Other Direct Policy

Other common programs at the stated and Federal level, include direct payments (such as through grants or awards) and government purchase of these technologies. These mechanisms generally require continuing budgetary support, which may be provided from a dedicated revenue source, or may require periodic affirmation in appropriations process.

Direct payments, such as the Federal Renewable Electricity Production Incentive (REPI), are useful to publicly owned or not-for-profit (such as rural electric cooperatives) utilities interested in developing renewable energy resources, but which do not pay taxes. Presently, authority to provide REPI payments to new sources has expired [30]. A number of states have established system benefit funds dedicated to supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and technologies. Although varying greatly by state, these programs are typically structured to collect revenue based on an additional fee on retail generation or billing, commonly referred to as a systems benefit charge or public benefit fund [31]. As a result of EPACT and subsequent Presidential orders, the various agencies of the Federal government are required to obtain a share of their energy from renewable sources and reduce their consumption of energy per square foot of facility [32]. Finally, the Federal-owned fleet of cars and other vehicles is required to meet requirements for both fuel economy and use of alternative fuels. Several state local governments have also established similar purchase or efficiency requirements for electricity or motor fuels [33].

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