The energy bill approved in the U.S. Senate this week includes several provisions that directly affect renewable energy and building efficiency, according to Green Building Advisor's Scott Gibson.

The Energy Policy Modernization Act has strong bipartisan support and avoids making any sweeping changes in existing energy policy, Gibson notes.

The bill would promote research and development of energy storage technologies that can make the electrical grid more resilient. The 10-year program, which would get a half-billion dollars, is aimed at incorporating more battery storage on the grid to store electricity produced from renewable sources and reduce the need for gas-fired "peaker" plants brought on line at times of high demand.

Another $2 billion is earmarked for grid upgrades and modernization, including investments in the development of micro-grids that can make better use of renewable energy. Millions of dollars will be used for research and demonstration projects for marine and hydrokinetic energy — what The Post said was the production of electricity in rivers or from ocean tides but not conventional hydroelectric facilities.

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