Legislation provides hydropower production tax credit parity

Bipartisan legislation to fully recognize the energy, environmental and economic benefits of hydropower has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

The legislation, called the Renewable Energy Parity Act, would provide production tax credit (PTC) parity for hydropower generation, leveling the playing field for all renewables, media reports indicate.

Currently hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic technologies receive only one-half the amount of the credit available to other renewable resources. The bill would equalize the PTC at the higher rate for all qualifying technologies.

Recent studies have found that hydropower’s contribution to the energy mix could be increased by over 60,000 MW, with the right policies in place, all while adding nearly 1.4 million cumulative new jobs by 2025.

The National Hydropower Association, which represents the majority of non-federal hydropower generation in the United States, said it strongly supports the bill.

“NHA applauds the legislative work to recognize not only hydropower’s current contribution to the nation’s electricity portfolio, but its future potential,” said Linda Church Ciocci, NHA’s executive director. “The current disparity shifts private sector investment away from hydro, despite the clean, renewable energy and economic benefits additional project development can provide. This bill closes the gap between technologies and will help bring affordable and reliable hydropower to more Americans.”

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