Of the AUD$1.4 trillion economic stimulus package planned for the USA by President Obama and currently being debated in Congress, over AUD$155 Billion is earmarked for renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.
According to CNN, here’s how the total grants and tax breaks will be distributed (all figures are approximations in Australian dollars at current exchange rates):
Building energy efficiency – $23 billion – $35 billion. Projects including adding insulation to government buildings and low to middle income homes.
Public transportation – $13 billion – $20 billion. Extending train lines, creating new bus routes and upgrades to existing infrastructure.
Renewable energy loans – $13 – $15 billion. The US renewables industry is facing somewhat of a credit crunch with previous lenders tightening purse strings. This funding will allow for stalled projects to continue and new projects to be launched.
Transmission lines – $10 billion – upgrades to power line infrastructure to allow for electricity generated by remote renewable energy projects into cities.
Nuclear waste – $10 billion to go towards cleaning up nuclear weapons manufacturing facilities.
Smart grid – $7 billion to go towards a more intuitive and “digitised” power grid.
Green transport – $4.97 billion in grants for the development of vehicles that reduce the reliance on fossil fuel and for the development of electric car battery technologies.
National parks – $4.6 billion – cleanup and improvements to park infrastructure.
Wind power – $20 billion for a three-year extension of tax credits for large scale wind energy projects.
Large renewable projects – $17 billion for tax credits against prior profits.
Home energy efficiency – $6.68 billion in tax incentives for home owners who purchase goods and services that contribute to energy efficiency for their homes.
Renewable energy bonds – $2.3 billion
Small scale renewables – $1.5 – a removal of the cap on the 30% tax credit for home owners and businesses investing in solar power and wind energy systems.
The green component of Obama’s green stimulus package has met with mixed reactions, some noting the absence of any sort of federally funded feed in tariff program which has been demonstrated in many other countries to significantly boost the uptake of solar power and to stimulate local economies.