Congress Must Pass Energy Storage Tax Credit Bill

Statement by Rob Cowin, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Apr 4, 2019

WASHINGTON (April 4, 2019)—Today, Rep. Mike Doyle (D.-Pa) introduced a bill that would establish a federal investment tax credit for business, residential, and utility-scale use of batteries and other energy storage technologies. Among other things, the legislation seeks to establish a 30 percent tax credit for both commercial and residential energy storage through 2021. That incentive would be phased down annually before leveling off to a permanent 10 percent tax credit after 2021 for commercial projects and zeroing out for residential projects.

Battery storage is a fast-growing energy technology. In the last year alone, the costs of manufacturing and deploying battery storage has fallen by over a third, according to research by Bloomberg NEF.

The legislation would help get energy storage deployed at both the commercial and residential level, and when combined with the falling costs of wind turbines and solar power, would make renewable electricity even cheaper than running existing fossil fuel plants in many parts of the country, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Rob Cowin, director of government affairs for the Climate and Energy Program at UCS.

“Energy storage should be an urgent national priority. Wide-scale adoption of energy storage technologies can increase the flexibility of our electric grid, fundamentally transforming the way we produce and use clean electricity. Energy storage can help reduce consumer’s bills, reduce power outages for critical infrastructure, and, when partnered with clean energy sources, can reduce carbon emissions. Strategic deployment of energy storage can also replace fossil fuel generation that disproportionately affects the health of low-income communities and communities of color.

“While the legislation would help spur deployment of the energy storage technologies we have now, federal support for the research, development and demonstration of advanced energy storage technologies, alongside these tax credits, would go even further toward advancing the nation’s clean energy infrastructure. Congress should increase funding for energy storage RD&D, especially with a focus on long-duration energy storage, so we can continue to unlock the benefits of this critical technology.”