US Stimulus package - buildings, energy efficiency, smart grid etc
- 18 February 2009
By Molly Webb, Head of Smart Technologies, The Climate Group.
Are you sick of hearing about it yet? Well, I just thought I'd log my thoughts briefly today and add to them in the future.
In total, 40% of the economic stimulus package or more will be going to tax cuts. Not exactly an investment in our future, but I'm sure people will appreciate that exta $8 per week to get a few more coffees or packets of crisps (or should I say chips!)
However, there is about $30 billion that could potentially go toward energy efficiency, smart grid and advanced battery technology. Tax incentives provide other possible $20 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Where this money goes is likely to be controversial in implementation phase, however, as pointed out in this Economist article.
While £50 billion is a lot, it's nothing compared to the £12 bn that China already invested in renewables back in 2007, or what I heard on NPR from Representative Peter DeFazio is a $600 bn Chinese investment in transportation infrastructure in the next 3 years.
But individual measure add up. Take for example, buildings. "Taking everything together, the bill provides $15 billion that could be applied to building retrofits - creating a tremendous opportunity for fresh approaches. The next challenge, therefore, is implementation," says Reid Detchon from the Energy Future Coalition. Here is his rundown of the investments related to building retrofit:
- $3.1 billion for State Energy Programs for building retrofits
- $3.2 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program,
- $5 billion for low-income weatherization assistance
- $1.32 billion to invest in energy efficiency projects and to repair and modernize Department of Defense facilities;
- $100 million for energy conservation and alternative energy projects for the Navy and Marines;
- $120 million for the Defense-wide Energy Conservation Investment Program;
- $400 million to invest in energy efficiency projects and to improve, repair and modernize military medical facilities;
- $100 million for discretionary grants to public transit agencies for capital investments that will assist in reducing the energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions of their public transit agencies;
- $4 billion to assist public housing authorities in rehabilitating and retrofitting public housing units, including increasing the energy efficiency of units and making critical safety repairs;
- $510 million to rehabilitate and improve energy efficiency in housing units maintained by Native American housing programs; and
- $250 million to support a program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and furnaces.