Renewable energy advocates worry that the tax proposals passed by the House of Representatives in mid-November and the Senate early Saturday will make it significantly more difficult to pursue wind and solar energy projects in the United States.
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has recently rolled out regulations governing a new solar incentive program that aims to develop 1,600 MW of new solar capacity in the state. The new program has been dubbed the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program, or the SMART Program for short. Solar industry advocates have praised the Mass. DOER for its policy innovation, but understanding the new program is likely difficult for non-industry folks. Let’s try to break it down:
This post is part one of a two-post series exploring the design and potential implications of President Trump's recent Executive Order, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.
Early last week, President Donald Trump released an executive order with steep consequences. Flanked by representatives from the fossil fuel industries, Trump endorsed a declaration that aspires to revive a plummeting domestic coal industry and, as promised during his campaign, breathe economic vitality back into mining communities across the country.
In a letter published earlier this month, a coalition of 19 states and munincipalities have appealed to President-elect Donald Trump to protect the Clean Power Plan, a rule that "reasonably limits emissions from fossil-fueled power plants". The Plan is a signature accomplishment of the Obama administration, and is projected to eliminate 870 million tons of harmful gases by 2030-- equal to the yearly emissions of about 160 million cars, and 30% of carbon pollution.The legislation covers 1,000 plants, implementing state-specific reduction targets that would collectively lower power plants' carbon emissions to 2005 levels by 2030.
"Solar’s not a tough thing to sell. People want more solar .… It’s like puppies and kittens," said SolarCity's head federal lobbyist Scott Hennessy in a recent interview.
In an article written for the Wall Street Journal, global energy policy expert Amy Myers Jaffe argues that the US may soon put a price on pollution. Though it seems that pollution valuation and quantification are indubitably important in our collective battle against climate change, the idea of putting a number and price on carbon, the largest culprit, has been met with protest. The propelling factors, Jaffe writes, are preexistent valuation of carbon, technological advancements in viable alternatives, and international developments such as China’s own development of a carbon-pricing plan and the UN’s recent COP 21 in Paris. Unlike former iterations of the policy, she believes that upcoming carbon valuation plans will have the perfect storm of conditions to bolster their chances of getting passed-- the right policy, at the right time.