The federal government’s package of policies to support the development of renewable energy mainly includes two types of management policies such as the federal fiscal incentive plan and laws and regulations, standards, and binding indicators. The federal fiscal incentive plan mainly includes tax incentives and reductions, loan guarantees and other measures. Among them, tax incentives and exemptions are the most important financial incentives for the federal government to promote the development of renewable energy. The federal government has set up funds specifically to support the development of renewable energy and promote energy efficiency improvements. At present, the main funds are the Energy Fund of the US Department of Energy and the Rural Energy Fund of the United States.
On December 16, 2015, the US House of Representatives agreed to an amendment to extend the solar investment tax credit (ITC) for five years. According to the content of the document, the ITC, which was originally reduced from 30% to 10% on December 31, 2016, will be extended by five years to 2022, and subsidies of different amounts will be given according to the time of construction. Companies that invest in renewable energy such as solar energy can continue to enjoy a tax credit equivalent to 30% of the total investment until 2019, which will decrease from 2020 to 10% in 2022.
In addition to applying the photovoltaic-related financial incentive plans developed by the federal government, the states in the United States have also formulated a series of financial incentive plans. Mainly concentrated in tax incentives, of which property tax incentives are the majority, followed by fund return and loan incentives.
② United Kingdom
After the British government announced that the FIT subsidized electricity price was significantly reduced by 64% in 2016, it announced on December 17, 2015 that the current renewables obligation (RO) will be terminated on March 31, 2016. In the future, neither rooftop or ground-based photovoltaic power generation is applicable.
The RO support for photovoltaic power generation is only £3 per household per year, and only accounts for 6% of the overall RO budget; the UK has announced that solar systems above 5MW are not applicable to RO, and it took effect in September 2015. In July 2015, the government proposed to reduce the feed-in tariff subsidy by 87%, which is a key subsidy to support domestic and commercial rooftop photovoltaic and small photovoltaic power generation; it also proposed to exclude solar energy from the plan to support large-scale projects.
Looking at the development of the world’s photovoltaic power generation industry, policy support is indispensable in the initial development of the industry. The policies of various countries to promote photovoltaic power generation mainly include the on-grid pricing policy, the initial installation subsidy of the electricity net system, and the investment research and development subsidy. The above types of policies have produced different effects on the development of the photovoltaic power generation industry.
Internet pricing policy is undoubtedly the most powerful of all policy measures, and is currently widely accepted in various countries. However, the policy also has some negative effects in the implementation process. In the early stage of the implementation of this policy, Spain’s domestic photovoltaic market showed explosive growth and became the world’s largest photovoltaic market. However, after experiencing a substantial reduction in the on-grid price of photovoltaic power generation and setting a photovoltaic market limit, the Spanish photovoltaic market has suffered a serious impact. It can be seen that the good effect of the photovoltaic online pricing policy is based on the matching of the pricing mechanism and market conditions. Only by coordinating with the market conditions can reasonable profits be ensured and the photovoltaic power generation industry can develop healthily.
The implementation of the electricity net system has provided welfare to residents and enterprises that use photovoltaic power generation. The progress has stimulated the demand of the photovoltaic market and guided private capital to effectively intervene in the development of the photovoltaic power generation industry. The initial installation subsidy solves the dilemma of relatively high initial cost of photovoltaic power generation. As the cost after subsidy has dropped significantly, the implementation of the subsidy policy has enabled more manufacturers to enter the solar power generation industry and promoted the development of industrialization.
Investment research and development subsidies are subsidies for photovoltaic power generation technology. Technological innovation and progress are key factors in the development of photovoltaic power generation industry, and also a bottleneck in the current stage of industrial development, and R&D requires a lot of financial support. The issuance of subsidy funds will help each link of the photovoltaic power generation industry chain to strengthen the training of relevant talents and increase technological innovation, thereby reducing the cost of photovoltaic power generation and promoting the development of the photovoltaic power generation industry.