Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in Louisiana
Louisiana has a number of renewable energy technology incentives in place and is actively promoting both residential and commercial solar PV at the moment. While it still only has a small amount of its energy production from renewables, two thirds of which currently come from biomass, the future is bright for the state. Louisiana does have a large industrial sector though, a major part of which deals in oil refining, second only to Texas in capacity.
The state currently has around 86 MW of solar energy installed with enough power to keep 8,000 homes going, giving it a mid-table place at 23rd in the US for production. More incentives and lowering prices may be giving the solar industry a boost and there were 59 companies employing 2,000 people in 2015. Many of the big stores have decided to go solar, installing panels on their buildings, including Walmart and Abita Brewing.
Wind power has also had a boost in recent years. Companies like Blade Dynamics, encouraged by state incentives, have set up shop in Louisiana though much of the energy from wind power currently comes from other regions of the US. The key issue is with the low amount of wind in Louisiana which makes turbines a difficult proposition.
Solar PV Incentives in Louisiana
Compared to other states in the region, Louisiana has put in place good incentives to help promote solar PV. Installers will already get the Federal Tax Rebate but both commercial and residential can also get up to 50% off the cost of putting in solar PV if this installations are carried out by the 1st January 2018. The budget for this runs to $25 million and much will depend on the success of uptake. The state has yet to see the full impact of this policy but with net metering in place it could begin to grow the industry and set an example for the region, encouraging other states to put in their own incentives.
Solar PV Case Study in Louisiana
Louisiana allows for outright purchase of a solar array as well as leasing (where you benefit from the cheaper electricity bills but hand over rights to incentives to the installing company who put your panels in for free). With the 30% Federal Tax Rebate and the 50% state rebate, the cost of solar is much lower than in many other states. The starting price for a 5 kW array is in the region of $20,000 but with all the incentives the cost comes down dramatically. That means you should have paid off any loan or investment within the first ten years and can expect a profit over the lifetime of the array of around $20,000, much higher than in many other states. Not only that you could see the sale value of your home increase by as much as $12,000.
Solar Thermal Incentives in Louisiana
Solar thermal benefits from the Federal Tax Rebate but doesn’t get the same state rebate for solar PV where the legislation was tweaked recently. Solar water heating does still offer a good return on investment though and is a reasonably popular technology in the state. However, more customers are looking to move straight to solar PV or install a combination system.
Small Hydro Incentives in Louisiana
The state has a small amount of electricity produced by water including the Syndey J Murray hydroelectric dam in Vidalia. Micro hydro installations can benefit from the Federal Tax Rebate but uptake is low even in rural areas where the need and opportunities are greater. Don’t expect micro hydro systems to begin sprouting up around the state any time soon.
Geothermal Incentives in Louisiana
There are a number of incentives in place to help promote the installation of technology such as ground source heat pumps. Much depends on the insulation of the property concerned as to whether this is a viable option but the utility companies all have their own rebate systems and there are specific commercial rebates such as the AEP Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Program.
Biomass Incentives in Louisiana
Louisiana has big plans for biomass and there has been research undertaken that could see them producing as much as 18% of their biofuel needs in the near future. Biomass energy production is still in its initial stages but a number of industries are starting to move towards biomass boilers to provide their local energy needs. As with other southern states, Louisiana has a rich resource for developing this industry.
Wind Power Incentives in Louisiana
Louisiana currently has little or no wind power contributing to their energy mix and is one of the few states in the US to shy away from this technology. This is mainly due to the climatic conditions rather than any state legislature as in other states. Louisiana sees solar as potentially more productive and is reluctant to invest resources for a technology that will only produce limited results.
As in other southern states, the connection to renewable technology has had a troubled beginning. With strong incentives in place for solar, however, Louisiana is giving itself a better chance at switching to green energy and contributing to a cleaner energy mix in the years to come.
You can find out more about the renewable technology incentives that Louisiana has on the DSIRE website.