Renewable Energy Technology Incentives in Missouri
Missouri, as have many other southern states, has been a little slow on the uptake with renewable energy but is finally coming to the party. With most of its electricity currently coming from coal and barely 3% from renewables such as wind and hydroelectric power, there is a long way to go if the state is to meet the renewable portfolio target of 15% by 2021.
Advances in renewable energy are not just seen as important for the fuel mix of the state but could also provide many thousands of jobs in the short and long term. Wind is seen as a prime developmental area in this as Missouri has the capacity and the resources to produce in excess of 275,000 MW of energy. Farmland could be integral to this also and installations could provide much needed revenue to the agricultural industry. The current state capacity is 459 MW but a further 2,000 are in the pipeline across various projects.
Home of the hog farm, Missouri could equally produce some 300,000 MW from animal waste alone and biomass production and power plants are at the forefront of their future energy strategy. Solar PV plays a small part in the portfolio plans for the next 5 years with only 2% of the total electricity of the state planned on being generated in this way. The state has two hydroelectric plants, including Taum Sauk that has a capacity of 440 MW.
Solar PV Incentives in Missouri
Solar PV has increased recently in Missouri and the state now has a combined capacity of 129 MW, the biggest being O'Fallon Renewable Energy Center which produces 5.2 MW. The solar PV industry has grown to 114 companies employing some 1,900 people in the last few years. Incentives for solar PV installation come from the Federal Tax Rebate but there is also financing available through the Clean Energy Development Boards for commercial, public and residential installations.
Solar PV Case Study in Missouri
The state allows you to buy solar PV, lease or enter into a power purchase and because of the relatively high electricity costs many are considering leasing. The return on investment if you should choose to buy outright however is not too bad, bearing in mind it is a long term investment. A typical 5 kW array will set you back in the region of $16,500 one of the lowest prices in the US at the moment and with the Federal Tax Rebate you get 30% off. You should then pay off the amount you invested by year 14 and get a profit over the 25-year life of the array of over $10,000. If the electricity prices come down following the development of the renewables industry you could realize more profit.
Solar Thermal Incentives in Missouri
Solar thermal in Missouri comes with all the incentives that solar PV has. This is a cheaper option for heating water and can be paid off in less time, often saving around 70% on heating bills. Local incentives include the low cost loan scheme Set the Pace St Louis that is available for commercial and residential installations as well as contractors themselves.
Small Hydro Incentives in Missouri
Missouri has plenty of natural resources to make micro hydroelectric a viable option particularly in rural and agricultural areas where there are good water supplies. Incentives come from the Federal Tax Rebate but there are also low cost loans for farms through the Missouri Agricultural and Energy Saving Team.
Geothermal Incentives in Missouri
Most of the utility companies offer rebate incentives for installations such as ground source heat pumps for both residential and commercial premises. Geothermal heat pumps can save large amounts of energy to keep a home warm if it has the right infrastructure in place and enough surrounding land. Incentives include the Kirkwood Electric Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program.
Biomass Incentives in Missouri
Missouri has a huge potential for exploiting biomass and a number of businesses and organizations have benefited from the Federal Tax Rebate and installed boilers, including the state university. The Clean Energy Board Scheme provides low cost loans for biomass initiatives and there is the possibility of taking advantage of the Tax Deduction for Home Energy Audits and Energy Efficiency Improvements scheme that operates for a range of upgrades for residential properties.
Wind Power Incentives in Missouri
Wind power, because of Missouri’s natural resources, could improve significantly over the next five years, particularly in agricultural areas where there is plenty of space to build turbines. The technology benefits from the Federal Tax Rebate but also from a range of low cost loans including PACE financing. For creating jobs, the wind power industry is seen as important new development and for agricultural locations it could provide added income each year to the tune of $18,000 to $24,000. The problem may be that Missouri has a large amount of protected land where legislation currently prohibits the building of wind turbines.
Despite the slow start in engaging with renewable technology, the state of Missouri has begun to move forward and the prospect of creating large numbers of jobs is a prime driver of this. While over 80% of its energy still comes from coal, the uptake of green power production could bring a sea change in the state over the next five years. They are no doubt going to have to work hard to achieve the renewable portfolio standard for 2021 of 15%.
You can find out about the renewable technology incentives currently provided in Missouri from the DSIRE web resource.