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Renewable Energy Tax Credits News Briefs - February 2010

On January 8, President Barack Obama announced the award of $2.3 billion in Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy manufacturing projects. One hundred eighty three projects in 43 states will create tens of thousands of high quality clean energy jobs and the domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies, including solar, wind, and efficiency and energy management technologies, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). A list of the 183 projects selected for tax credits and more information about the Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit can be found online at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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On December 16, Reps. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., and Wally Herger, R-Calif., introduced H.R. 4374, a bipartisan measure called the Renewable Biomass Fairness Act. By providing an equal tax incentive for energy produced from renewable biomass as is currently available for wind and solar, Reps. Herseth Sandlin and Herger say this legislation would promote use of renewable biomass. The bill would amend the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC), extend the PTC for five years for open and closed-loop biomass facilities, and increase the credit for renewable biomass electricity from .9 cents/kWh to 1.8 cents/kWh. The latter will provide rate parity with other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. The PTC for renewable biomass is set to expire in 2014. This legislation would extend the credit to 2019, and also provide a five-year extension of the credit period for open-loop biomass power plants placed in service on or before August 8, 2005. The current credit period expired at the end of 2009. A copy of the bill can be found online at www.energytaxcredits.com.

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Sounds generated by wind turbines are not harmful to human health, according to an expert panel established by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). The multidisciplinary panel, comprised of medical doctors, audiologists and acoustical professionals, reviewed current literature on the issue of perceived health effects of wind turbines. The panel concluded that the sounds emitted from wind turbines have no direct adverse psychological effects and pointed out that while the sound may annoy some, annoyance is not a pathological entity. The panel reports that people have been living near the approximately 50,000 wind turbines operating in Europe and the 30,000 in North America for more than 30 years, with the vast majority experiencing no ill effects.

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Two renewable energy provisions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 may help shovel-ready community wind projects move ahead, according to a new report released on January 7 by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Community wind power development refers to wind projects that are locally owned, consist of utility-scale turbines, and are interconnected on either the customer or utility side of the electric meter. The report, "Revealing the Hidden Value that the Federal Investment Tax Credit and Treasury Cash Grant Provide To Community Wind Projects," analyzed the impact of the ability for qualifying wind projects to choose either a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) or a 30 percent cash grant in lieu of the production tax credit (PTC). A copy of the report can be downloaded from www.energytaxcredits.com.

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In an effort to encourage more geothermal energy production, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has outlined research needs and opportunities to address risks associated with exploration and drilling. The December report, entitled "R&D Needs in Geothermal Exploration and Development," is based on interviews with industry experts and recognizes the potential of breakthrough technologies that include enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) as important research areas while emphasizing further development of conventional technologies. In November, the Department of Energy announced approximately $338 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for geothermal research projects, including 24 exploration and drilling projects that will be awarded as much as $98.1 million. The report identifies those recipients and their relation to exploration and drilling research and development needs. Copies of the report are available on the GEA web site at www.geo-energy.org.

Journal Category:

Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Authors:

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