Renewable Energy News Briefs - November 2021
Friday, November 5, 2021
Legislation to establish renewable energy investment tax credits (ITCs) and production tax credits (PTCs) for the domestic manufacturing of onshore wind energy components was introduced in September in both houses of Congress. The Onshore Wind American Manufacturing Act would create a 30% ITC for U.S.-based facilities that manufacture or assemble qualified onshore wind components. The bill would also establish a PTC worth 2 cents to 5 cents per watt and a 10% to 30% credit for related vehicles or specialty equipment designed to transport, install or maintain onshore wind components. The legislation requires prevailing wages for laborers and mechanics involved in the construction and expansion of qualified manufacturing facilities. The Senate bill was introduced by Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan. The House bill was introduced by Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Illinois.
A group of 25 senators sent a letter Oct. 1 to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, to include renewable energy property tax credits in the Internal Revenue Code as part of the nation’s recent budget reconciliation package. A direct-pay option would help low- and moderate-income households install solar energy systems, the letter states. The letter estimated that as many as 26 million homes are unable to claim the credit when factoring in low-income homeowners.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, introduced in September the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, a bill aimed at boosting solar panel manufacturing jobs in America by providing tax credits at every stage of the solar manufacturing supply chain, from polysilicon production to solar cells to fully assembled solar modules. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates H.B. 5423 could create tens of thousands of jobs. Nine members of the House cosponsored the bill. Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff brought companion legislation in the Senate.
Three members of the House of Representatives Sept. 8 introduced legislation that would create a tax credit for the production of “green” and “blue” hydrogen. The Clean Hydrogen Production and Investment Tax Credit Act of 2021 (H.R. 5192) would provide the tax credit to companies that reduce carbon emissions by the production of hydrogen. The credit would be worth an applicable amount (a sliding percentage, based on the production method, multiplied by $3, adjusted for inflation) multiplied by the kilograms of qualified clean energy produced by the taxpayer during the taxable year. The legislation was introduced by Reps. Suzan DelBene, D-Washington; John Larson, D-Connecticut, and Donald Beyer, D-Virginia.
The U.S. Department of Energy unveiled Sept. 8 its Solar Futures Study. The report found that the U.S. could make up to 40% of the nation’s electricity come from solar power by 2035. Such efforts could be done without raising electricity prices while employing as many as 1.5 million people and driving deep carbonization. The U.S. reached 76 gigawatts (GW) of solar power in 2020, representing 3% of the current supply.
The American Clean Power Association showed that U.S. project developers commissioned 5,620 MW of clean power capacity from April to June in its second-quarter market report released in August. The figure represents a 13% increase in volume over the same time frame in 2020. The first half of 2021 also saw a 17% increase in new clean power installations over the first six months in 2020.
Berkeley Lab’s Utility-Scale Solar report, issued in September, found nearly 9.6 GW of new, utility-scale photovoltaics came online in 2020, hiking the cumulative capacity to more than 38.7 GW across 43 states. The biggest growth came in Texas and Florida. Utility-scale photovoltaic’s levelized cost of solar energy fell to $34 per MWh in 2020, as low as $28 per MWh after factoring in the federal ITC.
Renewable Energy Tax Credits