Unlike the initial stimulus package that was approved during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the more recent stimulus package that was passed by Congress on December 21, 2020 includes several measures to incentivize and subsidize both renewable and efficient energy projects throughout the U.S.
Most notably, the new stimulus bill contains extensions for wind and solar production tax credits (PTC), incentives for energy efficiency, and clean energy research & development credits. Provisions to aid the clean & renewable energy sectors were not included in the first stimulus bill back in Spring 2020 when the pandemic first hit. However, over the summer, bi-partisan support for clean energy grew stronger and the Senate came close to passing its ‘American Energy Innovation’ bill that would provide grants to clean & renewable projects in the fields of wind, solar, storage, nuclear, etc. Certain aspects of this bill were included in the stimulus package, marking the first time in over a decade that Congress has passed a comprehensive energy policy.
More specifically, the stimulus bill includes:
- 1-year extension for Solar & Wind Production Tax Credits (PTC)
- 2-year extension for Solar & Wind Investment Tax Credits (ITC)
- $2,000 credit for new Energy Efficient homes built before 12/31/2021
- $1.08 billion investment in energy storage R&D
- $2.36 billion for smart grid R&D
- $1.5 billion for solar R&D
- $625 million for wind R&D
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) was quoted saying that “The Energy Act of 2020 provides a down payment on the technologies that will be critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector, industry, and buildings and addressing climate change, this focus on research, development, and demonstration will create high quality jobs and ensure the United States continues to lead the world in the clean energy future.”
Additional shifts towards renewable energy sources will undoubtedly play a role in the overall costs of electricity to retail end users across the U.S. Be sure to reach out to an Atlas Advisor to discuss the implications this may have on future energy budgets for your business.
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