Maryland has launched an innovative energy storage tax credit pilot program. The pilot program is designed to strengthen the resiliency of the state’s power grid system. Maryland’s pilot program encourages innovation in the development of new energy storage technology. The pilot program is eligible to residential and commercial taxpayers who have installed an energy storage system in 2018. Maryland has committed $750,000 in 2018 to the tax credit program.
Maryland’s energy tax credit pilot program is the first of its kind in the United States. In my opinion, tax credit programs are far more likely to encourage businesses to move away from fossil fuels than energy cap and trade programs. Energy cap and trade programs allow for companies to purchase tax credits to offset heavily polluting power plants. Although energy cap and trade programs are well intentioned, the final result seldom meets expectations.
In my opinion, complex energy cap and trade systems are difficult to administer and usually slow progress in moving from fossil fuel to renewable energy. Businesses are quick to implement change when presented with financial incentives. Carbon taxes and tax credit programs for renewable energy projects such as onshore wind farms, offshore wind farms, geothermal projects, solar parks, and hydroelectric projects.
In my opinion, Oregon should abandon the proposed energy cap, trade and invest program and should aggressively pursue an energy tax and renewable energy tax credit program to enable the state to rapidly replace fossil fuel with clean, cost efficient renewable energy. I would strongly urge our Oregon legislators to look beyond California for innovative examples in energy legislation. Legislators in Texas, Iowa, and South Dakota have implemented legislation that have enabled the state to rapidly develop renewable energy resources over the past decade. Maryland and Connecticut are making significant progress in developing microgrid and energy storage systems. New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts are developing energy strategies to develop offshore wind farms.
In my opinion, Oregon’s legislators should open their eyes to the legislative innovations that are taking place in the field of energy across this country.