery or fuel cell vehicles, as well as a tax credit for domestically produced cars.
  • Energy conservation: Finally, homes and buildings that meet energy performance standards would receive tax incentives that would increase when they conserve more energy. 

Each incentive would encourage more people to switch to renewable energy. There are still some alterations that the administration must make to make these incentives more accessible, but it’s a good start.

New Grants Available Across America

Throughout the country, governments are offering new grants for a switch to renewable and clean energy. Here are some examples of current funding opportunities as well as ones coming up later this year:

  • SolSmart Program Management: This opportunity is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). It will award up to $10 million to an industry that will expand the DOE SolSmart program to expand access to solar energy.
  • Solar Funding Opportunity: Another solar grant provided by the DOE’s SETO offers a combined nearly $40 million to help lower costs and expand solar. Applications include topics such as solar heating, solar storage and advanced research.
  • Two national financial tools: The White House announced both a fund for project development to unlock renewable energy in the western U.S. and a loan that would provide connections to renewable energy for recognized tribal nations or Alaska Native corporations.

More grants will be available as the year goes on with the Biden administration. Hopefully, with these grants and tax incentives, Americans can help meet the goal to cut carbon emissions by 50%, making this country cleaner and more environmentally friendly.

 Why Is This Important?

Emissions cover nearly every region of the world. Using fossil fuels and being dependent on them for decades has left the earth vulnerable to destruction. Unfortunately, it takes incentives and grants for Americans to grasp alternative energy sources. However, as the climate crisis continues, more people see the need for a change in the environment and how they treat the earth.

These incentives are essential if people want to have a sustainable future and provide the same opportunities they have now for generations to come. Cleaner air would mean healthier humans and a safer environment for the ecosystems around the world.

Additionally, renewable energy provides greater security for energy consumption. Oil and other fossil fuels are bound to run out — there’s a limited supply. Renewable energy will always be there. As long as the sun shines and the wind blows, people will have available energy to live out their lives.

Envisioning a Future With Incentives for Renewables

It will take time for everyone to make the switch to renewable energy. The United States governing system is hopeful that the Clean Energy for America Act and other incentives will be a favorable investment and influence for citizens to use renewable energy.

 

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