Tax Breaks & Subsidies and Energy Policy
Those who build large houses in Vermont could face hefty state fees if some lawmakers succeed in their efforts.
Under the Senate version of the proposed law, those who put up new houses larger than 4,000 square feet would be charged unless their buildings were energy efficient.
A similar bill likely to be introduced soon in the House is even tougher. Fees assessed under it on such large houses will go directly to a fund promoting renewable energy production in the state.
Big property-tax breaks for developers that construct clean coal-fired power plants and transmission lines carrying "clean and green" energy were approved by Montana lawmakers on the final day of the special session.
"This is a classic jobs and environment bill," said Evan Barrett, chief business officer in the governor's office of economic development.
The federal Minister for the Environment says Australia's mandatory renewable energy targets will ensure wind farms are built, despite his decision to veto some developments to protect the orange-bellied parrot.
"Defendants used the ATVM loan program as nothing more than a veil to steer hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to government cronies," according to the district court complaint.
Today's lawsuits are the latest challenge to clean-energy loan programs administered by the Energy Department, which has come under scrutiny over a $535 million loan guarantee to now-bankrupt solar-panel maker Solyndra.
A total of 250 wind power turbines could be developed along Western Australia’s Swan coastal plain as a result of a renewable energy legislation currently before State Parliament.
The Greens party has introduced a bill which sets a target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020.
State Rep. John LeMahieu, R-Cascade, told the Assembly Energy and Utilities Committee that town board members take "a lot of grief" from the public when they approve wind farms. He cited the recall election held Tuesday involving a Calumet County board supervisor who favored a wind farm project.
"Unless the towns approve them, we won't have wind farms in this state. They're certainly not going up in the city of Fond du Lac," he said.
Under LeMahieu's bill, $208,000 in utility aid payments would be shifted this year from Fond du Lac County to the towns in which Cedar Ridge, Forward Energy and Blue Skies Green Fields are located.
The state Legislature wrapped up its 2005-06 session Thursday and early Friday by sending dozens of bills to Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Among them:
WIND POWER: A bill that would offer a tax credit for harnessing wind energy overwhelmingly passed the House and is headed to Granholm’s desk.
The legislation would provide a tax credit of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy generated for a taxpayer who owns a windmill or wind turbine, with no taxpayer receiving a credit of more than $750,000 per year.
The Montana Legislature last week tabled an opportunity for the state's farmers and ranchers to profit from wind.
By voting at the last minute to table Senate Bill 337, a bill that would have allowed Green Electricity Buying Cooperative to use $31.7 million in bonding authority to build 40 windmills on 40 farms across Montana, Montana legislators put on hold the wind company's plans to put together a bid for clean energy bonds and incorporate 40 ranches or farms involved in producing wind energy across the state.
A state program that subsidizes green energy projects got trimmed Friday when lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that reduces tax credits for Oregon wind farms.
Gov. Ted Kulongoski hasn't decided on the bill. His aide said he doesn't want to roll back Oregon's incentives for alternative energy because they have delivered "tremendous economic returns." At the same time, he recognizes that the state needs all the money it can get in the next two years.
SPANISH FORK — An embattled wind farm development set to begin construction next year in Spanish Fork may serve as a microcosm for the future of wind energy in Utah and across the nation.
The farm, a project of Utah-based Wasatch Wind, will be the state's first commercial wind farm. It already has been delayed after citizens in Spanish Fork requested that it be moved farther from homes, to a site at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon.
Finding investors was difficult, and the looming expiration date on a state tax credit, on which the project depends, promises an arduous battle still ahead as supporters work to get the credit restored.
Like the wind power industry as a whole, the Wasatch Wind project has weathered the early storm and is poised to move forward but remains shrouded in lingering questions
Measures that will affect 2008 tax returns:.........
• An income tax credit of up to $12,500 to offset the cost of buying and installing systems that produce electricity from solar or wind energy.
Wind-energy proponents did not convince state Rep. Jack Lutz on Tuesday that Indiana should require electric companies to generate at least 10 percent of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2017.
“I was very thrilled when I heard in August that Duke Energy did it voluntarily,” said Lutz, a Republican from Anderson who chairs the House Utilities and Energy Committee. “I think that’s proof we don’t need to mandate it.”
Indiana’s first wind farm — to include up to 135 wind turbines — is under development on 10,000 acres in Benton County. Duke Energy Indiana has agreed to buy electricity from the project.
During a day-long meeting Tuesday of the Indiana General Assembly’s Regulatory Flexibility Committee, which Lutz co-chairs, spokesmen said Indiana’s electric companies have been experimenting with generating electricity from the sun, animal waste, switch grass, wind and landfill gas.