Despite “grinchy” recent predictions from some, the solar industry looks set to receive some holiday cheer with the odds on an investment tax credit (ITC) extension seemingly rising by the minute. Many credit the ITC as one of the predominant factors behind the surge of solar in the U.S. Despite some pushback from House Republicans last week, the lower chamber is set to vote on an omnibus appropriations bill by the end of this week, which includes a five-year extension of the credit.
The Mid-Atlantic region (Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia) is currently at the forefront of discussions regarding the next generation of distributed electricity markets. Notable developments pushing the region into the spotlight recently include M&A activity, creativity on the part of public service commissions, local innovations in PACE finance, and increasing flexibility on the part of local utilities.
Topics: Water Energy Nexus, Utilities, Water, Carbon Emissions, Energy Security, Thermal Generation, Energy Policy, M&A, Structured Transactions & Tax, Energy Storage, Energy Efficiency, Power Generation, Microgrid, Energy Finance, Distributed Energy, Energy Management, Solar Energy, Renewable Energy, Wind, Oil & Gas
In stark contrast to the Republican match up in September, energy and climate change related policy was freely discussed during the first Democratic presidential debate. For energy industry participants, the question becomes: how will climate policies affect the kinds of projects that get built and financed if a Democrat becomes President? The takeaway after surveying the positions of the candidates presented on Tuesday night is that Americans would be building a great deal of new energy infrastructure.
Early this year, the White House announced its plans to impose new regulations on the oil and gas industry’s methane emissions. Controlling methane emissions from oil and gas well flaring and leaks has been identified as a critical step in slowing global warming. Domestic oil and gas production has surged over the past few years, and with it concerns have been growing over the potential global warming effect of methane emissions. Beyond the obvious direct impact on methane emissions, there are concerns that the new regulations could have a meaningful impact on the energy market at large.
The approach in the United States to modernizing energy markets has entailed an “all of the above strategy”—a combination of retiring coal plants and supplanting “dirty” carbon intensive fuels with natural gas and renewable energy sources of power. The advent of horizontal drilling technology together with hydraulic fracturing (referred to here as “fracking”) has transitioned the United States from a massive net energy importer to an energy exporter. As a result, in 2013 the U.S. energy consultancy PIRA reported that the United States had officially outpaced Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer.