Category Archives: Incentives

How heat pumps can cut carbon pollution from buildings

Contributed by Sarah Kennedy, ChavoBart Digital Media.
Posted on Yale Climate Connections

“These new cold climate air source heat pumps are functional down to -10, -15 degrees,” [Chris Carrick with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board] says. And they run on electricity, so they generate heat without burning oil, natural gas or other fuels on site. According to a report by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, switching to heat pumps could dramatically reduce the carbon pollution caused by home heating. They have the most impact in places with renewable electricity. Read more here.

More Yale Climate Connections Posts / Audio 

Nebraska Information Sources on the Above Topics 

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

District 24 senator supports, sponsors ImagiNE Nebraska Act: ‘Good for Nebraska’ movement kicks off with statewide supporters

York News-Times

District 24 State Senator Mark Kolterman, along with other Nebraska lawmakers, economic developers, community leaders and chambers of commerce executives, is participating in a statewide “Good for Nebraska” movement to reiterate the economic benefits of incentive programs to communities of various sizes.

ImagiNE Nebraska comes as Nebraska’s current economic incentives program, the Nebraska Advantage Act, prepares to sunset in 2020. Since 1987, incentive programs have created nearly 110,000 Nebraska jobs, and sparked more than $35 billion in qualified investment for the State of Nebraska. Currently, all 50 states, as well as Guam and Puerto Rico, offer economic incentive programs. The “ImagiNE Nebraska Act” (LB 720) revises and enhances Nebraska’s incentives by encouraging the creation of higher paying jobs and more investment from employers both in Nebraska and outside the state. The bill has 19 cosponsors. Read more here.

 Additional Recommended Reading

Wind & Solar Businesses

Among potential economic development opportunities, the ImagiNebraska Act (LB 720) would provide incentives for renewable energy businesses, enabling our state to grow our outstanding clean energy resources and, potentially, create the need for solar module and wind turbine manufacturing and recycling businesses. These economic developments would allow Nebraska to keep even more of our energy dollars within our state and, in particular, provide a lifeline to local farmers and rural communities through more and more wind and solar land leases and tax revenues.

Recommended Reading

It’s no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry. Freak weather, oversupply, trade wars, pesticide damage—it’s been a perfect storm, on top of all the regular storms, for American farmers. The American Farm Bureau Federation, commonly just called the Farm Bureau, released a study examining the end result of all of that damage: bankruptcies.

The Farm Bureau, a lobbying group that typically leans to the corporate side of farming, analyzed statistical data from the US Courts concerning bankruptcy filings. For the year leading up to September 2019, American farm bankruptcies were up by a whopping 24 percent compared to the year before. During this mostly-2019 period, there were 580 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings.

  • Farm Bankruptcies Rise Again: Chapter 12 Filings Increase 24% Compared to Year-Ago Levels, American Farm Bureau Report. For the twelve-month period ending in September 2019, bankruptcy filings were the highest in Wisconsin at 48 filings, followed by 37 filings in Nebraska, Kansas and Georgia.

  • States With the Most Farm Bankruptcies, U.S. News & World Report
    By the end of the year, the agricultural industry is expected to receive around $33 billion related to trade and disaster assistance, the farm bill and insurance indemnities from the federal government, the [American Farm Bureau] report notes. But even with record amounts of help, the outlook for family farms this year doesn’t look promising: farm debt is expected to reach $416 billion in 2019, the highest level ever.

More Than 70 Associations Back Renewable Energy Extension Act

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

More than 70 organizations representing farmers, homebuilders, environmental groups, electric cooperatives and a variety of other industries sent a letter to Congress urging them to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act.

“It’s not every day that you see higher ed advocates and farm families agree on energy policy,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Extending the Investment Tax Credit is common sense and this effort shows us just how many people, communities, and interests it touches. Whether you want to reduce emissions, stimulate economic investment, or create jobs, we’re showing Congress that the ITC is a proven policy that can do all of those things.” Read the entire news release here.

Join SEIA’s campaign to extend the ITC: seia.org/defendtheitc

Forecast: Solar Tax Credit Extension Would Boost Jobs, Economy and Climate Fight

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

An extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) would spark $87 billion in new private sector investment and add 113,000 American jobs over baseline estimates by 2030, according to 10-year forecasts released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

The forecasts come as SEIA ramps up its efforts to secure an extension of the ITC in Congress, and as nearly 20,000 solar and storage professionals descend on Salt Lake City for Solar Power International. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

House and Senate Introduce Legislation for 5-Year Extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Paul Cook (R-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have introduced companion bills with a five-year 30% extension of Section 48 and Section 25D Solar Investment Tax Credits (ITC). The Renewable Energy Extension Act will call for the extension of the tax credits.

Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, urging lawmakers to pass this critical legislation:

Continue Reading Here.

MAYORS FOR SOLAR ENERGY

 

More than 250 mayors nationwide sign letter calling for increased solar power, Environment America News Release
Municipal leaders from all 50 states support more clean energy from the sun.


MORE NEWS & OPINION

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

SOLSMART NEWS

Southwest Virginia Communities Achieve National Recognition for Advancing Solar Energy Growth, News Release, Appalachian Voices. Eight Southwest Virginia communities have achieved designation under the national SolSmart program for encouraging the growth of local solar energy markets, at a time when several major solar installations on schools, businesses, and community centers are poised to begin across the region. These communities were each awarded a SolSmart designation for taking local action to reduce the time and expense required to install solar energy systems. 

