Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in Maryland
Maryland has a number of a renewable energy incentives in place to help both businesses and domestic premises engage with green power production. They have a renewable portfolio standard committed to produce 20% of energy needs from renewables by 2020. The state has one nuclear power plant that currently provides over 37% of their power needs and in 2014 renewables accounted for just 7% of the energy mix.
Maryland is starting to move forward on renewables, however. Recent legislation has removed barriers for taking on technologies such as solar PV and provision is being made for those on low to middle incomes to make sure they are not left out. Legislation has also been introduced to kick start wind energy production with a proposed 150 MW wind farm in Somerset County.
Other technologies that may well be on the table for Maryland in the next few years are tidal power and there are plenty of incentives for homes and businesses to install geothermal heat pumps where the space is available. The state also produces in the region of 3 million tons of biomass every year and currently get 1.2% of their electricity from biomass energy production with the power to add much more.
Solar PV Incentives in Maryland
By 2014, the state had over 70 MW of capacity installed which placed it 12th in the US but there is still plenty of room for improvement. The cost of solar panels has dropped by some 50% in the last five years and it’s never been more profitable to have an array installed. With over 160 companies currently operating in the industry, employing 3,000 people, the future looks good for solar PV and there are expectations that capacity will increase significantly in the next five years. Incentives include the Federal Tax Rebate and Clean Energy Tax Credits as well as grant schemes such as the Maryland Smart Energy Communities Grant for local government.
Solar PV Case Study in Maryland
Cost of a standard 5 kW array in Maryland is lower than in other states at around $17,500 and with the tax rebates on offer and solar performance payments that are the 6th best in the US, you can expect to pay off your initial investment within the first ten years. Profit over the 25-year lifetime of your solar panels could be as much as $18,700 not to mention the increased sale value installation will put on your home or commercial property.
Solar Thermal Incentives in Maryland
Solar thermal hot water systems have the same incentives as solar PV and other renewable technologies and are becoming increasingly popular in the state. Solar thermal can provide power for water, pool and space heating and can help reduce bills by as much as 70% for these home and commercial property needs.
Small Hydro Incentives in Maryland
Maryland gets a small amount of its energy mix from hydroelectricity with two dams currently in operation. There is a general feeling that there is as yet untapped resources in the state, particularly in the area of tidal and wave power. Past initiatives have not taken off but the state is seriously looking at exploiting the natural resources available. Local micro hydro installations are a little thin on the ground but incentives are provided by the Federal Tax Rebate.
Geothermal Incentives in Maryland
As in many other states, geothermal is a popular source of renewable energy in Maryland. There are plenty of different incentives including the Residential Clean Energy Grant Program which is aimed at home owners and those on low incomes. You can also benefit from local incentives such as the Montgomery County Residential Energy Conservation Property Tax Credit.
Biomass Incentives in Maryland
The state also has big plans for biomass and currently produces 1.2% of its electricity from this form of energy production. With so much production of biomass taking place in Maryland there are plenty of incentives around for converting domestic and commercial heating systems. For commercial and agricultural needs incentives such as the Mathias Agricultural Energy Efficiency Grant program certainly help, as does the Game Changer Competitive Grant Program. For industrial and government purposes the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Grant Program provides assistance. For residential properties there is the Clean-Burning Wood Stove Grant Program.
Wind Power Incentives in Maryland
Most of Maryland’s wind power generation potential is centered around their offshore capacity which could be as 54,000 MW. By the end of 2013 there was only 120 MW actually installed so much work is needed to get the most out of this renewable sector. The Deepwater Wind Farm construction is a step in the right direction. For off-grid or rural power supplies, the installation of a wind turbine represents a good return on investment considering the climate in the state and the high levels of wind in some areas. Both small and large scale wind constructions can benefit from the Windswept Grant Program.
The future looks bright for Maryland as it creates renewable energy technology incentives that are making a difference across the state. Whether you are looking to install solar PV, a heat pump or even a wind turbine there are great returns on investments and lower costs on hand to make going green worthwhile.
You can find out more about all the incentives Maryland provides on the DSIRE website.