Tax incentives

Expert Voices

Massachusetts sweetening the deal for energy storage systems

a fenced enclosure of battery units
Battery units in Longmont, Colo. Photo: Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A new $3.5 million energy storage system went online last month in Ashburnham, Mass., continuing a statewide expansion of systems designed to ease pressure on the electric grid at times of peak demand.

Why it matters: In January, Massachusetts became the first state to offer incentives for battery systems, with the approval of a $2 billion state energy efficiency plan. The program is expected to support the installation of 30–34 MW of storage capacity during its 3-year term, on top of 190 MW from other operating and planned projects.

Expert Voices

Updating clean energy tax credits could help commercialize new tech

tanks of a redox flow battery
Electrolyte tanks of a redox flow battery, which can store electricty generated by renewables. Photo: Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images

From December 2019 into the next several years, a slate of federal tax credits for solar and wind power are set to expire, allowing Congress a chance to revisit this valuable plank of clean energy policy.

The big picture: Under current incentives, wind and solar power have come to produce over 8% of U.S. electricity, up from less than 1% a decade agoBut the credits have ballooned in cost — from under $1 billion in 2008 to $5.5 billion in 2018 — while doing little to promote other new energy technologies that will play a vital role in decarbonizing the economy.