Proposed Stimulus Includes $54B for Energy

President-elect Barack Obama’s pledge to double renewable energy in three years and make public buildings more energy efficient is getting a significant boost in the stimulus package proposed by House democrats. Of the $825 billion in proposed spending and tax cuts, $54 billion, or 6.5 percent, would be allocated for clean power and energy efficiency, roughly a third of what Obama has said he’d allocate for clean power over the next decade. Only Medicaid, infrastructure, and schools and colleges got a bigger cut.

If the plan is passed, it could prove to be crucial for the near-term survival of the clean power industry, which saw asset financing dry up in the second half of last year, prompting layoffs and the postponement of power plant construction. A report from New Energy Finance earlier this week notes that the return of investments in clean energy relies on two things: how the stimulus bill is allocated and whether or not banks feel comfortable enough with low central bank rates to start lending money again.

Obama plans to tour a plant that makes parts for wind turbines, Cardinal Fastener & Specialty, today, in an effort to gain support for the stimulus plan. In addition to the $54 billion for clean power and energy efficiency, the package called for billions for public transportation, passenger rail, and clean water.

So here’s the breakdown of the energy funds:

  • $32 billion for renewable energy, transmission lines, and smart grid technology.
  • $16 billion to repair public housing and make key energy efficiency retrofits.
  • $6 billion to weatherize modest-income homes
  • More specifically:

  • $11 billion for R&D, pilot projects, and federal matching funds for smart grid program
  • $8 billion for Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees
  • $6.7 billion for renovations of federal buildings largely focused on energy efficiency
  • $2 billion for research for clean power and energy efficiency awarded on a competitive basis to universities, companies, and national laboratories.
  • $2 billion for advanced battery loans and grants
  • $6.9 billion for state and local governments to make investments in energy efficient and carbon reductions
  • $2.5 billion for energy efficiency for HUD-sponsored low-income housing
  • $1.5 billion for grants for efficiency for school districts, higher education, local governments, and municipal utilities
  • $300 million for rebates for Energy Star appliances
  • $600 million to replace federal government vehicles with alternative fuel cars
  • $200 million for grant program for electric vehicles
  • $2.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration programs.
  • $350 million for research for clean power for weapons systems and military bases
  • $400 million for alternative vehicles for state and local governments buses and trucks
  • $500 million for industrial energy efficiency
  • $300 million for grants and loans for local governments to reduce diesel emissions
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