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The Economic Case for Renewable Energy Tax Policy

Published on 09 Dec 2014  |   Written by 

In a recent opinion piece, the longtime stalwart for a more conservative tax code, Grover Norquist, took to the pages of the USA Today to explain why tax ‘extenders’ are good policy. Mr. Norquist is absolutely right. However, as a strange caveat he specifically omits the renewable energy production tax credit from his reasoning. Unfortunately, he’s certainly not the only conservative voice to do so. However, there is no hiding the fact that that tax extenders like the PTC and ITC are business-friendly, job creating policies birthed in Bush-era conservatism.

Marine and Hydrokinetic energy (MHK) -- consisting mainly of tidal and wave power -- is a burgeoning energy sector that has experienced typical growing pains like any other technology. While MHK navigates its way through a financing slump similar to those experienced by solar and wind in the early ‘00s (both typical and temporary for any technology development phase known hyperbolically as the ‘valley of death’), it will eventually become profitable and investment will steadily begin to increase. Analysts are still predicting incremental growth through the end of the decade, followed by massive increases in generation thereafter.

UPDATE: For a deeper dive into the issues surrounding water and renewable energy in the U.S., please view ACORE intern Sai Weiss's completed research paper on the subject from Fall, 2014. 

It’s not a stretch to say that clean water is fundamental for our society and economy. We use water for drinking, washing, growing crops, generating electricity, and most of all, for cooling thermoelectric power plants. In fact, 41% of water withdrawn nationally goes toward thermoelectric cooling. Moreover, in order to produce energy we need water, and in order to pressurize and transport water, we need energy. The reality is that water and energy are interdependent. With the energy sector having the biggest straw, one must wonder what happens when our water sources run dry.

Surrounding last month’s climate meetings and demonstrations in New York, we are reminded that we live in a time of monumental challenge. But a scroll through the history books would also show that some of history’s most substantial points of progress have come in the face of the world’s greatest struggles. In fact, daunting challenges are almost always a prerequisite for tremendous improvements. So why would climate change be any different?

This week, I am speaking at Deloitte’s 2014 Alternative Energy Seminar in Dallas, Texas. I’ve shared my remarks for the event below, and hope you’ll share your thoughts on the matter by chiming in on Twitter. Tag us with @ACORE and @acoremrb.

Following the Sun From New York to California

Published on 25 Sep 2014  |   Written by 

It was like she was performing a winning monologue in a play—impassioned, dynamic, loud and impossible to tune out. Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan now at UC Berkeley “brought down the house” as the keynote speaker at REFF West, ACORE’s annual conference that brings together some of the most important players in the renewable energy finance and development arenas, which was held last week in San Francisco.