Alternative Energy Grants
In order to stimulate citizens and companies to adopt renewable energy, the US government offers several alternative energy grants.These grants are necessary because alternative energy is not yet competitive with fossil fuels and other established resources and the situation is not likely to change very quickly. Giving grants to clean energy produces excellent environmental returns in terms of emissions cuts and speeds up the transition to a sustainable economy.
One good place to start looking for alternative energy grants is the Department of Energy’s database of incentives and policies for renewables and efficiency. The website is constantly updated and it is possible to search grants for specific federal states.
The USDA Rural Development department also provides grants for the development and commercialization of alternative energy sources. Besides promoting sustainability, the USDA believes the grants also promote economic opportunities in rural America. There are several examples of local initiatives as well. In early September 2011, the Indiana government announced the launch of Alternative Fuel Vehicle grants to public and private institutions to help pay for conversion of fleet on-road vehicles to alternative fuels.
It’s not only in the US that the government gives alternative energy grants. In September 2011, the Indian central government announced it was offering grants to educational institutions that adopt renewable energy to meet their power requirements. The grants can meet almost half of the project cost. In over 40 countries in the world, governments have set up feed-in tariff schemes. Although these are not exactly grants, they do provide an incentive for the adoption of solar and wind power. A feed-in tariff is a premium rate paid for electricity that is fed back into the electricity grid from a source of clean energy such as a rooftop solar PV system or wind turbine. It’s worth checking out if a feed-in tariff scheme is available in the jurisdiction where you live.