Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies
“This production tax credit was established years ago to help the fledgling renewable energy industry. Now, when you drive through my state and many others with countless wind turbines, you can see that the wind industry is no longer a start-up, new energy source,” said Lankford. “The wind industry is thriving and does not need federal taxpayers’ money to thrive.” ...“The wind production tax credit is fundamentally unfair and has long outlived its expiration date.”
Despite the topic not being on the agenda, Wyoming lawmakers narrowly voted to propose a bill increasing the tax burden on wind energy producers in the state late Friday afternoon. After impassioned public comment on the topic, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions decided to draft a bill to eliminate a three-year electricity tax moratorium available to new wind energy projects. In a 6-5 vote, lawmakers voted to draft the legislation for review in November.
Considering the many tax benefits which the wind industry is granted, it is somewhat surprising how few local jobs are created in either their construction or their operations. ...After taking advantage of these generous federal, state, and local tax abatements, these companies typically file valuation lawsuits against local county appraisal districts in an attempt to drastically lower their property taxes. This is almost always done immediately after their tax abatements expire.
Once wind facilities have been up and running in Wyoming for three years, the state levies the $1 per MWh wind generation tax. That comes in addition to sales and property taxes. Raising the tax to $4 per MWh would bring the state an additional $1.9 billion.
Berlin Olaf Lies expects the worst. Lower Saxony's energy and environment minister, together with the consulting firm Windguard, had the experts at his company determine the extent to which wind farms could go offline in the coming years because the subsidies for the systems according to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) will end. From the point of view of the SPD politician, the results are alarming: "We are heading for a catastrophe," Lies told the Handelsblatt.
“There is more to be told that the state energy policy makers would rather not be known. The article makes renewable energy look far better than it is. How, can hydropower, the only reliable and true renewable resource, be included in the percentage calculations of renewable generation? Wind is less than 2% at best, solar is about the same. So 17-18% of generated renewable power was hydro and only 1-2% from solar or wind. Also, solar and wind power cost five to six times more than hydro or nuclear or hydrocarbon power.
In 2011 the $1 billion project was to be the biggest solar plant of its kind, and it looked like the future of renewable power. Citigroup Inc. and other financiers invested $140 million with its developer, SolarReserve Inc. Steven Chu, the U.S. Department of Energy secretary at the time, offered the company government loan guarantees, and Harry Reid, then the Senate majority leader and senior senator from Nevada, cleared the way for the company to build on public land. ...SolarReserve may have done its part, but today the company doesn’t rank among the winners. Instead, it’s mired in litigation and accusations of mismanagement at Crescent Dunes, where taxpayers remain on the hook for $737 million in loan guarantees.
A decade ago, more than 50 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States came from coal-fired generating plants. But by 2016, coal’s No. 1 status had been replaced by natural gas.
Several Republican senators in competitive campaigns are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to include in coronavirus relief legislation provisions to “bolster jobs and innovation” in the renewable energy, nuclear, efficiency, carbon-capture and other low-carbon sectors.
Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota is leading a group of nine Republican senators warning fellow Republican Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Finance Committee, not to allow for the extension of wind tax credits set to expire at the end of the year.
While China is moving away from subsidies for new projects, the delayed payments are weighing on developers and restricting their ability to borrow more money to fund new generation. The issue is of particular importance because of the huge amounts of money pouring into the sector in China -- $818 billion in the last decade, more than double any other country, according to BloombergNEF.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted this week on a 2,300-page bill that includes tax breaks for wind and solar power that have already cost taxpayers a lot of money. The $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act extended special tax breaks another five years for wind power and six years for solar power. These tax breaks are unnecessary, expensive and harmful to the electricity grid. They’ve also become a bad investment.
But the move also sets up a fight with congressional Republicans, who in the past have resisted efforts to extend the renewable tax credits. It's unlikely to pass in its current form in the GOP-controlled Senate. The legislation ...called the Moving Forward Act, extends a tax break for onshore wind developers for five years and one for solar developers for six years.
The Trump administration is making it easier for renewable energy projects to take advantage of certain tax credits amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued a notice Wednesday that said it would give some companies that started construction in 2016 or 2017 an extra year before they have to put their projects in service.
Some industry trade associations and green groups appear content to wait for a future aid bill. But other clean energy backers say the House Democrats' latest $3 trillion bill blows another chance to help the ailing sector and at the same time push one of the party's top policy priorities of addressing climate change — and they're tired of waiting until next time.
The Interior Department had stopped charging the rents at the end of 2018 to review company complaints that former President Barack Obama’s administration had increased them too much, making them uncompetitive with rents on private property. The Interior Department declined repeated requests to comment on the outcome of that review, or the issuance of the retroactive rent bills. A budget document on the Interior Department’s web site shows it expects to collect $50 million in rent fees for wind and solar projects in 2020, up from $1.1 million in 2019 and $21.6 million in 2018.
At least ten wind and solar projects from companies, many Chinese, including Goldwind and Power China, and the Argentine Genneia and Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia (PCR) halted construction or commissioning due to the recent quarantine. These projects represent more than 1,000 GW of energy, according to company estimates.
China’s curious role in support of taxpayer wind energy subsidies in the U.S. is now raising suspicion, as Grassley tries to convince Trump Administration officials that their COVID-19 stimulus measures should include a boost to his beleaguered wind program.
An extension is likely to benefit wind energy projects primarily. Wind farms currently can claim a tax credit worth 1.5 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced if they break ground before Jan. 1, 2021.
Prices often drop below zero when there is excess wind and solar generation in the market, but fossil and nuclear power plants fail to throttle their output even though their generation costs are higher and renewables have priority grid access. This may be because a complete shutdown of conventional generation plants followed by a restart would cost operators more than continuing production at negative prices, or continued operation is required to supply district heating.