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Another big win for renewables in the stimulus bill

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"Another big win for renewables in the stimulus bill"

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I had reported on the final stimulus deal containing a “3-year extension of the production tax credit for wind and other renewables.” Now Energy Daily (subs. req’d) reports:

In a major victory for clean energy advocates, the $790 billion compromise economic stimulus legislation approved by a House-Senate conference committee late Wednesday retains House language that will allow renewable energy developers to exchange their tax credits for cash grants from the Energy Department, a provision industry officials called essential for the continued growth of the U.S. wind and solar industries.

The article, “Renewables Win, Nukes Lose In Final Stimulus Bill” notes that the conferees stripped out the $50 billion in high-risk, job-killing fraudulent budget gimmickry (i.e. loans) the Senate had added for the nuclear industry, first reported here. Energy Daily adds:

In adopting House language allowing renewable developers to exchange tax credits for DOE grants, the conferees met the industry’s urgent plea that Congress give wind and solar investors a way to monetize the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) or the investment tax credit (ITC) at a time when many banks and investment firms are losing money and thus have no interest in obtaining credits to reduce their taxes. Since the global financial crisis began last fall, wind and solar developers have warned they would be unable to continue deploying projects unless Congress found a way to convert the tax credits into cash.

For a longer discussion of why the industry needs this, see “House Ways & Means embraces refundable renewable tax credits.”

I now think it likely Obama will hit his ambitious target to “double the production of alternative energy in the next three years” — as long as his team focuses as much on transmission as on the production itself (see “ITC to build $12 billion in wind farm power lines, JCSP study finds $50+B savings from 20% wind“)

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4 Responses to Another big win for renewables in the stimulus bill

  1. Bob Wright says:

    Another reason to leave nuclear out of the stimulus package is that it seems to be doing just fine already. Florida, Georgia and South Carolina each have approved GenIII reactors, leaving only NRC reviews to be done.

    In round numbers that is about 7,000 MW capacity due on line around 2016 at a cost of…only God knows… maybe $40-50b. The best news is the Florida utility is actually going to RETIRE two coal fired plants when they are on-line.

    The plants will be identical to those already under construction in China, and costs may fall as suppliers build hundreds of standardized components, not one-of-a-kinds.

    With this glowing (in the dark) report card, the stimulus money will be much better used for the smaller but more numerous renewables and conservation projects.

  2. Sasparilla says:

    Hey Joe, is Utility Decoupling still in the final package?

    [JR: Yes, to the displeasure of many, as it turns out.]

  3. Rick C says:

    Joe,

    This is off-topic but, in light of the renewal of tax incentives to build wind turbine farms I thought I would ask about this anti wind turbine group. While trying to show a friend some pics of the wind turbines out in Sweetwater Texas I accidentally came across this website called ‘Wind-Watch.org. They present themselves as a grass roots environmental group apposed to sighing and constructing wind farms. They’re disparaging the use of wind turbines to combat climate change They argue that they are noisy, depopulate migrating birds, reduce bat populations, use far more land per watt to generate energy than conventional sources (unless you factor in mountain top removal and the good things the coal companies are doing in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming) and so on. The people who founded the organization are listed in the about section and are from the New England states of Vermont and Massachusetts. I tried whois.net and it referred me to pir.org. When I rang it through there this is what I got:

    Domain ID: D126145137-LROR
    Domain Name: WIND-WATCH.ORG
    Created On: 20-Jul-2006 14: 08: 33 UTC
    Last Updated On: 12-Feb-2009 17: 55: 46 UTC
    Expiration Date: 20-Jul-2012 14: 08: 33 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (R91-LROR)
    Status: CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITED
    Status: CLIENT RENEW PROHIBITED
    Status: CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
    Status: CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
    Registrant ID: GODA-021881143
    Registrant Name: Registration Private
    Registrant Organization: Domains by Proxy, Inc.
    Registrant Street1: DomainsByProxy.com
    Registrant Street2: 15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City: Scottsdale
    Registrant State/Province: Arizona
    Registrant Postal Code: 85260
    Registrant Country: US
    Registrant Phone: +1.4806242599

    Note the registrant is listed as private and there is no reference to the states this board of directors is from but instead indicates registration from Scottsdale Arizona. Now that means nothing in and of itself because web hosting sites can be located anywhere but their information is highly misleading and some of the pics show wind turbines on fire in an attempt to use scare tactics. It’s as if those concerns eclipse the coal ash spills in Tennessee, mountaintop removal, mercury, lead and a host of other deadly emissions. Are they an Astroturf organization?