As some federal energy incentives end, New York eyes substitutes

By Kat Friedrich, GreenBiz.

Quietly, while the United States focused on its national election, a set of federal clean-energy incentives phased out at the end of 2016. Now that they have vanished, states may seek to create replacements to keep these markets alive and help them grow.

For example, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is strategically replacing the missing incentives for renewable heating and cooling.

The decision to sunset the incentives was made long before the election. According to the United States Department of Energy, corporate tax credits for combined heat and powersystems, geothermal heat pumps, microturbine technology, hybrid solar lightingsmall windinstallations and fuel cells all expired at the end of the year. For the residential market, credits for fuel cells, geothermal power and small wind installations ended at the same time.

The incentives were not necessarily timed to end when the markets matured. The current regional competitiveness of these technologies varies based on many factors. 

Because the ground source heat pump market still requires upfront financing to thrive in New York, NYSERDA plans to allocate $15 million to support it over a two-year period. The individual incentives are $1,500 per ton for residences and $1,200 per ton for commercial or industrial buildings.