Last Friday, Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, warned that previous financing sources for renewable energy projects “are not going to come back..until we’re in a sustained growth period. It’s going to take some mechanisms to keep markets growing.”
President-elect Barack Obama and congressional leaders are reportedly including up to $25 billion in energy tax credits in the economic stimulus package.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that the tax credits are included “in an effort to bolster renewable energy projects, fuel-efficient cars and biodiesel production, said sources familiar with the negotiations.”
Yesterday, Reuters reported that the stimulus package “contains billions of dollars in tax breaks for renewable energy and spending for energy efficiency and transmission.”
A post appeared on the Huffington Post titled the Stimulus Bill Draft Circulated by Dems which (supposedly) listed what the stimulus will include. In addition to energy tax credits, $11 billion would go to research and development, according to the post, to “modernize the electricity grid making it more efficient, secure, and reliable and build new power lines to transmit clean, renewable energy from sources throughout the nation.”
The post also claimed there would be $8 billion in loans for “renewable energy power generation and transmission projects.” In addition, $2 billion would go to energy efficiency and renewable energy research and development, and $1.5 billion for “energy sustainability and efficiency grants and loans” that would help schools, local governments and municipal utilities “implement projects that will make them more energy efficient.”
GreenTech Media released a report which stated that venture capital investment in green technologies “exceeded $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, a modest decrease from the previous quarter’s total of $2.9 billion.”
Eric Straser, a partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, said, “2008 marks the ‘end of the beginning,’ an end to the first few years of investment enthusiasm.”
Energy secretary pick pledged commitment to renewables
Obama’s pick for energy secretary, Steven Chu, pledged at his confirmation hearing last Tuesday that the Department of Energy (DOE) will “meet the challenges ahead, it will have to run more efficiently and effectively.” Chu listed renewable energy as a priority for the DOE.
“These elements of President-elect Barack Obama’s plan will put us on a course to a better energy and environmental future, create new jobs and industries, restore US energy technology leadership, and help for the foundation for future economic prosperity,” Chu said. “It will be my primary goal as secretary to make the Department of Energy a leader in these critical goals.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Chu “heavily on global warming and the need to combat it through efficiency measures and renewable energy research.”
Anna Aurilo, director of Environment America’s Washington office, said, “What I am most heartened by is that we have someone heading the Department of Energy now who not only believes that we must fight global warming, but that the top ways of fighting global warming are energy efficiency and renewable energy.”