Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in Delaware
Delaware is a small but progressive state that has bought into the idea of green technology and has a number of renewable energy incentives in place that benefit both residential and commercial concerns. Like many states, Delaware has a renewable energy standard and their goal for 2025 is to have 25% of their energy needs from these technologies, including solar and wind.
With potential offshore capacity, in 2012 the state received national backing for a wind farm near Rehoboth Beach which is going to produce 200 MW initially, hopefully rising to 600 MW in the years to come. It’s the first major project of its kind for the small state and has been plagued by delays, having first been initiated back in 2008.
Delaware is much more comfortable, as many states are, with solar and $21 million was invested in 2014 by both the commercial and residential sectors. Solar currently powers about 7,700 homes in the state. Larger solar farm installations include Dover Sun Park which has a capacity of 10 MW and Milford Solar Farm which produces 12 MW. There are currently 48 solar companies in Delaware employing about 400 workers and the industry is set to expand in the near future.
Solar PV Incentives in Delaware
With net metering introduced in recent years and the Federal Tax Rebate, there are a good few incentives for Delaware’s home owners and businesses to engage with solar PV. The Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) Spot Market Program is available for both commercial and residential and there’s a green home rebate administered by the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility. Installers have the choice of buying their solar panels outright or entering into a leasing agreement where they benefit from reduced electricity bills but you don’t have the right to rebates or incentives (the installing company gets these).
Solar PV Case Study in Delaware
Whether you choose to buy outright via savings or fund through something like the Green Grant Program, the return on investment for solar PV is currently pretty good. A 5 kW array will cost on average $16,650 and with the Federal Tax Rebate this comes down to $11,400. With various net metering and other incentives depending on your location, you should see a ROI in about 13 years with a profit after 25 years of around $15,500. You should also see between $15,000 and $20,000 added to the value of your home.
Solar Thermal Incentives in Delaware
Domestic solar heating for homes and apartments, as well as businesses, is beginning to gather pace in Delaware. Utility companies such as the Delaware Municipal Electric Company provide their own green energy funds to help people in the state take on everything from solar thermal to heat pumps. The state rebate program allows those who have solar thermal installed to benefit from around $1 per kW saved.
Small Hydro Incentives in Delaware
Delaware has no major hydroelectric plants and take up of micro hydro is negligible within the state. There are currently no incentives included in the state legislation to encourage uptake.
Geothermal Incentives in Delaware
If you have the right type of home that is well insulated, swapping to a ground source heat pump to provide your hot water and warmth is a good solution. Not only do you benefit from the 30% Federal Tax Rebate but the system is very low maintenance. Delmarva Power operate a green energy fund that is available for heat pumps and the Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) provides the Green for Green Home Rebate.
Biomass Incentives in Delaware
Despite its small size, Delaware does have a significant amount of possible biomass resources and investment in this area, while currently low compared to other states, is on the increase. As with other renewable technologies, Biomass boilers and wood burners are included in the list for green energy funds operated by the utility companies such as Sustainable Energy Utility. Businesses also benefit from the US government’s Energy Investment Tax Credit for changing to sustainable resources such as biomass.
Wind Power Incentives in Delaware
As we’ve already mentioned, wind power is low on the agenda for Delaware compared to options such as solar PV. With the construction of their first off shore wind farm we might see a change in attitudes but the size of the state may mean that land wind farms may not be seriously considered. Installations do carry with them the 30% Federal Tax Rebate and could profit from net metering but getting the permission to build, particularly in highly populated areas, is doubtful.
Perhaps because of the size of the state, it is understandable that Delaware has more of a focus on solar PV than other renewable technologies. Producing 25% of its energy from sustainable sources by 2025 is perhaps a big ask if they are not going to embrace a wide range of choices as other states have done. With no hydroelectric and little, so far, in the way of wind resources, much is going to depend on developing key areas including biomass power plants.
You can find out more about all the incentives offered for renewable energy in Delaware on the DSIRE website.