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US Departments of Treasury, Energy Announce More Than $3B in Recovery Act Funds for Direct Payments for Renewable Energy Projects

The US Departments of the Treasury and Energy announced the availability of an estimated $3 billion for the development of renewable energy projects around the country. Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), the program will provide direct payments in lieu of tax credits in support of an estimated 5,000 biomass, solar, wind, and other types of renewable energy production facilities.

The two made available the guidance businesses will need to submit a successful application for the funding. Eligible types of renewable energy propertires inlcude:

  • Large and small wind
  • Biomass (closed-loop and open-loop)
  • Geothermal
  • Landfill gas
  • Trash
  • Qualified hydropower
  • Marine and hydrokinetic
  • Solar
  • Fuel cells
  • Microturbines
  • Combined heat and power

The Recovery Act authorized Treasury to make direct payments to companies that create and place in service renewable energy facilities beginning 1 January 2009.  Previously, these companies could file for a tax credit to cover a portion of the renewable energy project’s cost; under the new program, applicants would agree to forgo tax credits down the line in favor of an immediate reimbursement of a portion of the property expense. This direct payment program allows for an immediate stimulus in local economies.

In previous years, the tax credit has been widely used—in 2006, approximately $550 million in tax credits were provided to 450 businesses.  The rate of new renewable energy installations has fallen since the economic and financial downturns began, as projects had a harder time obtaining financing.  The Departments of Treasury and Energy expect a fast acceleration of businesses applying for the energy funds in lieu of the tax credit.

To expedite implementation of the program, Treasury and Energy are today making available theterms and conditions, guidance, and a sample application so that companies can prepare successful applications in advance of the launch of the web based application in the coming weeks – yet another tool designed to facilitate the timely flow of program funds to eligible businesses.

Comments

sulleny

And while they're at it how about a few (millions) dollars for the good guys at NRL doing LENR fuel cells?? These guys have done ground breaking work and probably could use a little support.

SJC

I looks to me like they are doing more than just token efforts to look like they are doing something without actually doing much. I would rather see good decisions and good results than just creating the appearance.

Henry Gibson

Since every large or small fuel burning device, especially natural gas ones, can be replaced by a microturbine or combustion engine with waste and exhaust heat collectors, combined heat and power is the area where much more can be done than in all of the other above mentioned areas.

Until a lot more years go by with many instalations the grid can absorb all the power generated. Cogeneration units should get a special gas rate for their much lower CO2 release and their more efficient use of gas energy. It must be remembered that the heat produced also can be used for building cooling. ..HG..

sulleny

Henry, we're on the same page. CHP with cooling is a PRIMARY area in need of investment. If we were to convert even half of the 60 million U.S. households heated with NG, to CHP-type Residential Power Units - we could eliminate the need for 33% projected new power plants.

While NG is non-renewable, moving residence power drain off-grid will lower costs of grid, power plants, and vastly improve energy independence and security. RPUs can readily convert to burn other fuels (H2, O2) when water splitting becomes more practical.

SJC

You could power a small SOFC with renewable methane and get absorption cooling from the waste heat. AC in homes is one of the great users of electricity in the summer. An SOFC with absorption cooling could cool the home and provide electricity to the community.

sulleny

SJC,

I like the idea of FCs for distributed power - BUT they are still very bulky and must deal with 1k C temps. I have yet to find any commercial unit in the 10-20kW area that could be the basis for a low cost RPU. This means moving to micro-turbine or a stirling which introduce electro-mechanical problems.

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