Renewables associations call for tax credits extension

The National Hydropower Association and other renewable energy groups are calling for a long-term extension of federal renewable energy production tax credits to provide developers financial certainty to attract investment.

NHA Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci and officers of the Geothermal Energy Association, Solar Energy Industries Association, and American Wind Energy Association issued a joint statement Jan. 22, calling for extension of renewables tax credits for economic stimulus.

�As leaders of four major renewable energy trade associations, we respectfully urge bipartisan congressional leadership and the president to work together to include renewable energy tax provisions in any economic stimulus legislation currently being developed,� the trade association leaders said. �Renewable energy will put Americans back to work, provide reliable and domestic energy for homes and businesses, and spur billions of dollars of economic investment but only if Congress and the administration take immediate action to extend the renewable energy tax credits.�

In a separate statement, NHA said a long-term extension of the production tax credit and other measures could expand business by more than 20 percent in coming years. NHA added that without renewable energy tax credits its members reported their business development could slow by as much as 20 percent. Investment follows support and certainty in a stable tax environment, it said.

�In the two years since the hydropower industry became eligible for PTC certification, companies have developed 18 incremental hydropower projects that provide an additional 230,908 MWh of electricity,� NHA said. �These projects improve the efficiency of existing facilities, one by as much as 23 percent.� (HNN 1/24/08)

�Congress and the White House have an opportunity to expand their hard-fought gains in the energy and environmental sector by extending the renewable energy tax credits immediately� NHA also said. �These measures bring real jobs, real revenue, and real electricity production today �- not a generation from now.�

Congress seen taking up energy tax incentives

While trade organization leaders said renewable energy tax provisions should be included in any economic stimulus legislation, Congress has not yet seen fit to do so.

�Realistically, that is not likely to happen because the parameters of the stimulus are pretty clear,� Bill Wicker, a spokesman for Democrats on the Senate Energy Committee, said.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, is committed to helping pass legislation this year extending renewable energy tax credits, set to expire at the end of 2008, Wicker said. However, the stimulus package does not appear to be the best vehicle for accomplishing that objective, he said.

�A growing consensus among economists is that a stimulus package should give the economy an immediate shot in the arm, and that its benefits should be temporary, targeted, and quick,� Wicker added. �If someone can show us how extending PTCs will put a lot of dollars into people’s pockets right away, then we’ll be all for it. But no one has made the case how that will happen.�

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