NHA CEO STATEMENT ON SENS. MANCHIN/SCHUMER AGREEMENT ON CLEAN ENERGY BILL
Washington, D.C. (July 28, 2022) – In response to the announcement that U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have reached an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, National Hydropower Association CEO Malcolm Woolf issued the following statement:
“The Inflation Reduction Act recognizes that new generation from hydropower and pumped storage is essential to a reliable, clean energy grid, yet it fails to include incentives to preserve and expand the existing fleet. While this agreement represents opportunity for clean energy, it’s also a missed opportunity for existing hydropower, which currently provides electricity to an estimated 30 million Americans.
“Specifically, we are disappointed that the 30% investment tax credit for environmental improvements at the existing hydropower fleet, championed by Sen. Cantwell and Murkowski in S.2306, was stripped out of the Senate Finance Committee package. This jeopardizes 17.5 gigawatts of installed hydropower capacity up for expensive and uncertain relicensing by 2035. Our nation cannot address climate and ensure a reliable grid without preserving existing hydropower, the nation’s second largest renewable electricity resource.
“At this same time, we applaud Congress for recognizing the importance of long-duration energy storage by creating a 30% investment tax credit (ITC) for new pumped storage hydropower. Pumped storage facilities are capital intensive projects, and an energy storage ITC will be a game changer for developing new projects.
“In addition, the bill would for the first time create tax parity for hydropower with other renewables as incremental new hydropower generation would receive a production tax credit (PTC) that is on par with wind. By leveling the playing field, the Inflation Reduction Act will help spur development on existing, non-powered dams, and unlock up to 12 gigawatts of new clean energy production.
“We will work to ensure this bill reaches the President’s desk. That said, Congress should not ignore the contributions that hydropower is already making towards our zero-carbon future. If we fail to level the playing field for existing hydropower, it will not be there when we need it.”