Public policy at the federal, state and local levels has a significant impact on U.S. renewable energy investment and deployment. ACORE’s policy work focuses on key tax, finance, grid modernization and other issues that are important for renewable energy expansion.
With more than $50 billion in annual U.S. investment, renewable energy is one of the fastest growing sectors in our nation’s economy and a major source of new jobs. American leadership and competitiveness in this booming sector is important to ensuring that our country benefits from the multi-trillion dollar market opportunity that renewable power presents globally.
As a non-partisan, national organization, ACORE works with its members to educate policymakers about effective policies that support investment and deployment of renewable energy and related grid technologies. Specific issues and policy areas we focus on include:
Unlocking Capital for Renewable Projects
ACORE works closely with its members on a host of federal and state tax, finance and energy policies to encourage capital formation and investment in renewable energy. Our key objectives include:
- Stable and long-term federal tax incentives for all renewable energy technologies.
- As federal tax credits ramp down, a technology-neutral tax incentive for investments in electricity generation that meet U.S. economic, environmental and security goals.
- Infrastructure policies, such as access to the Master Limited Partnership (MLPs) financing structure (currently available only to the oil and gas sector) to foster investment in renewable energy generation, transmission and grid modernization, including energy storage.
- Expansion of state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and policies that facilitate corporate procurement.
Modernizing the Power Grid
Modernization of the nation’s power grid is critically important to facilitate greater renewable energy penetration and improve the efficiency and resiliency of the nation’s electricity supply. Our key objectives include:
- Greater grid flexibility and increased use of energy storage and demand response technologies that allow for two-way communication between electricity suppliers and consumers, as well as more efficient management of the electricity load.
- Investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure to promote greater access to and delivery of renewable resources.
- Expansion of regional markets that balance supply and demand for electricity to increase the economic efficiency of the power system, especially in the Western U.S. where interstate electricity management has historically been balkanized and poorly coordinated.
- Enhanced power market design to better value the contributions of renewable energy, energy storage, distributed generation and smart grid technologies.
Improving the Permitting Processes for Renewable Energy & Grid Infrastructure
Inefficiencies in the federal and state permitting processes complicate development for many renewable energy and related infrastructure projects, adding significant administrative and overhead costs, constraining project financing and using taxpayer dollars inefficiently.
Lengthy decision timeframes for permitting routinely bar project development, where qualifications for short-term tax incentives is a critical element of financing. All parties would benefit from better alignment of agency permitting requirements and improvements to program design to encourage more timely decision making.
Meeting Climate Goals with Renewable Energy
ACORE is focused on the accelerated transition to a renewable energy economy that America needs to meet Paris climate goals. Our analysis suggests that the U.S. federal government’s prior climate goals for 2025 (now reaffirmed through United States Climate Alliance) remain achievable, despite reduced regulation of greenhouse emissions through a 50 percent reduction in power sector emissions.
The accelerated expansion of renewable energy is essential for achievement of this ambitious emissions reduction target. To achieve a 50 percent reduction in power sector greenhouse emissions by 2025, we focus on strategically promoting the most viable measures that facilitate growth and investment for renewables and enabling technologies, including carbon pricing or other stable long-term policies that incentivize innovation and investment in carbon-free electricity generation.