Wednesday, August 7, 2019

USA: Ensuring tax parity for geothermal energy would help meet the country’s overall energy demand - EESI

Top Priority Policy Planks for a Green New Deal (Environmental and Energy Study Institute)

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is a non-profit organization located in Washington DC whose mission is “to accelerate the transition to a new, low-emissions economy based on energy efficiency and renewable energy.” The organization works towards these goals through their briefings on Capitol Hill (as well as webcasts, papers, and more) to educate policymakers and other stakeholders on important energy and environment issues, coalition-building among diverse stakeholders, direct policy development assistance, and technical assistance.

Solar Tribune approached EESI to ask us what the most important and critical policy planks for the Green New Deal– or any other comprehensive climate change and clean energy legislative package– would be.

Renewable Energy Parity: To transition the United States to renewable energy, wind and solar will need to be complemented by geothermal energy, hydropower, and biomass energy. This can be incentivized by modifying the current tax credit structure that currently favors solar (Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)) and wind power (Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit).

Despite unequal access to tax incentives, geothermal, hydropower, and biomass are valuable energy sources because they provide baseload power and are located in geographically diverse areas, allowing a greater number of communities to take advantage of their natural assets. Ensuring tax parity for these energy sources would increase private investment to develop and deploy these technologies, providing more renewable options to meet the country’s overall energy demand.

Fossil fuel subsidies should also be eliminated to make renewable energy technologies more competitive and the remove perverse incentives.

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