Tax Breaks & Subsidies
Wind-energy advocates fear a recent decision by an international board overseeing the U.N. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) may have dealt a devastating blow to China's CDM process.
Others worry that the damage inflicted by a CDM executive board decision March 26 in Bonn may stretch beyond China, perhaps upsetting the entire global carbon-credits exchange market.
Critics of clean-energy federal programs say it isn't the place of federal government to meddle in markets. "Given the amount of money that was put into this sector via the stimulus and didn't end up having the desired effect, with a lot of money ending up going out of the U.S., it's definitely an area that's seen by Republicans as ripe for being cut," said a Congressional staffer.
"The green bubble is starting to fall apart," said Tom Borelli, a fellow at the tea party group FreedomWorks. "How much longer can we fund things that are not cost-competitive?"
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Obama prominently collided during the campaign over the fate of the tax credit. ...the last chance to extend it comes in December's lame-duck session.
Where will the next bubble turn up? In Mr. Janszen's view, the alternative-energy industry's expansion is showing some of the same patterns that allowed values to swell far beyond their true worth during the dot-com and housing booms. For starters, green energy is popular with the media and with politicians - "energy security" has become a catchphrase for both Democrats and Republicans. It has received favorable legislation involving loan guarantees and subsidies, just as the Internet got a sales-tax amnesty in the 1990s and deregulation allowed banks to offer more credit to potential homeowners.
Despite the speed with which the government wants to act - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- includes a goal of spending 50% of the $787 billion allocated by the legislation within 120 days from when it is signed into law -- many hurdles and unanswered questions remain ...while one provision of the Recovery Act gives cash grants, another takes away tax benefits.
The act stipulates that recipients of cash grants can only use 85% of the accelerated depreciation associated with a project.
Prowers County Assessor, Andy Wyatt, got an unpleasant surprise on Thursday, March 30, when he read the Pueblo Chieftain story headlined, "Lawmaker challenges wind farm legislation." According to the story, an amendment tacked onto House Bill 1275, "at the behest of Prowers County Assessor Andy Wyatt" would potentially make the bill unconstitutional.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office has declined to give an opinion about the legality of expanding a jointly-owned enterprise zone in Tazewell County, State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz said Friday.
Umholtz requested an opinion from Madigan's office several months ago ...But Umholtz said the issue isn't quite over for him.
"This is an issue of statewide importance," he said. "I'm still trying to encourage state government to follow state law."
After a week that smoothed the path for a proposed Coos County wind farm, a state attorney is asking for closer scrutiny of its financing.
Peter Roth, a senior assistant attorney general, has asked the state Site Evaluation Committee to suspend hearings to license the construction of 33 wind turbines along forested ridgelines. He said Granite Reliable Power has not shown it can pay for the $275 million project, a claim rebutted by an attorney for the company.
By October, the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency had paid its consultants about $38,000 to develop a model property tax exemption policy for wind power developments.
But the big money paid to JCIDA attorneys came after Oct. 6, and that number will remain secret because it has been paid by the company bringing Galloo Island Wind Farm to Jefferson County.
Australia's prime minister, facing a tough re-election fight and under pressure over his climate credentials, has pledged new "clean energy" targets in a move environment groups said would not sway green-leaning voters.
By 2020, John Howard said, 15 percent of Australia's energy would come from "clean" sources including solar, wind, nuclear or clean coal, reversing his coalition government's previous reluctance to lift its renewable energy target from 2 percent.
The promise also dropped "renewable" from the government's agenda, paving the way for a controversial switch to nuclear energy, backed by Howard as a greenhouse-friendly alternative.
Power company Avista Corp. (AVA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday it opposes an initiative in Washington state requiring 15 percent of power supply to come from renewable sources, saying the measure would boost prices and that it fails to count existing hydropower.
The head of the American Wind Energy Association announced her resignation today.
Denise Bode will be leaving her post as president and CEO of AWEA on Dec. 31 to return to private practice as a tax attorney ahead of next year's expected debate on Capitol Hill over comprehensive tax reform.
The overarching goal is to determine "what does the industry need to stay alive, basically," said one industry lobbyist familiar with the meeting ...Congress is expected to address the immediate fate of the PTC during a lame-duck session, although the future of the credit and myriad other issues largely hinge on the outcome of the elections.
Under the old PTC rules, beginning construction meant starting work "of a significant nature," which could include steps like building access roads and foundations. ...However, the previous guidance was less clear about whether construction had to be continuous in order for the project to qualify for the PTC. ...the same changes were not made to the requirements for bonus depreciation.
On Thursday, AWEA submitted testimony to the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development calling for a substantial boost in wind energy research and development (R&D) funding to $70 million next year.
Energy Secretary insisted households will be better off due to initiatives but families will only benefit if they buy more efficient domestic appliances. Average bill is now £1,267 with £112 of that amount going on green taxes. By 2020 green taxes will have risen by over 150 per cent - £286 per family. Charity said government 'embarrassed by terrifying cost of green policies'. Claimed it is 'covering up' with a 'whitewash of wildly optimistic assumptions'.
According to a Dow Jones story Thursday, Siemens and Vestas (OTC:VWDRY) are the most likely companies to be hurt, since they are the biggest customers for Chinese wind towers in the US. Chinese wind tower manufacturers. While Siemens stock has declined less than the industry as a whole, only Vestas stock has declined as might be expected.
Registry will reduce massive certifications and legal contracts in correlation with voluntary emissions trading in hopes of increasing trade
The Obama administration should bar a $1.5 billion wind-farm project in Texas from receiving U.S. government stimulus funds because most of the power turbines would be made in China, Senator Charles Schumer said.
"The idea that stimulus funds would be used to create jobs overseas is quite troubling," Schumer, a New York Democrat, wrote in a draft of a letter he said yesterday he would send to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. ...Schumer said he would pursue legislation if necessary to prevent stimulus funds from being used for the Texas project.