USDA Has More Than $400 Million Still Available for Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Loan Guarantees

USDA News Release

Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley encourages farmers, rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for financing in a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that provides grants and loan guarantees to help lower their energy costs. Read more here.

LINKS TO ADDITIONAL PROGRAM INFORMATION

LINKS TO INCENTIVES & MORE 

Federal Investment Tax Credit: 30% to December 31, 2019.

SEIA Infographic 

LES Solar Incentive
Additionally, LES customers may qualify for a one-time capacity payment of up to $1,000 per kilowatt of peak demand reduced. The total amount customers can receive is determined by the system size and primary direction the system is facing, for example:

  • Southern facing fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $375.
  • Western facing or single or dual axis tracking fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $475.

    Source: 
    Customer-owned Renewable Generation

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources

More Farm Energy Resources

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Local Do-It-Yourself Solar Project & Two How-To Guidebooks

Featured Solar Example
Colin Croft’s Do-It-Yourself Project in Gering, Nebraska

Project Description: Grid-tied 5.4-kilowatt PV system in rural Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska, which generates enough to about “break even” in overall consumption/generation for this year-round home (electric heat supplemented by wood stove).  Twenty 260/270w panels tied to Enphase M250 micro-inverters/Enphase Envoy gateway were used.  The array was mounted about 25 degrees east of due south using basic and inexpensive Unistrut framing, bolted to E mounts by Quick Mount PV, which were installed during replacement of the old roof with a new composite roof.
Production/consumption monitoring using SiteSage for Homes/Powerhouse Dynamics.
PDF Download: DIY PV Installation & Passive Solar Sunroom, written by Colin Croft

DO-IT-YOURSELF BOOKS

Mobile Solar Power Made Easy!


Subtitle: Do-it-yourself Guidebook to Vehicle Mounted Solar System Design and Installation, by William Errol Prowse IV. The guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to size and install a solar system for an RV, van, car and boat.

Install Your Own Solar Panels

Subtitle: Designing and Installing a Photovoltaic System to Power Your Home
Through detailed directions and step-by-step photos, veteran solar installer Joseph Burdick and seasoned builder Philip Schmidt teach you how to determine the size, placement, and type of installation you’ll need. This comprehensive DIY guide covers everything from assembling rooftop racking or building a ground-mounted structure to setting up the electrical connections and making a battery bank for off-grid systems.

LINKS TO INCENTIVES TO REDUCE YOUR PROJECT COST
PLUS ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems: 30% to December 31, 2019.
Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Solar Energy Industries Association 

LES Solar Incentive
Additionally, LES customers may qualify for a one-time capacity payment of up to $1,000 per kilowatt of peak demand reduced. The total amount customers can receive is determined by the system size and primary direction the system is facing, for example:

  • Southern facing fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $375.
  • Western facing or single or dual axis tracking fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $475.

Source: Customer-owned Renewable Generation

Senators launch bipartisan initiative on long term solutions to expiring energy tax credits

By Iulia Gheorghiu, Editor, Utility Dive


Tax credits have proven effective in jump-starting energy industries and driving adoption of new technology and infrastructure. However, as credits wind down, the renewable energy industry has been gripped by uncertainty in recent years, with federal legislators approving short-term extensions. Both the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee announced a bipartisan initiative on Thursday to craft long-term solutions for the expiring tax breaks, with task forces focused on energy tax credits and disaster tax relief among others. Read more here.

Image Credit: Sen. Chuck Grassley, via YouTube

New SEIA Fact Sheet: Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Solar ITC 101: What is the Solar Investment Tax Credit?

The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the growth of solar energy in the United States. Since the ITC was enacted in 2006, the U.S. solar industry has grown by more than 8,600% – creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and investing billions of dollars in the U.S. economy in the process. In 2015, SEIA successfully advocated for a multi-year extension of the credit, which has provided critical stability for businesses and investors. Despite the overwhelming success and popularity of the ITC, the value of the credit will unfortunately start decreasing after 2019. Read more here.

New toolkit provides U.S. cities with ten ways to go solar

Environment America News Release

With local municipalities playing an increasingly important role in the clean energy revolution, Environment America Research and Policy Center released a new toolkit to support cities and towns nationwide in capturing more clean renewable energy from the sun. Ten Ways Your Community Can Go Solar offers practical ways to take advantage of millions of available rooftops across the country.

“If we’re going to forestall catastrophic climate change and protect our cities and towns from the effects of extreme weather, there’s nothing better than clean, locally harvested renewable power,” said Susan Rakov, chair of Environment America Research and Policy Center’s Clean Energy Program. “Rooftop solar can make communities cleaner, safer and more self-reliant. Cities and towns need to put the pieces in place to help this technology thrive.” Read more here.

Links to Solar Energy Incentives & Additional Resources

Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems: 30% to December 31, 2019.
Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Additionally, LES customers may qualify for a one-time capacity payment of up to $1,000 per kilowatt of peak demand reduced. The total amount customers can receive is determined by the system size and primary direction the system is facing, for example:

  • Southern facing fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $375.
  • Western facing or single or dualaxis tracking fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $475.

Source: Customer-owned Renewable Generation

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources