With the upcoming transition to the Biden Administration, for the first time since 2015 the solar and clean energy sectors will see major opportunities to benefit from new federal clean energy policies. 

As part of his commitment to climate solutions and clean energy, President-elect Biden has promised to invest $400 billion over ten years in clean energy and innovation. Biden has set a target of reducing the U.S. carbon footprint 50% by 2035, through incentives for electrification, efficiency, and on-site clean power generation. Meeting these goals will require substantial federal policy support, and will provide major economic benefits for American workers and consumers. 

In the short term, as an initial priority President-elect Biden intends to work with Congress on economic stimulus in response to COVID. Republicans have voiced support for a package of around $1 trillion, versus the $2.5 trillion passed by the House in October. Biden’s centrist credentials and experience in the Senate should help in reaching compromise, even if the Senate remains under Republican control after the January runoffs in Georgia. 

Additional near term federal clean energy policy opportunities for solar and other renewable energies include: 

  • Extension of the 30% solar investment tax credit (ITC) – currently set to expire in 2022 – for an additional five years. 
  • Adoption of a “direct pay” option for the ITC, avoiding the expensive and cumbersome requirements to monetize the ITC through tax equity providers. 
  • Passage of major clean energy and/or infrastructure legislation. 
  • Appointing a FERC Chair and Commissioners who will redouble FERC’s support for clean energy. 

Solar developers, customers, and supply chain providers should look to participate actively in making the economic and employment cases for these policies. New Energy Equity LLC supports the efforts of the Clean Energy Business Network, the Solar Energy Industries Association, and other trade and advocacy groups supporting the Biden Administration’s clean energy and climate goals. 

Please contact Jim Wrathall if you have questions or would like to explore opportunities to collaborate.

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