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Maine's green tech sector welcomes passage of the Inflation Reduction Act

Zach Newton, Bryan Driscoll
Robert F. Bukaty
Electricians Bryan Driscoll and Zach Newton and consult a wiring schematic while installing solar panels at the 38-acre BNRG/Dirigo solar farm, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Oxford, Maine. President Joe Biden wants to change the way the U.S. uses energy by expanding renewables, but faces several challenges.

The Inflation Reduction Act that won approval Friday in the House of Representatives includes hundreds of billions of dollars to reduce the impacts of climate change. Many of Maine's clean energy companies welcome the news.

President Joe Biden was expected to sign the legislation on Tuesday.

The bill includes more than $300 billion to support energy and climate projects. Some of the money is dedicated to preserving forests and reducing agricultural impacts on the climate. The bill will also support clean energy projects, through tax credits for solar panels and wind turbines.

And supporters say it will also help consumers save money.

Marty Grohman the executive director of the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine, or E2 Tech, says his members like the bill because it will lower the upfront costs of technology such as electric cars and heat pumps.

"If you are able to access these clean transportation, clean energy solutions, you are going to save money over time," says Grohman. "And reducing that barrier to entry, I think, is thematically what the bill is about, and that's a big, big help."

Grohman says the bill will also provide incentives to modernize the electrical grid, and link up renewable energy projects in Maine. The bill awaits President Biden's signature.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.