Now that the house has sent its version of the stimulus to the Senate, we at NEMA have been able to take a closer look at how the various programs will assist the electroindustry. I estimate that about 30 programs will get $68.5b in the form of direct grants, loan guarantees, or tax incentives, as shown in the chart above. From Energy Star to Transportation Electrification, the will be a marked increase in government support at all levels.

 

This chart shows the same pot of money, now split between generation, T&D, energy storage, and energy efficiency. Some programs, such as the Energy Research Tax Incentives, support multiple sectors, and in these cases I split the funds evenly across categories. Efficiency gets the largest share of the pie, with the bulk of those funds going to end users for retrofits and upgrades like the weatherization assistance program (for low-income individuals) or the energy efficiency block grants for states and local governments. The rest of the programs are a healthy mix of R&D, tax or grants, or other mechanisms.

 

 

A final note about earmarks – the Democratic Leadership has pledged to pass a stimulus bill free from earmarks, where Congress directs funding for specific projects or districts. The idea here is to use the agency procedures to select the most qualified stimulus candidates. On the flip side, this gives agency staff quite a bit of flexibility in how to allocate the funds. For example, of the $4.5 billion that the DOE’s Office of Electricity could receive, $4.4 billion is free to be allocated among activities that span the scope of the office’s charter.


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