Congress has not advanced standalone energy legislation in over a decade, but a changing energy landscape has industry advocates asking for more bills to incentivize innovation and further deployment of new technologies.
The electric utility industry is undergoing a number of changes, driven in part by tax credits and other incentives supporting the clean energy sector. But concern over the future of the sector is building as several federal renewable energy tax credits start phasing down in 2020. Clean energy advocates are exploring the potential to include tax credit incentives in a must-pass omnibus spending bill.
“It’s a tough environment to legislate in,” Greg Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), told Utility Dive. “There's not many vehicles moving.”
While tax credit extensions and changes are viewed as critical in the clean energy space, many bills aimed at innovation and research to unlock lower emissions potential, ranging from carbon capture to advanced nuclear, receive bipartisan support. The fate of legislation supporting tax credits for the electric vehicle and energy storage sectors is less assured as there’s not as much agreement across the aisle.
Utility Dive’s Congressional policy tracker provides a one-stop shop for those who want a quick but comprehensive view of federal legislative efforts in ten areas, largely focused on types of generation. The list of bills is non-exhaustive, focusing on industry priorities with bipartisan and bicameral support that raise the prospects for passage. The tracker will be updated on an ongoing basis.