Bill targets clean energy sector innovation

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Spurred by an International Energy Agency CO2 emissions reductions report, a group of lawmakers recently introduced legislators that encourage clean energy sector innovation to scale new technologies.

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U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recently presented the Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) Act in the wake of the International Energy Agency’s analysis detailing 40 percent of cumulative CO2 emissions reductions needed to attain sustainability targets rely on technologies not yet commercially implemented via the mass-market.

“If we are to meet long-term emissions targets without sacrificing affordable electricity, we need to invest in on-the-horizon technologies that can accomplish our environmental goals, create good-paying American jobs and meet our energy demand,” Crapo,
ranking member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, said regarding the energy tax proposal’s benefits. “ESIC will incentivize technology-wide clean energy innovation so new, clean technologies can rapidly scale up and compete independently in the market.”

Crapo said ESIC automatically scales down credits as technologies’ market penetration increases- adding taxpayer funds dollars would not subsidize market-mature technologies.

Bill features include phasing out credits as technologies mature, initiating efforts to get innovative technologies to market where they compete on their own; providing flexibility for unforeseen clean energy technologies to be eligible for ESIC; and establishment of technologies varying from one another as determined by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) experts, as well as national labs and other stakeholders.

“Major investments in innovative clean energy technologies are needed if we’re going to make a difference in the race against climate change,” Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said. “Our bipartisan legislation will accelerate nascent clean technologies that have the potential to compete against heavy-polluting forms of energy and create good jobs in the process.”

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