New Production Tax Credit Will Spur Solar Generation; Development Costs May Rise – The revamped renewable tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are expected to accelerate renewable generation, especially solar, over the next decade. However, certain provisions associated with these credits could increase development costs, according to Fitch Ratings. Solar represented approximately 2.5% of U.S. electricity generation in 2021. The IRA could increase solar capacity installation by 67% over ten years, according to Wood Mackenzie. The Production Tax Credit (PTC) is reinstated for solar projects under the IRA, a major boost for solar power producers. Solar projects can now choose between the PTC and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to maximize their economics, while large land-based wind projects (greater than 100 kw) are only eligible for the PTC. Companies like AES Corporation (BBB-/Stable), NextEra Energy (NextEra; A-/Stable) and Xcel Energy (BBB+/Stable) plan to increase solar development and are poised to benefit. The solar PTC was previously in effect from 1992 to 2005.

Schools are harnessing solar power in record numbers – In 2014, two solar energy groups published a report finding that only about 3,750 U.S. schools — out of a total of roughly 130,000 — were generating electricity from solar panels. But that number is on the rise. According to the fourth edition of the “Brighter Future” report, released last week by the clean energy nonprofit Generation180, the number of U.S. schools using solar power has more than doubled in the last seven years, reaching roughly 8,400 by the end of 2021. These so-called “solar schools” now account for nearly 1 in 10 public, independent, and charter K-12 schools and serve more than 6 million students nationwide.

Biden to announce approval of $900 million in U.S. EV charging funding – President Joe Biden will announce the approval of the first $900 million in U.S. funding to build EV charging stations in 35 states as part of a $1 trillion infrastructure law approved in November, the White House said. Congress approved nearly $5 billion over five years to give grants to states to build thousands of electric vehicle charging stations. At an appearance at the Detroit auto show, Biden will also announce that U.S. government purchases of EVs have risen dramatically. In 2020, less than 1% of new federal acquisitions were electric, which more than doubled in 2021 and in 2022 “agencies have acquired five times as many EVs as all of last fiscal year,” the White House said.