In the early hours of Saturday morning, Republicans in the Senate passed a tax reform bill, which could have a major, negative impact on renewable energy industries. While renewable energy may not be popular at the federal level, States like Pennsylvania are still supporting it, with new initiatives. The solar industry also introduced a new report showing how solar is able to add to the value homes.
Probably the biggest news in renewable energy last week was the tax bill that the Senate passed on at 2 AM on Saturday morning. While the bill leaves in place important renewable energy incentives like the Investment Tax Credit for solar power, a provision in the bill, the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) provision could amount to a 100 percent tax on renewable energy installations. Meanwhile it would leave it in place and the incentives that fossil fuel plants have enjoyed for decades.
A coalition of renewable energy advocates sent a joint letter to the Senate protesting the BEAT provision. The letter was signed by leaders of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Meanwhile states are still pushing for more renewable energy. Pennsylvania just launched two solar initiatives designed to expand solar in the state and support solar jobs. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that the state’s Solar Energy Program is creating $30 million in grant funding to grow solar in the state and that the government has changed what qualifies as solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) in the state. Both moves will help grow the amount of solar power in the state.
The solar industry also introduced a new report showing how solar power impacts the values of homes in the US. SEIA’s latest report explained how solar rooftops can add value to homes and how to evaluate that value.
As researchers continue to innovate solar power, they’re looking at new ways to bring it to market. Case in point the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a material that can change from nearly tranparent to opaque while producing electricity. The material is still in research stages but shows that a thermochromic material can also produce electricity from the sun.
A couple of weeks ago, citing Electrek, SolarReviews.com reported that the latest renewable energy auctions in Mexico resulted in the lowest-cost bids—ever for solar power. However, that wasn’t actually the case. While solar power plant bids accepted by the country were among the lowest-cost in the world, they were not actually the lowest-cost bids ever for solar power.Tweet