Renewable energy availability might reduce power plant demand
A new round of eco-groovy tax credits is in the offing, assuming a bi-partisan bill from the North Coast’s representative makes it through a bitterly divided federal legislature.
HR 4096, known as the STORAGE bill (Storage Technology for Renewable and Green Energy 2012 Act), would provide incentives to individuals and businesses when they invest in energy storage systems — the kinds of devices which keep excess energy generated when energy is in low demand and then supply it when peak demand returns.
According to a press statement from the office of Congressman Mike Thompson (Dem. – St. Helena), the tax credits and subsequent storage device implementation would reduce consumer electric bills, improve alternative energy source reliability and make the entire electric grid more efficient and secure.
“When it comes to addressing American’s energy challenges, we need to use every tool in the box,” Thompson stated. “These tax incentives will move us closer towards energy independence by making our electric grid more reliable, using energy more efficiently, reducing costs and creating jobs.”
Introduced by Thompson and New York Congressman Chris Gibson (Rep. – Kinderbrook), the legislation would hand a 20 percent tax credit to businesses and factories which generate energy via large compressed air systems, flywheels and large arrays of fuel cells and batteries. An even bigger 30 percent credit would go to households and businesses which purchase energy storage systems for their properties.
Companion legislation in the form of S 1845 was introduced in the U.S. Senate last fall by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, New Mexico Democrat Jeff Bingman and Maine Republican Susan Collins. The sponsors point to the presently inefficient alternative energy electricity infrastructure as justification to set up storage systems which can deliver during high demand periods; they hope this reduction in peak stress on the grid will eventually reduce the number of power plants needed.