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Senators Push to Extend Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credits for Wind, Solar, and More

Key Takeaways:

  • A group of senators wish to extend wind and solar tax credits
  • Renewables industry backs plan to keep Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit alive
  • “ITC has generated hundreds of thousands of jobs and injected more than $140 billion into economy”

Twenty U.S. senators are working to extend the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), as well as the residential renewable energy tax credit – as these incentives near their phase-out in 2019. In a June letter addressed to the Senate majority and minority leaders as well as bipartisan leaders on the Senate Finance Committee, the bloc requested that Congress “prioritize extending clean energy tax incentives,” which fueled the booming wind and solar energy market in recent years, and work “to implement a technology-neutral incentive or other federal legislation to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation.”

The move is the latest indication that the successful tax incentive policies that guided five years of renewable energy investment may be back on the table. The country’s biggest renewables industry groups, including the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), have also showed strong support for the senators’ plan to reinstate the tax incentives.

“As Congress considers clean energy tax policy, we encourage parity between technologies to boost competition and meet consumer demand for clean energy at the lowest possible cost,” said AWEA’s VP for Federal Affairs, Bree Raum, in supporting the PTC extension proposal. The president and CEO of SEIA, Abigail Ross Hopper, said of the Investment Tax Credit: “The ITC is the strongest policy there is to incent clean energy development. We already know that the ITC has generated hundreds of thousands of jobs and injected more than $140 billion in private investment into the economy.”

Those two measures aren’t all that the clean energy industry is pushing for. Extensions on tax credits for developing biodiesel, biofuel, plug-in electric vehicles, energy storage and other ways of decarbonizing the energy grid are being weighed. Pressure is building in Congress to act faster in support of low- or zero-emitting energy technology alternatives. In the letter, the senators wrote: “In order to continue amplifying renewable energy growth and a meaningful transition to clean energy utilization, our country will need to continue policies that have already proven to drive investment, or otherwise pass new policies that dis-incentivize carbon emissions.”

 

What We’re Reading: “US Senate Democrats & Clean Energy Industry Call For Tax Credit Extensions” as published on Clean Technica

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