While Congress further drags its feet on extending the Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) for renewable energy (likely until a new administration takes control), the states continue to provide their own incentives for alternative energy adoption. Connecticut and Florida have already boosted incentives. Now Wisconsin, South Carolina, and New York are joining the party (Renewable Energy World).
Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle’s Task Force on Global Warming has called for implementation of Advanced Renewable Tariffs to encourage the development of the state’s renewable energy resources….
The call for Advanced Renewable Tariffs, or renewable energy payments, is but one of many measures recommended….
The action is another sign of growing acceptance of the policy mechanism that has fuelled the rapid growth of Germany and Spain’s renewable energy industry.
…last month a decision by the South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC SC) came to fruition as net metering for solar energy began in the state. The ruling came after the commission began hearings on subject in 2005. This new PSC SC ruling applies to all investor-owned utilities including Duke Energy, Progress Energy and South Carolina Electric and Gas, it also makes South Carolina the 43rd state to have a net-metering policy.
In general, under net metering, a system owner receives retail credit for at least a portion of the electricity they generate.
…last week, New York Governor David Paterson signed a legislative package on August 5 that could encourage people throughout the state to install grid-connected solar and wind power systems, systems that generate power from farm wastes and “green” roofs. Most of the bills relate to net metering. Senate Bill 7171 expands net metering to include non-residential solar power systems up to 2 megawatts (MW) in capacity, or equal in size to the customer’s peak load, whichever is less, and increases the maximum solar power system size for residential customers to 25 kilowatts (kW), up from 10 kW….
…S. 8145 creates a four-year real property tax abatement of up to US $62,500 per year for buildings owners that install solar power systems, with a greater tax abatement available for systems installed before 2011, and a lesser tax abatement for systems installed in 2011 or 2012.
Importantly, state initiatives won’t carry the day. If the US is to become a major solar market, Congress will have to renew the ITCs. The huge solar plants announced last week in CA, for example, are the result of a combination of state and federal subsidies. In agreeing to buy power from the plants, PG&E is responding to a California law requiring that utilities buy 20% of their power from renewable sources by 2010. The construction of the plants, meanwhile, is contingent on the renewal of the ITCs.
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