Hoping to give a kick to greater solar generation, electric storage, and electric transmission, the Biden administration’s Department of Energy last Thursday (Nov. 16) proposed new and streamlined “categorical exclusions” to required environmental reviews mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act.
On Friday (Nov. 17) the Treasury Department and its Internal Revenue Service announced liberalized rules on using the investment tax credit for solar heat and power, hydrogen fuel cells, and microturbines. The proposal is scheduled for Federal Register publication next Wednesday, Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving.
The IRS description of its ITC rule appears purposely anodyne, but reporting by Politico and its energy and environment publication Greenwire says a key is extending the tax credit to undersea power cables from struggling offshore wind projects. IRS said the new Section 48 ITC rules have not been changed since 1987 and the proposal reflects “changes in the energy industry, technological advances, and updates from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA).”