17 February 2009

Obamulus Rex: President's B787 Ready to Fly the Friendly Skies

After passing with a large majority of Democratic votes and 0 Republicans in favor, the $787B StimPack, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), was signed into law today by President Obama, ringing in what he hopes will be the beginning of the recovery process.

The Administration hopes to kick-start the new green economy by rapidly increasing development of renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency in buildings and appliances, as well as throughout major sectors of the economy.

The major energy investments in the StimPack, include:

-A three-year extension to the production tax credit for wind and an extension until the end of 2013 for geothermal and biomass renewable-energy projects. In addition, the credit has been increased to 30 percent of the investment.
-$4.5 billion in direct funds to modernize the electricity grid with smart-grid technologies.
-$6.3 billion in state energy-efficiency and clean-energy grants, and $4.5 billion to make federal buildings more energy efficient.
-$6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy systems, biofuel projects, and electric-power transmission facilities.
-$2 billion in loans to manufacture advanced batteries and components for applications such as plug-in electric cars.
-$5 billion to weatherize homes of up to 1 million low-income people.
-$3.4 billion appropriated to the Department of Energy for fossil energy research and development, such as carbon capture and storage underground at coal power plants.
-A tax credit of between $2,500 and $5,000 for purchase of plug-in electric vehicles, to the first 200,000 in service.

Time will tell whether this baby can generate the kind of short-term impact our economy needs, but it should spur some longer-term outcomes, especially in the efficiency and renewables space. (Curious why the market didn't react more positively, especially the renewable energy stocks.)

Read this summary analysis of the StimPack from the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE): Overview (Note: this is a link to a PDF.)

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