This is from a podcast episode of GTM’s Energy Gang in which they dig into the major stories coming out of the election. President-Elect Joe Biden has already named his environment transition team, and he discussed climate change with four European heads of state immediately. He also has a “Build Back Better” one-pager that looks a lot like the green recovery plans in Europe we’ve been discussing for months.
What can Biden get done on energy in his first 100 days? (pv magazine USA)
For now, it’s safe to assume that the most likely actions to be taken in the first 100 days will be a rollback on many of President Trump’s executive orders regarding emissions and fossil fuel extraction, a rejoining of the Paris Climate Agreement and clean energy employment and research investment being included in a Coronavirus relief bill.
Energy, and its implications on the environment, figured prominently as key points of contention between the two presidential candidates. But for the most part, despite a marked shift in policy priorities, changes for the power sector—which is already in the midst of a dramatic transformation—will likely continue on a trajectory that has been primarily fueled by market forces, technology innovation, and customer and investor preferences. If and how a Biden administration will accelerate the transformation could depend on several factors.
5 Pro-Renewable Energy Actions to Expect from Biden (pv magazine USA)
The article discusses the 5 actions below in detail:
- Cabinet recalibration
- Rejoining the Paris Climate Accords
- Reduction In fossil-fuel subsidies
- Eliminating solar tariffs
- A job-creating stimulus plan
- ITC: She said that the best policy for getting solar through the economic and health crisis is making the investment tax credit (ITC) refundable.
- Public lands: Hopper said, “SEIA would like predictability…A predictable permitting process under Obama kept people focused and accountable. We want to make sure there’s as much land as possible for solar.”
- ITC step-down extension
- Reduction or removal of the 201 and 301 tariffs: “We are asking President-elect Biden to remove those tariffs a year early.” Hopper said that signals from the Biden transition indicate an understanding of the impact of tariffs upon the industry. She notes that domestic solar manufacturing has seen five solar companies started in the U.S. and that repealing the section 201 tariff might cause U.S. facilities to fail. “It won’t come as a surprise to domestic manufacturing that those tariffs will end. It is not working.” She said there are ways to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. without being reliant on tariffs and cited a recent whitepaper with goals of 100 GW of domestic manufacturing capacity for renewable energy.
- Storage: A stand-alone ITC for battery storage
- FERC — Hopper said she’d like to see that FERC commissioners understand that the market is changing and that competition is valued. She also favored “honoring the states’ ability to set their own goals” — as opposed to the direction of the recent MOPR rule.
The energy storage industry advocates are looking at ways to embed friendly policies in must-pass legislation, such as bills to boost economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic or build up the country’s infrastructure. They’re seeking relief from tariffs that have made battery projects more expensive, and procurement guidelines to boost storage deployments in federal buildings and projects. And they’re promoting the role of storage as a critical step in increasing the country’s share of renewable energy. Here’s an overview of how the storage industry plans to achieve those goals.
Senate Confirms Bipartisan Pairing at FERC (Utility Dive)
FERC has been increasingly active as of late and just recently the Senate voted to confirm the nominations of Republican-pick Mark Christie and Democrat-pick Allison Clements to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.