By Adele Peters, Fast Company
According to the Sierra Club, there are still 172 active coal plants in the U.S. But the Inflation Reduction Act could help accelerate the shift that’s already underway. The new climate law has “definitely improved the economics of the ‘coal to clean’ transition in terms of making renewables cheaper,” says Michelle Solomon, policy analyst for electricity at the energy and climate think tank Energy Innovation, who is currently analyzing how the new law will impact the cost of coal versus renewables. The benefit is especially big, she says, in communities with an existing coal plant, where there’s now an extra 10% tax credit for new renewable projects.
The law extends existing tax credits for wind and solar power, but also adds a new tax credit for batteries, which is a critical way to help renewables compete with fossil power that’s available 24/7. “That means it’s a lot easier to integrate renewables into the utility’s overall portfolio,” she says. “If you’re building solar, you don’t have to use that solar energy during the middle of the day. You can shift it if you couple it with batteries.” Read more here.
RELATED NEWS & RESOURCES
- Report says many utilities are slow-walking clean energy goals, Nebraska Examiner
- Should Farmers Plant Solar Panels or Corn?, by Aaron Smith, DeLoach Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of California, Davis
The United States used 3.93 billion MWh of electricity in 2021. Generating that much electricity from solar farms would require only 20% of current corn acres.
- This Is a Billion-Dollar Blog Post, Department of Energy
- Solar Energy Resources, DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO)
- U.S. Department of Energy’s YouTube Videos
Farm Energy Management: Strategies to Save on Electric Bills, October 14, 2022, 11 a.m. to
This webinar is designed to teach farmers strategies to save on their electric bills. Electric bills are rapidly changing and becoming more complex. Simply using less electricity does not always yield significant savings. This three-part webinar series will cover electric bill components and how to interpret them as well as strategies to save on energy charges, demand charges, and power factor charges. These webinars are taught by Extension energy experts Eric Romich and John Hay from The Ohio State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Registration: https://go.unl.edu/v3xw
BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW NEWS & RESOURCES
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public input on a new $1 billion program to improve energy generation in rural or remote communities across the country. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program will strengthen the resilience, reliability, and availability of energy systems, helping communities unlock the public health and cost-saving benefits cleaner, more efficient energy provides. The new program reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued commitment to ensuring no communities are left behind in the historic transition to a clean energy future.
“For America to flourish, rural America must succeed,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.“Thanks to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE is making critical investments in energy infrastructure that strengthens the foundation of rural communities in America.”
- More Bipartisan Infrastructure Law News, Department of Energy
- President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, The White House
- The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Will Deliver for Nebraska, U.S. Department of Transportation
Build.Gov Website Resources
- Apply now for jobs to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
- Read the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook
This guidebook is a roadmap to the funding available under the law, as well as an explanatory document that shows, in as much detail as currently available, program-by-program information.
- Read about funding for transportation projects
- Read about funding for climate, energy, and the environment
- Read about funding for broadband
US DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
“At the Department of the Interior, I believe we have a unique opportunity to make our communities more resilient to climate change and to help lead the transition to a clean energy economy.” —Secretary Deb Haaland
The United States faces a profound climate crisis, and the Department of the Interior is poised to take action to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and meet the moment. The climate crisis is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us. In 2020, the United States experienced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events, with a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion.
FROM CANARY MEDIA
- How neighbors are banding together to get cheaper rooftop solar, by Jeff St. John
Nonprofit Solar United Neighbors helps demystify the buying process and win better deals by bundling customers. It’s also become a force for solar advocacy.
- Electric utilities 101: A breakdown of the basics on US power providers
SUN DAY CAMPAIGN REVIEW
FERC foresees 67.1 GW of new US solar and 17.5 GW of wind over next 3 years, Renewables Now
According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data recently released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), renewable sources accounted for almost 70% of the new US electrical generating capacity added during the first eight months of 2022. Moreover, net new “high probability” additions by solar and wind over the next three years are now projected to be more than 26-times that of natural gas.
About the Author: Ken Bossong is Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign, a non-profit research and educational organiсation promoting sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels.