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Subsidies

Are Clean Energy Tax Credits Equitable?

July 22, 2015 by Lucas Davis
1

Tax Credit Fairness and Clean Energy

Over the last decade, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for clean energy investments. In a new paper, Severin Borenstein and I use tax return data from the IRS to examine the socioeconomic characteristics of filers who receive these credits.[read more]

Wind and Solar Will Soon Become the 'Least-Cost Option Almost Universally'

June 24, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
8

Wind and Solar Costs

Two new reports on global demand for renewables forecast dramatic growth in nearly every region of the world over the coming decades. While promotion policies are still important for supporting the industry, conventional technologies like wind and solar are becoming cheap enough to compete without subsidies.[read more]

The IMF Just Destroyed the Best Argument Against Clean Energy

June 5, 2015 by Elias Hinckley
10

Fossil fuel supporters have insisted that wind and solar are far “too expensive” to replace fossil fuels. A recent report published by the IMF has put a price on the direct and indirect subsidies that support fossil fuels as a counter argument to the renewables are “too expensive” message. The numbers are staggering.[read more]

EPA's Blown Call on Ethanol

June 2, 2015 by Geoffrey Styles
24

Last Friday the US Environmental Protection Agency released its long-awaited proposal for untangling a broken federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). Although it provides all parties with greater certainty, it fails to resolve the regulation's fundamental flaws.[read more]

The Energy Gang Debate: Should Utilities Be Allowed to Own Rooftop Solar? [PODCAST]

June 2, 2015 by Stephen Lacey

Utilities and Solar Ownership

Whether the solar energy industry likes it or not, more regulated utilities in America are going to propose the idea and policy of owning residential PV systems themselves. It is a very controversial development in the renewable energy industry.[read more]

IMF Study: Global Energy Subsidies Will Cost $5.3 Trillion in 2015

May 19, 2015 by Katherine Tweed
12

Global Subsidy Costs

The global post-tax subsidy for energy, which accounts for the environmental and health toll, will be an estimated $5.3 trillion in 2015, more than 6 percent of global GDP. The figure is more than double the IMF’s own post-tax subsidy analysis just a few years ago.[read more]

The Fossil Fuel Subsidy Red Herring

May 14, 2015 by Alex Trembath
38

Fossil Fuel Policy and Subsidies

Every few months we hear another round of passionate recommendations that fossil fuel subsidies be phased out to level the playing field for clean energy. Sounds sensible, but there’s reason to think that eliminating fossil fuel subsidies wouldn’t be nearly as transformative as is often suggested.[read more]

Subsidizing Renewables for the Damage Not Done

May 13, 2015 by Meredith Fowlie
4

Renewables and Financing Models

In this divided age, few topics beyond motherhood, apple pie, and the iPhone 6 enjoy widespread public approval. So it is notable that, in a recent Gallup Poll, two out of three Americans support an increased reliance on solar and wind energy sources.[read more]

Creative Utility Accounting: Estimating the True Cost of a Subsidy

May 12, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Subsidies and Actual Costs

$5 billion is a lot of money, yet that’s the difference in cost estimates between an Ohio advocacy group and FirstEnergy for the utility’s proposed bailout plan. FirstEnergy says its plan to raise electricity rates will save customers $2 billion. The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel estimates subsidies will cost Ohioans $3 billion.[read more]

Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage Goes Wholesale

May 10, 2015 by Jeff St. John
2

Energy Storage Development

Startups have put together battery and power electronics packages, control hardware and software, financing and performance guarantees, and other aspects of the business under one roof -- and there's no real way for customers to mix and match different pieces of those offerings from different vendors.[read more]

Hawaii's Advanced Energy 'Postcard From the Future'

May 10, 2015 by Lexie Briggs
6

Hawaii and Advanced Energy

Ah, Hawaii. The palm trees sway in the tropical breezes, the volcanoes cast long shadows on beautiful white sand beaches, and diesel-fired power plants generate electricity at the highest prices in the country. Big things are afoot for the electricity system of this tiny U.S. state, though.[read more]

4 Ways to Blunt the Solar Tax Cliff

May 9, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

Subsidies and Business Plans

The coming reduction of the 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit for solar creates a steep cliff no matter which way you crunch the numbers, according to a new policy paper from George Washington University. But there are ways to soften the blow.[read more]

The Energy Gang: Can the US Wind Industry Get Beyond Its Boom-Bust Cycle? [PODCAST]

May 6, 2015 by Stephen Lacey

Wind Energy and Economic Risks

Wind has become a favorite target for politicians and conservative action groups looking to end energy subsidies. But industry leaders are hitting back, saying they’ll only consider dropping the production tax credit when oil and gas lose their tax benefits.[read more]

North Carolina Opts for Delayed Sunset of the State Tax Credit

State Tax Credits and Legislative Inaction

Last week, the North Carolina legislature passed a bill offering a soft landing to the official end date for the state’s 35% state tax credit. While the tax credit cliff is scheduled for December 31, 2015, new legislation will extend eligibility for projects that are “significantly complete” but not operational by the end of 2015.[read more]

Mexico Provides Additional Detail on Mitigation Plans for Post-2020 Emission Reductions

April 17, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Following up on the late March announcement of its post-2020 emissions reduction commitment, Mexico has now provided a bit more detail on how it aims to achieve its goal of reducing 22% of greenhouse gas emissions and 51% of black carbon emissions by 2030.[read more]