Cipher Quotes Moniz on Clean Energy Deployment and Tax Credits

In a February 2, 2022, Cipher article by Amy Harder, EFI CEO Ernest Moniz commented on the challenges of deploying investable clean energy. The article, titled “Why the government needs to speed up our energy transition,” discusses the crucial role of current policy like the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law and Build Back Better Bill (BBB) on combating the climate crisis with clean energy technologies. The last 200 years of the developed world’s energy have successfully evolved from wood to coal, to oil and gas, “but those were all additions in time of great demand growth,” said Moniz. “Now we’re talking about a displacement, and that’s a lot tougher transition.”

To address this challenge, the BBB would pour $550 billion into implementing clean energy programs through the creation and expansion of tax credits to stimulate development. Harder reported that although the transition is underway through a mix of public and private market actions, it is not moving fast enough to avert the consequences of climate change or keep the United States competitive with other nations on energy technologies. Moniz said that the $320 billion worth of energy tax credits in the House-passed BBB are essential for speeding up the energy transition.

“The deployment of clean energy has got to be made much more investable,” Moniz said. “The tax credits provide incentives for private capital to come in. For this decade, those incentives are huge. Eventually, we’ll need something like a carbon price.” [GU3] A carbon price has yet to be backed by Congress, making the coming direction of climate policy uncertain.

– Karla Salazar

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