House of Representatives introduce bill that will affect wind forecast
The Republican members of the House of Representatives last week presented a bill for tax reform, as part of a larger tax reform package.
The bill proposed changes to the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind power that could jeopardise the four-year forecast for wind turbine installation.
The proposal would immediately destabilise tax equity, the 80-20 repowering campaign, and 80% PTC value safe-harbouring of turbines.
The bill is still subject to the Senate approval, but it is suspected that Senators will not pass the plan that would have such drastic repercussions on the wind power market.
The author of the PTC, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), holds a key position on the Senate Finance Committee, likely giving him influence over the final decision.
The wind industry claims that US$50bn worth of investment is at risk with this new bill, however the solar sector has remained in the clear, with most the industry left mostly preserved.
“Wind has particularly been a boon in rural areas where there aren’t a lot of economic choices,” commented Greg Westone, President of the American Council on renewable Energy.
Whilst AWEA Chief Executive Tom Kiernan stated: “The House proposal would pull the rug out from under 100,000 U.S. wind workers and 500 American factories.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.