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Extend the production tax credit, already!

Late last week the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), made up of over 500 organizations (including Fortune 500 companies like Google, universities, non-profits, etc.), presented a letter to Congress encouraging them to extend the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy.

As we’ve noted, the tax credits are at risk to lapse, which would just be a generally bad idea — for the economy, for renewable industries, for the potential job creation, and for the greenhouse gas reductions that the impacted projects could be making.

Pulling a few points from their letter:

  • If the PTC and ITC lapse, 42,000 MW of planned renewable energy projects in development in 45 states would be canceled. That’s the equivalent to 75 base load electricity generation stations.
  • Meanwhile, in 2007, $2.6 billion was invested in CleanTech alone. That amount has grown exponentially each year. Still, it is also threatened by the ITC’s lapse.

That in addition to the 116,000 wind and solar jobs at risk.

ACORE points out in its article an invasion I’d also like to emphasize — the first week of March, Washington, DC hosts WIREC — the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference. The utility and attendance of the event I could hardly begin to describe. DC will be flooded with information and opportunity on renewables, and there will be so much to do (between panels, exhibits, side events, etc.), I don’t know how one could begin to create a schedule.

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That is the same feeling our Congress should feel — overwhelmed by the interest and opportunities of the future. Hundreds of companies and utilities have expressed their desire to see regulatory global warming legislation. And now hundreds more have signed on to encourage the solutions. Yet we still can’t seem to extend these credits — not even pass something new, just extend something that’s been around the last 7 years of this administration and beyond!

It is no joke that the missing ingredient is political will, and it’s spoiling untold amounts.

— Kari M.