Senate Passes Renewable Energy Bill: House to Come

The senate has just passed what could end up being some of the most important legislation to the future of our country of the decade. No, I’m not talking about buying up $700 B of questionable mortgage assets…I’m talking about an actual, feasible, renewable energy package.

The package, which will cost around $17 B over ten years will stimulate growth in a number of clean tech sectors.

The solar investment tax credit will reduce the cost of solar installations, and it’ll set us back roughly $2 B over ten years while the solar energy production tax credit will cost another $6 B. Carbon capture technology research gets another $1.5 B and an incentive program to get power plants to sequester carbon costs another $1 B.

Obviously I’m excited about all of these numbers, but mostly it’s the solar tax credits that are really important. A huge number of solar installations, both residential and grid-level, are riding on the extension of the tax credit. And while previous bills have extended the credit for a measly 2 years, this bill would extend it for ten years, giving the solar industry time to plan for future growth without wondering whether the tax credits will still exist.

Of course, the bill still has to pass the House. And, unfortunately for everyone in the entire world, they may be too busy to even look at the thing.

The fight for these tax credits has been going on far too long, even though every single congressperson in America has been touting clean technology’s ability to help us out of our environmental crisis, we simply couldn’t pass the legislation. GE has calculated that the legislation will more than pay for itself with increased revenues and economic stimulus, and a recent study indicates that the legislation would help create almost half a million at-home, high-paying jobs.

I’m not sure why it took us so long, and I’m not calling this thing until the House votes, but if we can finally pass some legitimate renewable energy legislation in this country, I may actually stop saying bad things about congress…at least for a couple of days.

Via Earth2Tech and Bloomberg