Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from USA

Call to phase out production tax credit gathers pace

As the $0.023/kWh production tax credit (PTC) is back on a countdown to expiration just months after US Congress passed a short-term extension of the incentive, some in the US wind sector are weighing whether negotiating its eventual demise may be the only way to put the industry on a stable footing for the long term.
1 May 2013

PTC clarity to ease renewable energy additions, questions remain

PTC eligibility for 2013 also requires that project developers demonstrate that projects be under "continuous construction" from 1 January 2014 until completion. This marks a change from the cash grant system - which gave renewable energy project developers the option to receive 30% of project costs up front in lieu of a tax credit - for which projects were eligible using the Safe Harbor Rule or by being under continuous construction.
30 Apr 2013

Ag industry concerned about renewable energy bill that would increase electricity costs

"This would just be terrible for the dairies around here," said Weld County Commissioner and Platteville-area farmer Doug Rademacher, who added that Weld County's five-member Board of County Commissioners has spoken out against Senate Bill 252. "It would really be disastrous for all of ag. A farmer told me the other day this could increase his electricity costs for (groundwater) pumping by about $8,000 per month."
27 Apr 2013

E&E Daily's Juliano previews upcoming Senate energy action

As Congress returns to Washington next week, what is the future of energy efficiency and tax credit measures in the Senate? During today's premiere episode of The Cutting Edge, E&E Daily reporter Nick Juliano discusses the Senate's plans to consider the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill and a tax extenders package that includes energy tax credits.
25 Apr 2013

Dummer residents oppose PILOT agreement with wind farm owner

At the end of an almost two hour informational meeting on a proposed payment-in-lieu-of taxes agreement with Granite Reliable Power, selectmen asked how many in the crowd of about 30 support that approach. Only three people raised their hands. The majority said they favored the town annually appraising the wind farm property based on its ad valorem or fair market value.
24 Apr 2013

U.S. States turn against renewable energy as gas plunges

Sixteen of the 29 states with renewable portfolio standards are considering legislation that would reduce the need for wind and solar power, according to researchers backed by the U.S. Energy Department. North Carolina lawmakers may be among the first to move, followed by Colorado and Connecticut. ...Repealing the state's RPS policy "would help increase disposable income, attract more business investment and make energy more affordable for consumers."
23 Apr 2013

Wind logic

Finally, a breath of fresh air amid all the stale rhetoric over wind-energy tax credits: The CEO of one of the nation's largest wind-energy companies says Washington should hold the subsidies, thereby enabling the industry's innovation and competition.
22 Apr 2013

PTC Update: IRS clarifies 'commence construction' requirements

Under the IRS notice for PTCs, Burton explains, the tax-equity investor will need to consider not only whether 5% of a project's costs have been incurred, but also whether continuous construction was undertaken starting Jan. 1, 2014. "Continuous construction introduces an additional subjective element that requires an incremental layer of analysis for tax-equity investors and their counsel to grapple with," he says.
17 Apr 2013

IRS sets wind tax credit regulations for 2013 projects

The Internal Revenue Service completed rules today that define how wind-farm developers can qualify for tax breaks. Under a law signed by President Barack Obama in January, wind projects must begin construction by Dec. 31 to qualify for the production tax credit. That's looser than the standard from previous years, which required energy production to qualify.
16 Apr 2013

GOP hopes to take some of the wind out of industry’s government aid

Growing concern over duplication of federal programs to aid wind energy development will receive more attention this week in the House. A hearing tomorrow will consider the findings of a recent Government Accountability Office report on various overlapping federal programs to benefit the industry (Greenwire, March 28). The Republican-requested report has bolstered the efforts of some GOP lawmakers and outside conservative groups to end the production tax credit, the industry’s main support mechanism, and otherwise dial back the extent to which the government subsidizes clean energy development. The credit was extended through the end of this year, and President Obama in his budget said it should be made permanent. But industry sources generally do not think a permanent extension is politically feasible and are still formulating their lobbying strategy to seek either a multiyear phaseout in the context of overall tax reform or another short-term renewal as part of a potential “tax extenders” package (E&E Daily, April 11). Activists are questioning the report’s findings, arguing that GAO inflated the number of programs benefiting wind energy by including defunct programs or counting support from programs that aid a broad source of energy sources. The Checks and Balances Project, a liberal nonprofit, today is filing a formal request for GAO’s records, including communications with congressional staff, that went into preparation of the report. “The American public deserves some answers about how this happened,” the group’s director, Gabriel Elsner, writes in the request. “By wide margins, they support pro-clean energy policies, and they don’t want their money going to long-outmoded, vastly larger corporate welfare for fossil fuels.” House Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) requested the report, alongside Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Paul Broun (R-Ga.), who are leaders of the Science subcommittees on environment and oversight, respectively. The two subcommittees are convening tomorrow’s hearing, which will feature testimony from GAO, two wind industry critics and the head of the industry’s main trade association. Schedule: The hearing is Tuesday, April 16, at 2 p.m. in 2318 Rayburn. Witnesses: Frank Rusco, director, Natural Resources and the Environment, Government Accountability Office; Robert Michaels, professor of economics, Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, California State University, Fullerton; Audra Parker, president and CEO, Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound; and Robert Gramlich, interim CEO and senior vice president for policy, American Wind Energy Association.
15 Apr 2013

Obama seen giving himself wiggle room with call for permanent tax credit

The PTC's fate could be decided within the broader negotiations in Congress over how to overhaul the tax code for the first time since 1986. Lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee have been meeting privately for months on the topic, and additional details are expected to be rolled out over the course of this year. But it remains an open question whether tax reform will become a reality.
12 Apr 2013

Obama budget would increase U.S. clean-energy spending

Republicans who control the House of Representatives have criticized Obama's clean-energy initiatives as wasteful boondoggles, pointing to the high-profile bankruptcies of companies like solar-panel maker Solyndra that benefited from federal backing. But the budget proposal signals that clean energy will remain a priority for Obama in his second term in office.
10 Apr 2013

Overlapping wind energy initiatives spark claims of waste, as IRS increases tax credit

"This labyrinth of overlapping programs has spawned a system in which a single wind project could have siphoned public funds from numerous federal and state programs," Daniel Simmons, director of state affairs at the Institute for Energy Research, wrote in U.S. News & World Report. "These include a Section 1603 grant, accelerated depreciation, a DOE loan guarantee, state tax incentives, and indirect subsidies from a state Renewable Portfolio Standard. Adding to the waste, GAO reports that states often design their initiatives to skirt double-dipping laws."
8 Apr 2013
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